Friendly number

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Not to be confused with Amicable number.
Demonstration, with Cuisenaire rods, of the abundance of the number 12

In number theory, friendly numbers are two or more natural numbers with a common abundancy, the ratio between the sum of divisors of a number and the number itself. Two numbers with the same abundancy form a friendly pair; n numbers with the same abundancy form a friendly n-tuple.

Being mutually friendly is an equivalence relation, and thus induces a partition of the positive naturals into clubs (equivalence classes) of mutually friendly numbers.

A number that is not part of any friendly pair is called solitary.

The abundancy of n is the rational number σ(n) / n, in which σ denotes the sum of divisors function. A number n is a friendly number if there exists mn such that σ(m) / m = σ(n) / n. Note that abundancy is not the same as abundance which is defined as σ(n) − 2n.

Abundancy may also be expressed as where denotes a divisor function with equal to the sum of the k-th powers of the divisors of n.

The numbers 1 through 5 are all solitary. The smallest friendly number is 6, forming for example the friendly pair 6 and 28 with abundancy σ(6) / 6 = (1+2+3+6) / 6 = 2, the same as σ(28) / 28 = (1+2+4+7+14+28) / 28 = 2. The shared value 2 is an integer in this case but not in many other cases. There are several unsolved problems related to the friendly numbers.

In spite of the similarity in name, there is no specific relationship between the friendly numbers and the amicable numbers or the sociable numbers, although the definitions of the latter two also involve the divisor function.

Example[edit]

Blue numbers are proved friendly (sequence A074902 in the OEIS), red numbers are proved solitary, numbers n such that n and are coprime (sequence A014567 in the OEIS) are not coloured here, though they are known to be solitary, other numbers have unknown status.

n n n n
1 1 1 37 38 38/37 73 74 74/73 109 110 110/109
2 3 3/2 38 60 30/19 74 114 57/37 110 216 108/55
3 4 4/3 39 56 56/39 75 124 124/75 111 152 152/111
4 7 7/4 40 90 9/4 76 140 35/19 112 248 31/14
5 6 6/5 41 42 42/41 77 96 96/77 113 114 114/113
6 12 2 42 96 16/7 78 168 28/13 114 240 40/19
7 8 8/7 43 44 44/43 79 80 80/79 115 144 144/115
8 15 15/8 44 84 21/11 80 186 93/40 116 210 105/58
9 13 13/9 45 78 26/15 81 121 121/81 117 182 14/9
10 18 9/5 46 72 36/23 82 126 63/41 118 180 90/59
11 12 12/11 47 48 48/47 83 84 84/83 119 144 144/119
12 28 7/3 48 124 31/12 84 224 8/3 120 360 3
13 14 14/13 49 57 57/49 85 108 108/85 121 133 133/121
14 24 12/7 50 93 93/50 86 132 66/43 122 186 93/61
15 24 8/5 51 72 24/17 87 120 40/29 123 168 56/41
16 31 31/16 52 98 49/26 88 180 45/22 124 224 56/31
17 18 18/17 53 54 54/53 89 90 90/89 125 156 156/125
18 39 13/6 54 120 20/9 90 234 13/5 126 312 52/21
19 20 20/19 55 72 72/55 91 112 16/13 127 128 128/127
20 42 21/10 56 120 15/7 92 168 42/23 128 255 255/128
21 32 32/21 57 80 80/57 93 128 128/93 129 176 176/129
22 36 18/11 58 90 45/29 94 144 72/47 130 252 126/65
23 24 24/23 59 60 60/59 95 120 24/19 131 132 132/131
24 60 5/2 60 168 14/5 96 252 21/8 132 336 28/11
25 31 31/25 61 62 62/61 97 98 98/97 133 160 160/133
26 42 21/13 62 96 48/31 98 171 171/98 134 204 102/67
27 40 40/27 63 104 104/63 99 156 52/33 135 240 16/9
28 56 2 64 127 127/64 100 217 217/100 136 270 135/68
29 30 30/29 65 84 84/65 101 102 102/101 137 138 138/137
30 72 12/5 66 144 24/11 102 216 36/17 138 288 48/23
31 32 32/31 67 68 68/67 103 104 104/103 139 140 140/139
32 63 63/32 68 126 63/34 104 210 105/52 140 336 12/5
33 48 16/11 69 96 32/23 105 192 64/35 141 192 64/47
34 54 27/17 70 144 72/35 106 162 81/53 142 216 108/71
35 48 48/35 71 72 72/71 107 108 108/107 143 168 168/143
36 91 91/36 72 195 65/24 108 280 70/27 144 403 403/144

As another example, 30 and 140 form a friendly pair, because 30 and 140 have the same abundancy:

The numbers 2480, 6200 and 40640 are also members of this club, as they each have an abundancy equal to 12/5.

Solitary numbers[edit]

A number that belongs to a singleton club, because no other number is friendly with it, is a solitary number. All prime numbers are known to be solitary, as are powers of prime numbers. More generally, if the numbers n and σ(n) are coprime – meaning that the greatest common divisor of these numbers is 1, so that σ(n)/n is an irreducible fraction – then the number n is solitary (sequence A014567 in the OEIS). For a prime number p we have σ(p) = p + 1, which is coprime with p.

No general method is known for determining whether a number is friendly or solitary. The smallest number whose classification is unknown (as of 2009) is 10; it is conjectured to be solitary; if not, its smallest friend is a fairly large number, like the status for the number 24, although 24 is friendly, its smallest friend is 91,963,648.

Large clubs[edit]

It is an open problem whether there are infinitely large clubs of mutually friendly numbers. The perfect numbers form a club, and it is conjectured that there are infinitely many perfect numbers (at least as many as there are Mersenne primes), but no proof is known. As of February 2016, 49 perfect numbers are known, the largest of which has more than 44 million digits in decimal notation. There are clubs with more known members, in particular those formed by multiply perfect numbers, which are numbers whose abundancy is an integer. As of early 2013, the club of friendly numbers with abundancy equal to 9 has 2094 known members.[1] Although some are known to be quite large, clubs of multiply perfect numbers (excluding the perfect numbers themselves) are conjectured to be finite.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Flammenkamp, Achim. "The Multiply Perfect Numbers Page". Retrieved 2008-04-20. 

References[edit]