Evaluate the Jacobi symbol ((n−1)(n+1)/n) for any odd natural number n.
Trying out some numbers, I THINK it alternates between 1 and -1, but how can we PROVE it formally?
Any help is appreciated!
[also under discussion in math link forum]
Evaluate the Jacobi symbol ((n−1)(n+1)/n) for any odd natural number n.
Trying out some numbers, I THINK it alternates between 1 and -1, but how can we PROVE it formally?
Any help is appreciated!
[also under discussion in math link forum]
$\displaystyle \left(\frac{(n-1)(n+1)}{n}\right) = \left(\frac{n-1}{n}\right)\left(\frac{n+1}{n}\right) = \left(\frac{-1}{n}\right)\left(\frac{1}{n}\right) = \left(\frac{-1}{n}\right) $
For $\displaystyle n $ odd, $\displaystyle \left(\frac{-1}{n}\right) = (-1)^\frac{n-1}{2} = \begin{cases} \;\;\,1 & \text{if }n \equiv 1 \pmod 4\\ -1 &\text{if }n \equiv 3 \pmod 4\end{cases} $.
For $\displaystyle n $ even, take $\displaystyle n=2k $, then $\displaystyle \left(\frac{-1}{n}\right) = \left(\frac{-1}{2k}\right) = \left(\frac{-1}{2}\right)\left(\frac{-1}{k}\right) = \left(\frac{-1}{k}\right) = \begin{cases} \;\;\,1 & \text{if }k \equiv 1 \pmod 4\\ -1 &\text{if }k \equiv 3 \pmod 4\end{cases} $.
Jacobi symbol
Apparently the answer is $\displaystyle 0 $. I haven't had too much exposure to the Jacobi symbol so I can't really tell you why. Check out the site for yourself though.
Is there any reason why (0/1)=1?? Is this simply becuase by convention, we define it to be that way?
1 has no prime factorization, so the product is empty. Is it conventional to define the "empty" product to be equal to +1??
Also, is it true that, by definition, (a/1)=1 for any integer a?
Can someone clarify this? Thank you!
It could perhaps be to avoid making annoying "special cases" in theorems.
Example (which is not linked to your question, but just to show you) :
Why do we define 1 as not being prime ?
If we defined 1 as being prime, we would have to reformulate the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic in a rather heavy way, stating that "apart from adding 1's, the prime decomposition of a number is unique without taking into account the order" ...
And since there is no particular reason to define 1 as a prime, we just prefer to say it isn't one