Noncototient

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In mathematics, a noncototient is a positive integer n that cannot be expressed as the difference between a positive integer m and the number of coprime integers below it. That is, m − φ(m) = n, where φ stands for Euler's totient function, has no solution for m. The cototient of n is defined as n − φ(n), so a noncototient is a number that is never a cototient.

It is conjectured that all noncototients are even. This follows from a modified form of the Goldbach conjecture: if the even number n can be represented as a sum of two distinct primes p and q, then


 pq - \varphi(pq) = pq - (p-1)(q-1) = p+q-1 = n-1. \,

It is expected that every even number larger than 6 is a sum of distinct primes, so probably no odd number larger than 5 is a noncototient. The remaining odd numbers are covered by the observations 1=2-\phi(2), 3 = 9 - \phi(9) and 5 = 25 - \phi(25).

The first few noncototients are

10, 26, 34, 50, 52, 58, 86, 100, 116, 122, 130, 134, 146, 154, 170, 172, 186, 202, 206, 218, 222, 232, 244, 260, 266, 268, 274, 290, 292, 298, 310, 326, 340, 344, 346, 362, 366, 372, 386, 394, 404, 412, 436, 466, 470, 474, 482, 490, ... (sequence A005278 in OEIS)

The cototient of n are

0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 1, 4, 1, 4, 3, 6, 1, 8, 1, 8, 7, 8, 1, 12, 1, 12, 9, 12, 1, 16, 5, 14, 9, 16, 1, 22, 1, 16, 13, 18, 11, 24, 1, 20, 15, 24, 1, 30, 1, 24, 21, 24, 1, 32, 7, 30, 19, 28, 1, 36, 15, 32, 21, 30, 1, 44, 1, 32, 27, 32, 17, 46, 1, 36, 25, 46, 1, 48, ... (sequence A051953 in OEIS)

Least k such that the cototient of k is n are

0, 2, 4, 9, 6, 25, 10, 15, 12, 21, 0, 35, 18, 33, 26, 39, 24, 65, 34, 51, 38, 45, 30, 95, 36, 69, 0, 63, 52, 161, 42, 87, 48, 93, 0, 75, 54, 217, 74, 99, 76, 185, 82, 123, 60, 117, 66, 215, 72, 141, 0, ... (sequence A063507 in OEIS)

Greatest k such that the cototient of k is n are

1, ∞, 4, 9, 8, 25, 10, 49, 16, 27, 0, 121, 22, 169, 26, 55, 32, 289, 34, 361, 38, 85, 30, 529, 46, 133, 0, 187, 52, 841, 58, 961, 64, 253, 0, 323, 68, 1369, 74, 391, 76, 1681, 82, 1849, 86, 493, 70, 2209, 94, 589, 0, ... (sequence A063748 in OEIS)

Number of ks such that k-φ(k) is n are

2, ∞, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 0, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 4, 4, 3, 0, 4, 1, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 0, 5, 2, 2, 1, 4, 1, 5, 1, 4, 2, 4, 2, 6, 5, 5, 0, 3, 0, 6, 2, 4, 2, 5, 0, 7, 4, 3, 1, 8, 4, 6, 1, 3, 1, 5, 2, 7, 3, ... (sequence A063740 in OEIS)

Erdős (1913-1996) and Sierpinski (1882-1969) asked whether there exist infinitely many noncototients. This was finally answered in the affirmative by Browkin and Schinzel (1995), who showed every member of the infinite family  2^k \cdot 509203 is an example (See Riesel number). Since then other infinite families, of roughly the same form, have been given by Flammenkamp and Luca (2000).

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