Relatively Prime Linear Combinations

If there exist x and y for which ax+by=GCD(a,b) then GCD(x,y)=1.

Let g=GCD(a,b) and x and y solutions to ax+by=g.

Since g|a and g|b, there exist integers n and m such that a=gn and b=gm.

ax+by=gnx+gmy=g

So, nx+my=1

The GCD(n,m)=1 since g is the GCD(a,b).

Let d be a divisor of x. If d also divides my, then d must divide 1, which isn’t possible. So, GCD(x,y)=1.

Fraction Sum Divisors

Given a pair of reduced fractions, e.g., 1/30 and 1/42, or 3/10 and 1/5, we add them with the LCD Algorithm.

If the sum reduces, then it will reduce by a factor of the GCD of the denominators.

Example 1/30+1/42

• Find the LCM
30=2 * 3 * 5 and 42=2 * 3 * 7
so the LCM =2 * 3 * 5 * 7 = 210 and the GCD =2* 3=6.
• Modify the first fraction
210/30=7 so we rewrite 1/30 = (7*1)/(7*30) = 7/210
• Modify the second fraction
210/42=5 so 1/42 = (5*1)/(5*42) = 5/210
• Combine the fractions with the common denominator
1/30+1/42 = 7/210+5/210 = 12/210
• Notice if they reduce
12/210= (12 -: 6)/(210 -: 6) = 2/35

Example 11/30+1/42

11/30+1/42 = 77/210+5/210 = 82/210= (82 -: 2)/(210 -: 2) = 41/105

Proof

Applying the LCD algorithm a/c+b/d=(au+bv)/lcm

lcm=LCM(c,d)
Note that the LCM of two numbers is the product of the highest power of each prime from the prime factorizations of the two numbers.

gcd=GCD(c,d)
Note that the GCD is the lowest power of the primes common to the two numbers.

These sets of prime factors are disjoint and complementary to the product of the two numbers, i.e.,

c* d = lcm * gcd (1)

Alternatively,

lcm/c=d/gcd(2)

To apply the LCD Algorithm we need to find u and v, the complementary factors of the lcm for c and d respectively.

u=lcm/c and v=lcm/d(3)

Since u=lcm/c=d/gcd, then u is made from factors of d that are not common to c. Similarly, v is made from factors of c that are not common to d. Hence u and v have no common factors, i.e., GCD(u,v)=1.

Notice that u*v = lcm/c * lcm/d and gcd=(c*d)/lcm

Hence, lcm = gcd * u * v

so a/c+b/d=(au+bv)/(gcd * u * v)

If this sum is reducible, then there exists an Integer n such that

(au+bv)/n and (gcd * u * v)/n

If n divides u then n must divide bv. However, we know that u is relatively prime to v. Additionally, since b is relatively prime to d, b is also relatively prime to u. Hence n can’t divide bv and then must not divide u,

So if n is to be the GCD of the numerator and denominator of the sum, it must divide the GCD(c,d).

Relatively Prime Integers

a and b are said relatively prime if GCD(a,b)=1.

Euler’s Totient function, \phi(n), counts the number of positive integers less than n that are are relatively prime to n.

For example, numbers relatively prime to 15 are {1,2,4,7,8,11,13,14}, so \phi(15)=8.

1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7 8,  9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

There is always an interesting symmetry to these lists, that is, if a is in the list, then n-a is in the list.

Take a<n and GCD(a,n)=1.

Now lets suppose that n and n-a are not relatively prime, so GCD(n-a,n)=d>1.

This means that d|n so there exists a k where n=dk. Similarly, n-a=dj for some j.

Then a=n-dj=dk-dj=d(k-j), so that d|a, contradicting our hypotheses, GCD(a,n)=1.

So d must me 1.

This may also be shown using the fact that a and n are relatively prime, if and only if there exist integers x and y such that ax+ny=1.(ref)

So far, I lack an simpler argument that if a is relatively prime to n and a<n then n-a is also.

Some Number Theory Basics

A linear combination theorem about divisors

If c|a and c|b, then c|(ax+by) for arbitrary integers x and y.

If c|a then there exists an integer n such that a=cn, similarly, b=cm for some m.

Given any integers x and y, ax+by = cnx+cmy = c(nx+my). Since n, m, x, and y are integers, then so is nx+my.

Concerning the gcd of a and b

Given integers a and b, there exist integers u and v such that au+bv= gcd(a,b).

Now consider the set S={ ax+by | ax+by > 0 and x and y are integers }

S is non empty since if y=0, then ax+b*0=|a| if we choose x to be 1 or -1 as necessary. The set S must contain some smallest number, say d. There exist u and v such that d=au+bv.

Now let’s apply the Division Algorithm. We can find q and r so that a=qd+r, where 0 <= r <= d.

So, r = a-qd = a-q(au+bv) = a(1-qu)+b(-qv).

Suppose r is positive. Then r is in S. This contradicts the Division Algorithm, since r<d. Hence r=0 and a=qd. Now, d|a and similarly, d|b, so d is a common divisor of a and b.

Take c to be any common divisor of a and b. c|(au+bv) and so c|d. This implies that c <= d and d must be the gcd(a,b).

Now that we know values exist, the Euclidean Algorithm for finding the gcd of two numbers can be used to find values for u and v.

Linear Combinations of Relatively Prime Integers

a and b are relatively prime, if and only if there exist integers x and y such that ax+by=1.

Symmetry with Sums of Proper Fractions

If a is relatively prime to b, then b-a is also relatively prime to b. (ref)

Consider the sum a/b+c/d, where both fractions are reduced, that is, a is relatively prime to b and c is relatively prime to d.

Then the sum (b-a)/b+(d-c)/d is also the sum of two reduced fractions.

(b-a)/b+(d-c)/d=1-a/b+1-c/d=2-(a/b+c/d)

So if a/b+c/d is a reducible sum then so is (b-a)/b+(d-c)/d. Better yet, their sum is always 2.