# Analysis Questions

• Feb 4th 2008, 11:05 PM
heathrowjohnny
Analysis Questions
1. Prove that there is no largest prime.

Proof: Assume by contradiction that there is a largest prime $n$. Then its divisors are $1$ and $n$. Then how would I continue?

2. If $n$ is a positive integer, prove that the algebraic identity $a^{n} - b^{n} = (a-b) \sum_{0}^{n-1} a^{k} b^{n-1-k}$. So use induction on $n$?

3. If $2^{n}-1$ is prime, prove that $n$ is prime. Then $2^{n}$ is not prime. But this does not imply that $n$ is prime.
• Feb 4th 2008, 11:14 PM
Ryan J
for your first question: first imagine there is a largest prime number, X.

Think about how you could prove there is a larger one.

• Feb 4th 2008, 11:34 PM
earboth
Quote:

Originally Posted by heathrowjohnny
1. Prove that there is no largest prime.

Proof: Assume by contradiction that there is a largest prime $n$. Then its divisors are $1$ and $n$. Then how would I continue?

...

Have a look here: http://www.mathhelpforum.com/math-he...t+prime+number
• Feb 5th 2008, 08:57 AM
ThePerfectHacker
Quote:

Originally Posted by heathrowjohnny
3. If $2^{n}-1$ is prime, prove that $n$ is prime. Then $2^{n}$ is not prime. But this does not imply that $n$ is prime.

Yes. If $n=pq$ where $p,q>1$ then $2^n - 1 = (2^q)^p - 1$ and use the factorization trick above. Which means it cannot be prime.
• Feb 5th 2008, 10:08 AM
Jameson
Quote:

Originally Posted by earboth

OP - You're on the right track with assuming that there exists a largest prime and heading towards a contradiction. Call the largest prime $p_n$. Take the product $p_{1}p_{2}...p_n$. This is obviously not prime. What happens if you add 1 to the product? What divides $p_{1}p_{2}...p_n +1$?