# Show a polynomial satisfies Eisenstein's criterion

• Feb 17th 2011, 12:00 PM
page929
Show a polynomial satisfies Eisenstein's criterion
Show that if the positive integer n is not a square, then for some p and some integer k, the polynomial (x^2 - [n/p^(2k)]) satisfies Eisenstein's criterion. Conclude that
n^(1/2) is not a rational number.

I know that Eisenstein's criterion states:
Let f(x) = anx^n + ... + a1x + a0 have integer coeffiecients. If there exists a prime p such that an-1 an-2 ≡ ... ≡ a1 ≡ a0 mod p, but an is not ≡ to 0 mod p and a0 is not ≡ to 0 mod p^2. Then f is irreducible over Q.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
• Feb 17th 2011, 03:44 PM
hatsoff
Let $n=p_1^{\alpha_1}\cdots p_m^{\alpha_m}$ be the prime factorization of $n$. Since $n$ is not a square, there is some $p_i$ with $\alpha_i$ odd. So $p_i$ divides $n/p_i^{\alpha_i-1}$ but $p_i^2$ does not. So $x^2-(n/p_i^{\alpha_i-1})$ satisfies Eisenstein, which means it is irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$. However, $x^2-(n/p_i^{\alpha_i-1})=(x-\sqrt{n/p_i^{\alpha_i-1}})(x+\sqrt{n/p_i^{\alpha_i-1}})$, which since $p_i^{\alpha_i-1}$ is a square means $\sqrt{n}$ is irrational.