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**imind** While working to learn modern algebra (abstract algebra) in preparation for next year I stumbled across the section on multiplicative inverses. The textbook is pretty solid and I can see how the concepts from the previous sections are relating to this one. However I got stuck on Excercise 10 because I skipped Excercise 9 (I didn't understand it) ... Now I know the answer for Excercise 10 is right but I'm unable to relate "why" with my answer and I was wondering if I could get a little clarification. Below I've typed the excercises for reference... Thanks for the help

Excercise 9 (I skipped this one):

Let [a] be an element of $\displaystyle Z_{n}$ that has a multiplicative inverse $\displaystyle [a]^{-1}$ in $\displaystyle Z_{n}$. Prove that $\displaystyle [x] = [a]^{-1}[b]$ is the unique solution in $\displaystyle Z_{n}$ to the equation $\displaystyle [a][x]=[b]$

Excercise 10

Solve each of the following equations by finding $\displaystyle [a]^{-1}$ and using the result in Excercise 9.

(a) $\displaystyle [4][x] = [5]$ in $\displaystyle Z_{13}$

This format looked VERY similar to a previous excercise in which I used the Extended Eclidean Algorithm to solve so I first tried that

$\displaystyle 1 = 4m + 13n$

$\displaystyle 13 = (4)(3) + (1)(1)$

$\displaystyle 4 = (1)(4) + 0$

$\displaystyle 1 = (13)(1) - (4)(3)$

$\displaystyle 1 = (13)(1) + (4)(-3)$

$\displaystyle 5 = (13)(5) + (4)(-15)$

$\displaystyle 5 \equiv (4)(-15)$ mod $\displaystyle 13$

$\displaystyle -15 = (13)(-2) + 11$

Thus x = 11 is a solution. Now from here I checked my answer in the book and it is indeed right however they list it a separate way and I'm wondering what exactly their method says and if it's shorter. The method I've used worked for all 8 of the parts in this excercise, so the methodology is right, but I'm kind of lost as to what it means haha

Book answer:

$\displaystyle [x] = [4]^{-1}[5] = [10][5] = [11]$

Thanks for any help understanding what is going on here.