Cohn's irreducibility criterion
Arthur Cohn's irreducibility criterion is a sufficient condition for a polynomial to be irreducible in —that is, for it to be unfactorable into the product of lower-degree polynomials with integer coefficients.
The criterion is often stated as follows:
The theorem can be generalized to other bases as follows:
- Assume that is a natural number and is a polynomial such that . If is a prime number then is irreducible in .
The converse of this criterion is that, if p is an irreducible polynomial with integer coefficients that have greatest common divisor 1, then there exists a base such that the coefficients of p form the representation of a prime number in that base; this is the Bunyakovsky conjecture and its truth or falsity remains an open question.
- Polya and Szegő gave their own generalization but it has many side conditions (on the locations of the roots, for instance) so it lacks the elegance of Brillhart's, Filaseta's, and Odlyzko's generalization.
- It is clear from context that the "A. Cohn" mentioned by Polya and Szegő is Arthur Cohn, a student of Issai Schur who was awarded his PhD in Berlin in 1921.
- George Pólya; Gábor Szegő (1925). Aufgaben und Lehrsätze aus der Analysis, Bd 2. Springer, Berlin. OCLC 73165700. English translation in: George Pólya; Gabor Szegö (2004). Problems and theorems in analysis, volume 2 2. Springer. p. 137. ISBN 3-540-63686-2.
- Brillhart, John; Michael Filaseta, Andrew Odlyzko (1981). "On an irreducibility theorem of A. Cohn". Canadian Journal of Mathematics 33 (5): 1055–1059. doi:10.4153/CJM-1981-080-0.
- Murty, Ram (2002). "Prime Numbers and Irreducible Polynomials". American Mathematical Monthly (The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 109, No. 5) 109 (5): 452–458. doi:10.2307/2695645. JSTOR 2695645. (dvi file)
- Arthur Cohn's entry at the Mathematics Genealogy Project