Brocard's problem

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Question dropshade.png Unsolved problem in mathematics:
Does have integer solutions other than ?
(more unsolved problems in mathematics)

Brocard's problem is a problem in mathematics that asks to find integer values of n and m for which

where n! is the factorial. It was posed by Henri Brocard in a pair of articles in 1876 and 1885, and independently in 1913 by Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Brown numbers[edit]

Pairs of the numbers (n, m) that solve Brocard's problem are called Brown numbers. There are only three known pairs of Brown numbers:

(4,5), (5,11), and (7,71).

Paul Erdős conjectured that no other solutions exist. Overholt (1993) showed that there are only finitely many solutions provided that the abc conjecture is true. Berndt & Galway (2000) performed calculations for n up to 109 and found no further solutions. Matson (2017) has recently claimed to have extended this by 3 orders of magnitude to one trillion.

Variants of the problem[edit]

Dabrowski (1996) generalized Overholt's result by showing that it would follow from the abc conjecture that

has only finitely many solutions, for any given integer A. This result was further generalized by Luca (2002), who showed (again assuming the abc conjecture) that the equation

has only finitely many integer solutions for a given polynomial P(x) of degree at least 2 with integer coefficients.


  • Berndt, Bruce C.; Galway, William F. (2000), "The Brocard–Ramanujan diophantine equation n! + 1 = m2" (PDF), The Ramanujan Journal, 4: 41–42, doi:10.1023/A:1009873805276.
  • Brocard, H. (1876), "Question 166", Nouv. Corres. Math., 2: 287.
  • Brocard, H. (1885), "Question 1532", Nouv. Ann. Math., 4: 391.
  • Dabrowski, A. (1996), "On the Diophantine Equation x! + A = y2", Nieuw Arch. Wisk., 14: 321–324.
  • Guy, R. K. (1994), "D25: Equations Involving Factorial", Unsolved Problems in Number Theory (2nd ed.), New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 193–194, ISBN 0-387-90593-6.
  • Luca, Florian (2002), "The diophantine equation P(x) = n! and a result of M. Overholt" (PDF), Glasnik Matematički, 37 (57): 269–273.
  • Matson, Robert (2017), "Brocard's Problem 4th Solution Search Utilizing Quadratic Residues" (PDF), Unsolved Problems in Number Theory, Logic and Cryptography.
  • Overholt, Marius (1993), "The diophantine equation n! + 1 = m2", Bull. London Math. Soc., 25 (2): 104, doi:10.1112/blms/25.2.104.

External links[edit]