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Questions tagged [number-theory]

A field of mathematics studying numbers, their properties and structures that arise from them.

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What is the modern significance of Theaetetus's classification of quadratic irrationals?

Before Eudoxus's theory of proportion there was a theory of irrationals based on continued fraction expansions, which Fowler calls anthyphairesis. Theaetetus is said to develop a classification of ...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes
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181 views

Did Hardy and Ramanujan miscalculate these values?

When I read Dickson's History Of The Theory Of Numbers Vol-2, I found that there seems to be a mistake in the approximation of partition numbers p(200). For this reason, I found the original text ...
D.Matthew's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
467 views

Origin of Problem 6 on the 1988 International Mathematical Olympiad

The recent Numberphile video on the famous Problem 6 of the 1988 IMO (mentioned in a recent answer on this site) got me wondering: Who came up with this problem in the first place, and how did they ...
Timothy Chow's user avatar
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5 votes
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318 views

What is Hensel's lemma a lemma for?

Was Hensel's lemma originally used for proving some other theorem? Or is it meant to be a standalone result? Why is it a "lemma" and not a theorem?
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4 votes
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179 views

Who proposed terminating decimals as a major set and why are them important in France?

After looking at some school sources in French, it is common to provide the various number sets in the following order $$\mathbb{N}\subset \mathbb{Z}\subset\mathbb{D}\subset\mathbb{Q}\subset\mathbb{R}\...
Mauricio's user avatar
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4 votes
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114 views

Who first proved that there is no five-digit perfect number?

A perfect number is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its positive divisors, excluding the number itself. The first five perfect numbers are 6, 28, 496, 8128, and 33550336. Nicomachus ...
A. Rex's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
123 views

Where is First-Order Peano Arithmetic first clearly formulated?

I really should know this, but ... When/where/by whom was first-order Peano Arithmetic first clearly and explicitly formulated in a recognizably modern form (perhaps exact notation apart) -- with the ...
Peter Smith's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
100 views

When did modular forms start to get studied via algebraic geometry?

I'm looking, for instance, as to when people started studying modular curves and modular forms as sections of line bundles on them, as opposed to the point of view of modular forms being holomorphic ...
Anton Hilado's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
240 views

Who came up with the proof of "Bézout's identity" that uses the well-ordering principle?

Let $a$ and $b$ be two integers not both of which are equal to zero. It is an important and well-known fact that $\text{gcd}(a,b)=ax_{0}+by_{0}$ for some integers $x_{0}$ and $y_{0}$. Even though this ...
José Hdz. Stgo.'s user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
300 views

Are there primitive Pythagoras triplets (in integers), being with all the terms as powerful numbers?

I'm searching a trusted historical sources about primitive Pythagoras triplets as being powerful integers (numerical examples), or a notable work of impossibility of such a triples, but couldn't find ...
Sophyan Gharz's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
106 views

Influence of Edmund Landau's list of four problems

At the 1912 International Congress of Mathematicians, Edmund Landau listed four basic problems about prime numbers: Goldbach's conjecture, the twin prime conjecture, Legendre's conjecture (that there ...
Timothy Chow's user avatar
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2 votes
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Who first proved that the existence of a Euclidean algorithm implies unique factorization?

In Simachew's "A Survey on Euclidean Number Fields", he said that Gauss used the existence of a Euclidean algorithm in Gaussian integers to prove that it has unique factorization. Also, he ...
Butterfly's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
117 views

First motivation for extending Riemann Zeta to complex domain?

Euler developed the Euler Product Formula which shows that the Riemann zeta function encodes information about the prime. $$\zeta(s)=\sum_{n}\frac{1}{n^{s}}=\prod_{p}(1-\frac{1}{p^{s}})^{-1}$$ Riemann ...
Penelope's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
105 views

Notation $n=efr$ in algebraic number theory

When $\Bbb Q \subset K$ is a field extension of finite degree and when $p \in \Bbb Z$ is a prime number, the ideal $p O_K$ decomposes uniquely as a product $\prod_{i=1}^r P_i^{e_i}$ of prime ideals of ...
Watson's user avatar
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97 views

Which is the first reference using the terminology "Chinese Remainder Theorem" for this theorem?

The Chinese Remainder Theorem is one of the fundamental theorems in modular arithmetic. As far as I know, this terminology for the theorem is due to the fact that the Chinese mathematicians were the ...
Josué Tonelli-Cueto's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
97 views

Why Did Riemann Venture into Number Theory for the Riemann Hypothesis?

I’m exploring the history behind the Riemann Hypothesis and I found something interesting. We know that Bernhard Riemann was mainly focused on complex analysis, but he also wrote a very important ...
Metehan Turan's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Was Euler aware of the general form of the characterization of primes of the form $p=x^2+ny^2$ for arbitrary $n>0$?

If $n$ is a positive integer then there is a monic irreducible polynomial $f(x)$ such that if $p$ is an odd prime not dividing $n$ nor the discriminant of $f$ then $$ p=x^2+ny^2\iff \left(\frac{-n}{p}\...
Croqueta's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Unramified étale cohomology groups & unramified Milnor-Witt K-groups: any relation to notion of unramifiedness in number theory

Let $X$ be an integral locally noetherian smooth scheme over base field $k$. Then for every point $x \in X^{(1)}$ of codimension $1$, the stalk $\mathcal{O}_{X,x}$ is a discrete valuation ring. ...
user267839's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
130 views

How did Fermat come up with his Last Theorem?

It's usually believed that Fermat's claim that he had a proof for the Last Theorem is false, and that it might have been more of a conjecture. Or considering it took many centuries and advanced ...
HighVoltage's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
179 views

Why didn't the ancient Greeks consider 1 to be odd?

The Wikipedia page on parity currently says: The ancient Greeks considered 1, the monad, to be neither fully odd nor fully even Why didn't they consider 1 as odd? (I am assuming they already had the ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Timeline for the earliest work on Frobenius problems

If $a, b$ are positive and coprime integers, then the set of linear combinations of $a$ and $b$ with nonnegative coefficients is all integers past $(a - 1)(b - 1)$; i.e. $\{ \lambda_1 a + \lambda_2 b :...
jskattt797's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
174 views

History of Reciprocity Laws

Does anybody know a freely available overview of the history of Reciprocity Laws, especially the Cubic and Biquadratic ones? Wikipedia I know about Franz Lemmermeyer's book "Reciprocity Laws", but ...
3nondatur's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

How were number symbols derived/shaped up?

This question was sitting on my to do list for sometime. So, as I was reading a book on history of science, I came across of a paragraph where the author attempted to give a historical development ...
flamenco's user avatar
  • 119
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0 answers
93 views

History of Bernoulli numbers

I have been trying to understand what is the meaning of Bernoulli numbers, but to my mind it has been obscured behind complicated formulas without much explaination. I presume finding the history ...
Gustamons's user avatar
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0 answers
52 views

History of prime distribution $\lim_{x\to\infty}\frac{\pi(x)}{x}=0$

Let $\pi(x)$ be the prime counting function. It is well-known that $$\lim_{x\to\infty}\frac{\pi(x)}{x}=0.$$ My question is who is the first person to prove this result? Did Eratosthenes prove this ...
HGF's user avatar
  • 143
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Any historical work on the distribution of prime gaps?

I am looking to see whether historic mathematicians did any work to explain the slightly unexpected distribution of prime gaps? I would have expected Gauss, who studied lists of primes and proposed a ...
Penelope's user avatar
  • 415
0 votes
0 answers
103 views

Does this mathematical result have a specific name?

I am not sure if it's new although it may be an easy consequence of some theorem or lemma.The result is as follows: By choosing a set of numbers between $0$ and $n$(for any $n$) picking each number at ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,525
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116 views

How did Hardy and Littlewood formulate the k-tuple conjecture?

Let $\mathcal{H}_k = (h_1,h_2,\cdots,h_k)$ be an admissible k-tuple. The k-tuple conjecture predicts that the number of primes $(b+h_1,b+h_2,\cdots,b+h_k)\in \mathbb{P}^k$ with $b+h_k \leq x$ is: $$\...
LAGRIDA's user avatar
  • 109
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0 answers
248 views

Was 360 considered a magic number, possibly?

The number $360$ as the number of units into which the circle is divided has some nice properties: it has as many divisors as a number of its size can have it's nearly the number of days per year ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar