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Number Theory

All polynomials here have integer coefficients.

Example: Long Division of polynomials (for a linear divisor ). The long division
x4 - x3 + 2x divided by x - 3,

has a quotient x3 + 2x2 + 6x + 20 and a remainder 60.

Theorem For and an integer b, we can write f(x) = (x - b)g(x)+c
where g is a polynomial with degree g = degree f - 1 and c is an integer.

Proof. By induction on the degree of f. The result is clearly true when the degree
of f is zero. Suppose that the assertion holds when the degree of f is less than n and
now take Now the nth degree coefficient of f is a n which
is the same as the nth degree coefficient of Hence
has degree less than n. By induction,
where the degree of is less than n. Then

By induction, the result holds for all polynomials f.

Definition. The polynomials and are
congruent as polynomials modulo m (written f ≡ g (poly modm)) if (mod m)
for each j with 0 ≤ j ≤ m. Another way of saying this is f(x) - g(x) = mh(x) where
h is a polynomial with integer coefficients.

Example. x2 + x - 12 ≡ x2 + x + 2 (poly mod 7). However, although by Fermat’s
theorem we have x7 ≡ x (mod 7) for every x, we do not have x7 ≡ x(poly mod 7).

Definition. For f as above, the degree of f modulo m is the largest j such that
If f is congruent to zero modulo m then the degree is undefined.

Lemma If (poly mod m) and (poly modm) then (poly mod m)
and (poly mod m). Also (poly mod n) as was noted by a
member of the audience. If m = p is prime then the degree of fg modulo p is the
degree of f modulo p plus the degree of g modulo p.

Theorem. Let p be prime and let f(x) be a polynomial which is not congruent to
zero as a polynomial modulo p.

(a). There exist integers and a polynomial g(x), such that g has no roots
modulo p and

(*) (poly mod p):

(b). Moreover are precisely the roots of f (possibly repeated more than
once), and so by comparing the degree modulo p of both sides, the number of roots of
f is at most n.

Example. Consider x4 -1 modulo 5. By Fermat, the roots are 1; 2; 3; 4 modulo 5. By
the Theorem

(poly mod 5);

where the exponents By comparing degrees and the coefficient of x4 on both
sides, and g(x) = 1 and

x4 - 1 ≡ (x - 1)(x - 2)(x - 3)(x - 4) (poly mod 5):

Proof of the Theorem. (a). We prove this by induction on the degree of f. Suppose
it holds when the degree of f is less than n, and now take f whose degree is precisely
n. If f has no root modulo p then we can take g = f and no rs. If f has a root r
modulo p. Then by long division we can write

where the degree of is n - 1. Then plugging in x = r we get

0 ≡ f(r) ≡ c (mod p)

and so

By applying the inductive hypothesis to we get (*) for f. By induction we are done.
(b). Clearly are roots of f modulo p and if a is not one of the modulo p
we have

g(a) (mod p)

which is a product of non -zero elements modulo p and hence non-zero modulo p. This
shows that the roots modulo p are precisely

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