Elements of Number Theory
ISBN: 1441930663
EAN13: 9781441930668
Language: English
Pages: 256
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Elements of Number Theory

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Book Overview
This book is intended to complement my Elements oi Algebra, and it is similarly motivated by the problem of solving polynomial equations. However, it is independent of the algebra book, and probably easier. In Elements oi Algebra we sought solution by radicals, and this led to the concepts of fields and groups and their fusion in the celebrated theory of Galois. In the present book we seek integer solutions, and this leads to the concepts of rings and ideals which merge in the equally celebrated theory of ideals due to Kummer and Dedekind. Solving equations in integers is the central problem of number theory, so this book is truly a number theory book, with most of the results found in standard number theory courses. However, numbers are best understood through their algebraic structure, and the necessary algebraic concepts- rings and ideals-have no better motivation than number theory. The first nontrivial examples of rings appear in the number theory of Euler and Gauss. The concept of ideal-today as routine in ring the- ory as the concept of normal subgroup is in group theory-also emerged from number theory, and in quite heroic fashion. Faced with failure of unique prime factorization in the arithmetic of certain generalized inte- gers, Kummer created in the 1840s a new kind of number to overcome the difficulty. He called them ideal numbers because he did not know exactly what they were, though he knew how they behaved.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover This book is a concise introduction to number theory and some related algebra, with an emphasis on solving equations in integers. Finding integer solutions led to two fundamental ideas of number theory in ancient times - the Euclidean algorithm and unique prime factorization - and in modern times to two fundamental ideas of algebra - rings and ideals. The development of these ideas, and the transition from ancient to modern, is the main theme of the book. The historical development has been followed where it helps to motivate the introduction of new concepts, but modern proofs have been used where they are simpler, more natural, or more interesting. These include some that have not yet appeared in textbooks, such as a treatment of the Pell equation using Conway's theory of quadratic forms. Also, this is the only elementary number theory book that includes significant applications of ideal theory. It is clearly written, well illustrated, and supplied with carefully designed exercises, making it a pleasure to use as an undergraduate textbook or for independent study. John Stillwell is Professor of Mathematics at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of several highly regarded books published by Springer-Verlag, including Mathematics and Its History (Second Edition 2001), Numbers and Geometry (1997) and Elements of Algebra (1994).

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