Prove That an Expression is a Multiple of 10
Date: 12/19/2002 at 23:48:40 From: Ritchie Subject: Prove that an expression is a multiple of 10 If a and b are positive integers, prove that (a^5)*(b) - (a)*(b^5) is a multiple of 10. I can't find the connection between being a multiple of 10 and the expression given. I thought about factoring the expression into this form: ab(a+b)(a-b)(a^2 + b^2), but I can't do anything with that. I tried factoring and rearranging the expression many different ways but couldn't find the connection.
Date: 12/20/2002 at 04:26:43 From: Doctor Mike Subject: Re: Prove that an expression is a multiple of 10 Hello Ritchie, What an interesting problem! My first reaction was to doubt the truth of the theorem, but it really IS true. I had to stretch my grey matter a bit to find out why, though. But that's okay. Stretching is good. There may be many creative ways to prove this, but here's an outline of my approach. My first step was to look at the special case where b=1. Then the theorem says a^5 - a is a multiple of ten. There was considerable doubt in my mind as to whether even this is true, but I looked at a few examples. 2^5-2 is 30. 3^5-3=240. 8^5-8=32760. You should make a table with 3 columns. The first column is N, the second is N^5, and the third is N^5-N. Fill in this table for N = 1 up to N = 9. Notice that the units digit of all the numbers in column three is zero. Now we know, at least for 1-digit numbers N, that N^5-N is a multiple of ten, and we also know the related fact that N^5 has the same units digit as N does. Think about it. The next step of the proof is to extend this result to all positive integers N, not just the ones from 1 to 9. Just concentrate on what happens with the units digit when you do the multiplications for N*N* N*N*N = N^5. Do it for something like 13^5 and see how it works. A special simpler result used to prove a more general result is called a Lemma. That's what this is. The fact that N^5-N is a multiple of ten will help us prove that for (a^5)*(b) - (a)*(b^5). How? We know from the Lemma that a^5 - a is a multiple of ten, and b^5 - b is also some multiple of ten. They might not be the same multiple, so let's use the notation of a^5 - a = (10)(K) and also b^5 - b = (10)(Q) where K and Q are some integers. Then a^5 = a + (10)(K) and b^5 = b + (10)(Q). Now substitute these expressions for a^5 and b^5 into your original expression (a^5)*(b) - (a)*(b^5) and then simplify. You should be able to factor out a ten, which shows that this expression is a multiple of ten. You should go back and actually do all the things that I have described in my proof outline, so you completely understand the whys and wherefores of each step. Good luck. And thanks for sending in such an interesting problem. - Doctor Mike, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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