Well, I think I have to use R in this assignment:
"Factorize the expression P(n)=n^x - n for x = 2,3,4,5. Determine if the expression is always divisible by the corresponding x. If divisible use mathematical induction to prove your result by showing whether P(k + 1) - P(k) is always divisible by x. Using appropriate technology, explore more cases and make a conjecture for when n^x - n is divisible by x."
What do a,b,c do?
cause n(n - 1)(n^2 + n) = n^4 - n^2 ?
This is an interesting way to pose the question. The problem setter wants you to discover a wonderful idea on your own. I hope other people will not spoil it and tell you the idea.
"Factorize the expression P(n)=n^x - n for x = 2,3,4,5. Determine if the expression is always divisible by the corresponding x"
Lets start with 2,
1) Does 2 always divide ?
Hint: Try some values to be sure before we try to guess the result.n^2 - n = n(n-1). Look at the parity of n and n-1.
2) Does 3 always divide ?
Hint: .
Try some values to be sure before we try to guess the result.Consider these questions:What if n was divisible by 3, What if n left a remainder of 1 when divided by 3?, what if n left a remainder of -1?
3)Does 4 always divide ?
Hint:Lets try some values to be sure before we try to guess the result. if n = 2, 4 does not divide
4) Does 5 always divide ?
Hint: Try some values to be sure before we try to guess the result.Just observe that n^5 and n will have the same units place. So the difference is divisible by 10 and hence 5.
5) Does 6 always divide ?
Hint: Lets try some values to be sure before we try to guess the result. if n = 2, 6 does not divide
Hmm can you see a pattern? Now can you establish it using induction?
Alright, so I did what you said and found that the stuff will be divisible as long as x is a prime number. I didn't need the factorization for this though, so I assume the factorized form will be used in the proof? Anyways, I'm gonna try to write a proof of this now. Thanks for the help all, I guess I will need more pretty soon though.