EQUATIONS
This is Volume 30 in
PURE AND APPLIED MATHEMATICS
A series of monographs and textbooks
Edited by PAUL A. SMITH and SAMUEL EILENBERG,
Columbia University, New York
A complete list of the books in this series appears at the end of this volume.
DIOPHANTINE
EQUATION S
L. J. MORDELL
ST. JOHNS COLLEGE
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND
1969
US.Edition published by
ACADEMIC PRESS INC.
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0 1969, BY ACADEMICPRESSINC.(LONDON)LTD.
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Preface V
1. Introduction 1
2. Equations Proved Impossible by Congruence Considerations 3
3. Equations Involving Sums of Squares 12
4. Quartic Equations with only Trivial Solutions 16
5. Some Linear Equations 30
6. Properties of Congruences 34
7. Homogeneous Equations of the Second Degree 42
8. Pells Equation 53
9. Rational Solutions Derived from Given Ones 66
10. Rational Points on Some Cubic Curves 76
11. Rational Points on Cubic Surfaces 82
12. Rational and Integer Points on Quartic Surfaces 90
13. Integer Solutions of Some Cubic Equations in Three Variables 100
14. Simple Algebraic Considerations 111
15. Applications of Algebraic Number Theory 121
16. Finite Basis Theorem for the Rational Points on a Cubic Curve
f(x, y , z ) = 0 of Genus one 138
17. Rational Points on Curves of Genus g = 0 or 1 and g > 1 150
18. Representation of Numbers by Homogeneous Forms in Two
Variables 157
19. Representation of Numbers by Special Binary Quadratic and
Quaternary Quadratic Forms 164
20. Representation of Numbers by Homogeneous Forms in Several
Variables 174
21. Representation of Numbers by Polynomials 181
22. Thues Theorem on the Integer Solutions off(s, y ) = nz 186
I*
X CONTENTS
introduction
Preliminary
1. Let xl, x2,. . . ,xn,say x, be n variables, and let f(xl,x,, . . . , x,), say f(s),
be a polynomial in these variables with rational coefficients. There will be no
loss of generality in supposing that the coefficients are integers since we shall
be concerned with equations f(:z) = 0. An obvious question is the
Problem. To find some or all of the solutions of f(x) = 0 in
I. rational numbers, i.e. in the field Q ;
11. rational integers, i.e. in the ring Z.
Suppose first that f(z) is a homogeneous polynomial. We ignore the trivial
solution z = 0. Then the questions I and I1 are clearly? equivalent, and we
can confine ourselves to integer solutions with (xl,x2, . . ., x,) = 1.
Suppose next that f(z)is a nonhomogeneous polynomial. On putting
=yl/~ntl,...>xnYn/yn+l,
x1
we have a homogeneous equation
dY1,Y,, . . Yn,Y n t 1) = 0.
. 3
Theorem 1
Rational or integer solutions of f ( x ) = 0 can exist only if f ( x ) = 0 can be
satisfied by real values of x.
Proof. Obvious.
Theorem 2
Integer solutions of the inhomogeneous equationf ( x ) = 0 can exist only ifthe
congruence
f ( x ) = 0 (mod M )
has solutions for all integers M.
Proof. Obvious.
The elementary properties of congruences show that we need only consider
M = pa where p runs through the primes and a = 1,2, . . ..
Theorem 3
Integer solutions x # 0 of the homogeneous equationf ( x ) = 0 can exist only
if the congruence
f ( x ) = 0 (mod M ) ,
has solutions for which (xl,x2,. . ., x,, M ) = 1 for all integers M ; and if in
particular when M = pa, it has solutionsfor which not all x are divisible by p.
This is obvious since we may suppose ( x l , x2,. . ., x,) = 1 in a homogeneous
equation, and this x must satisfy f ( x ) = 0 (mod M ) .
It is also obvious that if an inhomogeneous equationf(x) = 0 implies that
x  =x =  . . = x, = 0 (mod pa), for given p and arbitrary large a, then
x = 0 is the only solution.
Finally, if the equationf(x) = 0 implies that one variable, say x l , is divisible
b y p for an infinity of primesp, then there can only be solutions with xl = 0.
REFERENCES
1. L. E. Dickson. Fallacies and misconceptions in diophantine analysis. A new
method in diophantine analysis. Bull. Amer. Math. SOC.,27 (1921), 3 123 19.
2. L. E. Dickson. Modern Elementary Theory of Numbers. Univ. Chicago
Press, Chicago (1939), Chapter IX.
CHAPTER 2
and for simplicity we suppose that (a, b) = 1. Let 3" (1 6, p B 1 b, . . . . Then (4)
is solvable if and only if
x3 
= a (mod 3"), x; = a (mod p8), x: = a (mod qy),. . . (5)
are solvable. When a = 1, the first congruence is always solvable. When
a = 2, it is solvable only when a = & 1 (mod 9), and then it is solvable for all
a. Take next the second congruence. When p = 2 (mod 3), it is solvable for
all ,8. When p E 1 (mod 3), the condition for solvability is not so simple and
it is not easy to specify the values of a for which the congruence is solvable.
Then a is called a cubic residue o f p and we write (alp), = 1. It might be noted
that (2/p), = 1 if and only if p can be represented in the form p = x2 27y2 +
with integers x and y. Similar remarks apply for other values of r.
2. Congruences mod M .
We now apply to various equations, congruences mod M , where M is a
prime power. We commence with M = 2".
M = 4.
The equation
x: + x i = 4x3 + 3
has no integer solutions.
For x: = 0, 1, x i E 0, 1, x: + xi 3 0, 1, 2.
The equation
x: + x i = (4a + 3)xi (7)
has only the integer solution x1 = x2 = x3 = 0.
This is obvious if a < 0, and so we need only consider a > 0. From (6),
x3 f 1 (mod 2), and so x3 = 0 (mod 2), and then x1 = x2 = 0 (mod 2).
Since we may suppose (xl, x2,x3) = 1, we have a contradiction unless
X I = x2 = x3 = 0.
M = 8.
The equations
x: + 2xi = 8x3 + 5 or 8x3 + 7,
x?  2xi = 8x3 + 3 8x3 + 5
(8)
and or
have no solutions.
For to mod 8, x: = 0, 1,4 and so x: + 2xi f 5,7, x?  2xi f 3, 5.
The equation
X: + X: + x i = 4" (8xP + 7) (9)
has no solutions.
2. CONGRUENCE CONSIDERATIONS 5
If ct 2 1, x1 3 xz = x3 = 0 (mod 2), and so we need only consider CL = 0.
+
But then x: + x i x i f 7 (mod 8).
The equation
ax: + bxi +
C X : = 0, abc # 0, (XI, ) 1
~ 2~, 3 = (10)
has only the trivial solution x 1 = 0, xz = 0, x3 = 0 if either
a = b = c = 1 (mod 2) and a = b = c (mod 4),
or a/2 3 b =c = 1 (mod 2) and b +c E a or 4 (mod 8).
The result is obvious in the first case since
xf + xi + xi f 0 (mod 4).
In the second case, we write
ax? + bxi + cx,Z = 0 (mod 8).
Clearly x l , x2, xg are not all odd since a + b + c $ 0 (mod 8). Also two of
the x cannot be even and so only one can be even. This cannot be x 1 since
b + c f 0 (mod 8), nor x2 since cx3 is odd, nor x3 since bx2 is odd.
The equation
z2 = (ax2 t by2)2  2k(cx2 + dy2)' (1 1)
has no integer solutions #(O, 0, 0 ) if a + b = 0 (mod 2), cd = 1 (mod 4),
k = 1 (mod2).
Suppose first that x = 1 (mod 2), y = 0 (mod 2). Then
= a2  2c2 =  1 or 2 (mod 4),
z2
= 1 or 2 (mod 4),
since c + d = 2 (mod 4).
M = 16.
The equation
ax: bx:+ CX; + dx: + = , x3, x,) = 1
0, ( x ~x2, (12)
has only the trivial solution s = 0 if
I. a f O(mod 16), etc.
11. a +
b f 0, a + c $ O(mod 16), etc.
111. a + +
b c f 0, a + b + d f 0 (mod 16), etc.
1V. a + +
b + c d $ 0 (mod 16).
6 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Since x: = 0 or 1 (mod 16), these conditions exclude in turn one odd value,
two odd values etc. for the variables. A simple instance occurs if we take
a, b, c, d to be congruent mod 16 to any distinct four of 1, 2, 3,4,5, 6.
M = 2".
The equation
UX: + bxz + C X ; = 2dx1~2~3, (13)
where a =b =c= & 1 (mod 4) has only the solution x1 = xz = x3 = 0.
Obviously x,, xz, x3 cannot all be odd, for if one is even, so are the others
since then
x: xi x: = O(mod4).+ +
Put x1 = 2X,, xz = 2Xz, x3 = 2X3. Then
aXf + b X i + cX," = 4dX1X2X3.
Similarly X,, A', X 3 are all even. Hence all the x must be zero since they are
divisible by 2" where a is arbitrary.
M = 32.
The equation
(alxf + azxi + a,xg + a,x:)(b,x: + bzxi + b3x; + b4x3
= 2k(c,x: + C ~ X ;+ + ~ 4 x : ) ( d l +~ f d 2 ~ ;+ d 3 ~ ;+ d 4 ~ 3 (14)
C~X;
has only the trivial solution x = 0 if the a, b, c, dare all odd, and
a, = az = a3 = a4 (mod 8), = b2 = b3 = b, (mod 8),
bl
(c, + c2 + cg + ~4)(d1+ dz + d3 + d4) = O(mod 16).
We may suppose without loss of generality that
alx: + azxi + a3xi + a4x: = 0 (mod 2).
Then either
I. XI xa 3 x3 = x4 = 1 (mod 2),
or, say,
11. x1 = x2 = 1 (mod 2), x3 = x4 = 0 (mod 2).
+ + +
For I , alxy a2xi a3x; a4x: 3 4 (mod 8), and so the lefthand side of
(14) is = 16 (mod 32). The righthand side is =O (mod 32), i.e. a contradiction.
+ + +
For 11, alxT + azx$ a3xi alx: = a, a, = 2 (mod 4), and so the left
hand side of (14) is =4 (mod 8). The righthand side is =O (mod 8), i.e. a
contradiction.
M = 3".
2. CONGRUENCE CONSIDERATIONS 7
M = 3.
The equation
(3a + l)x: + (3b + l)xg = 3c, c $ 0 (mod 3) (15)
has no integer solutions.
Here xf + xz = 0 (mod 3), and since x: = 0, 1 (mod 3), x1 = x2 =
0 (mod 3), and this is impossible.
M = 9.
The equation
x; + x i + xi: = 9x4 f 4 (16)
has no integer solutions.
This is obvious since x: = 0, ? 1 (mod 9).
The equation
x; + 2x; + 4x: = 9x2, (XI, x2, x3, x4) = 1 (17)
has only the trivial solution 5 = 0.
+
Here x; + 2x; 4x: = 0 (mod 9). The only solution of this is x1 = x2 =
x3 = 0 (mod 3), and then x4 = 0 (mod 3).
The equation
ax3 + 3bx2y + 3cxy2 + dy3 = z3 (18)
has no integer solutions if
a = d = 4 (mod 9), b = 0 (mod 3), c = 5 1 (mod 3).
We may suppose ( x , y , z ) = 1. Clearly x y f 0 (mod 3), since 4x3 =
z3 (mod 9) requires x= z = y = 0 (mod 3). From (18), z = a x + dy
(mod 3),
z3 = a3x3 + 3a2dx2y + 3ad2xy2 + d3y3(mod 9),
and so
M = 7.
The equation
(7a + 1 ) ~ :+ (76 + 2 ) ~ ;+ ( 7 +~ 4 ) ~ :+ (7d + I ) x ~ x= ~0,x ~
(xi, xa, = 1,
~ 3 ) (19)
has only the trivial solution 5 = 0.
Here x? + 2x; + 4x: + x1xzx3= 0 (mod 7).
Also x: = 0, f 1 (mod 7). It suffices to show that x1 = x, = x3 = 0 (mod 7);
if x3 = 0, x i + 2xi = 0 and then x1 = xz E 0: if x3 f 0, we can put
x1 E X1~3,x, = XZx3, and then
x: + 2x; + X,X, + 4 = 0.
Clearly XlX2 f 0, and so X : = 5 1, X i= f 1. This leads to four impossible
cases since
1. l
'
: E Xi:= 1 gives X , X , = 0,
2. x: = x: E 1 gives XIX, = 1, i.e. X ; X ; = 1,
3. x: = xi 1 gives XIX, = 4, i.e. X : X ; = 1,
E
4. X : =  X i =  1 gives X1Xa E 2, i.e. X : X ; = 1.
M = 72.
The equation
X: + 2 ~ ;= 7 ( ~ : + 2x3, (XI, xa, ~ 3 ~, 4 ) 1
= (20)
has only the trivial solution 5 = 0.
Here x: +
2xi E 0 (mod 7) and so x1 = 7x1, x, = 7 X z . Then
7yx; + 2 x 3 = x: + 2x:.
This gives x3 = 7 X 3 , x4 = 7X4 and then (x,, xZ,x3, x4) 2 7.
An obvious deduction is that the equation
x3 + 2y3 = 7(z3 + 2)
has no rational solutions.
M = pa, p a prime.
The equation
x: + 1 = px,, p = 3 (mod 4)
is impossible.
Obvious since ( l / p ) =  1.
The equation
x: + 1 = axz,
is impossible i f a has a prime factor E3 (mod 4).
2. CONGRUENCE CONSIDERATIONS 9
So for the equations
x:  2 = px, if p = k 3 (mod 8)
and x: + 2 = px, if p = 5, 7 (mod 8).
The equation
X; 2 = 7x2
is impossible.
Proof. Obvious.
It is more difficult to deal with the equation
x;  2 = px, (27)
if p = 1 (mod 3). As already stated on page 4, (27) is solvable, i.e. 2 is a
cubic residue of p if and only if for integers a and b
p = a2 + 276,.
The equation
Theorem 2
Let f(x, y , z ) be a cubic homogeneous polynomial such that the only solution
of f(x, y , z ) = 0 (modp), p a prime, is x = y = z = 0 (mod p). Let
fs(x,, ys, ZJ, s = 1, 2, 3, be three such polynomials each associated with the
same prime p. Then the equation in nine variables
flfi(X1, y1, Z l ) + Pfi(X2, Y2,z2)
+ pY3(x39 ~ 3 + p3
~3 3 ) 5
I.m.n=l
almnXlYmZn = 0, (301
10 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
where the sufixes I, m, n in any one term are all different, has only the trivial
solution x, = y , = z, = 0, (s = 1,2, 3).
A congruence mod p shows that x1 = pX,, y1 = p Y l , z1 = pZl. Similarly
we obtain x, = pX,, y , = p Y,, z2 = p Z , and x3 = pX,, y , = p Y,, z3 = pZ3,
etc.
A similar result holds for equations of the nth degree in n variables.
An application with p = 7 is given from (19) by
+ + + +
f ( x , y , z ) = (7a l)x3 (7b 2)y3 (7c + 4)z3 (7d 1)xyz. (31)+ +
For other instances, take an equation irreducible over the rational field Q
with three roots O,, 02, O,, and a prime p such that p is a prime in the field
Q(Ol, 02, 0,). Let my), wg), w g ) be a basis of the integers in the field Q(O,),
(r = 1,2,3), the w y ) denoting the conjugates of wil) = wl. Then we can take
f ( x , Y , 4 = N x w , + yw, + zw,),
N denoting the norm in the cubic field, i.e. the product of three conjugate
expressions. For if f ( x , y , z ) E 0 (modp), since p is a prime in Q(Ol, O,, O,),
we must have for some r
+
xwy) ywg) + zwy) = 0 (modp).
Since the w are a basis, x E y = z E 0 (modp).
For the application above, we note that
x3 + 2y3 + 4z3 + xyz E 0 (mod 7 )
can be written as
N(x + y q 2 + z q 4 ) = 0 (mod 7).
Since 2 is not a cubic residue of 7 , we have x E y E z E 0 (mod 7).
The method of proof for equation (29) in nine variables is of some interest
since Artin has stated the
Conjecture
A homogeneous equation f ( x ) = 0 of degree r with n > r2 variables always
has a nontrivial integer solution in any padic Jield, i.e. as a congruence
mod pa,for all primes p and integers a > 0.
This has been long known for r = 2, n = 5 and is proved in Chapter 7; and
it has been proved recently for r = 3.
A counterexample with r = 4, n = 18, has just been found by Terjanian,:
Theorem 3
Let f ( x ) = x: + xi + xt  xXxi  xix: + x,
 xzx:  x1x~x3(x1 + x3).
Then the equation
f ( 4+ fb)+ f ( 4  4 U W + f ( 4+ f(l.l)) = 0, (32)
where (x,y , x ,(c, v, u)= 1, has only the trivial zero solution since there is no
2adic solution.
2. CONGRUENCE CONSIDERATIONS 11
We prove first that f(z)5 1 (mod 4), unless x1 = x2 = x3 = 0 (mod 2).
We have three cases.
1. If x 1 3 x2 3 x3 = 1 (mod 2), say, x1 = 2 X , +1, etc.,
f(x) =  ~ 2 x3x1  xlx2 (mod 4)
~ 3
Theorem 4
For every natural number r, there exists afixed set S ( r ) of primes such that
for every prime p not in S(r), every homogenous equation f ( x ) = 0 of degree
rand with n > r2 variables, always has a nontrivial solution in thepadicfields.
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. A remark on indeterminate equations in several variables. J.
Lond. Math. SOC.,12 (1937), 127129.
2. G . Terjanian. Un contreexemple A une conjecture d'Artin. Comptes Rendus
Acad. Sci. Paris, 262 (1966), 6 12.
3 . J. Browkin. On forms over padic fields. Bull. Acad. Polon. Sci. Sir. des sci.
math. astr. et phys., 14 (1966), 489492.
4. J. Axil and S. Kochen. Diophantine problems over local fields I. Amer.
J. Math., 87 (t965), 605630.
CHAPTER 3
Theorem 1
The general integer solution of the equation
xl + x; + . . . + x: = x2, (XI, X Z , . . * ) x,) = 1, x > 0, (1)
is given by
where the X are arbitrary integers with (X 1 , . . . , X,) = 1 and d > 0 is taken so
that ( x l , x2,. . ., x,) = 1. For given xlrx2, . . . ,x, there are two sets of values
for the ratios Xl:X 2 : . . . : X,.
Put x1 = tX,, . . ., x,1 = txn1, x, = tx,  x.
Then t(x: + xi + . + Xi) = 2 x x , ,
* *
vy1 );  20 + 1 = 0,
(u(1 + x,)  l)(v(l  x,)  1) = 0,
and the result follows.
We now examine some particular cases. We take n = 2 and write
x2 + y2 = z2, (x,y ) = 1, z > 0. (4)
3. EQUATIONS INVOLVING SUMS OF SQUARES 13
Here
x = 2 X Y Y2  X2
d Y = d 9 z= y2 X 2 , ( X , Y ) = 1. (5)
d
+
As z is odd, the two factors are relatively prime for a common factor would
divide 2x, 2iy. Hence
x + iy = ( X + i Y ) 2 or i(X + iY)2,
since  1 = i 2 can be absorbed in the square. This gives the result.
The equation
X2 + y2 = pz2, z > 0,
where p is a prime = 1 (mod 4) and so p = r2 + s2.
All the integer solutions are given by
x + y i = ( f r f i s ) ( Z + iW)2,
where Z , Ware integers and the ~f:signs are independent of each other.
We now take n = 3 and write
x2 + y2 + 22 = w2, (x, y, 2) = 1, w > 0, (9)
Clearly only one of x, y , z can be odd, say z, and so it suffices to consider the
equation
4x2 + 4y2 + 22 = w2, (x, y , z ) = 1.
(10)
We give a general solution different from (2) by using complex numbers.
This has been presented by Carmichael' without using them as
x = xz  YW, y = xw + YZ,
(1 1)
z = x2 + Y2  2 2  w2, w = x2 + Y2 + 2 2 + w2.
We have + 4y2 = w2 
4x2 22.
follows then that either ( f , q) = 1 orf 3 0 (mod q2"). For iff = 0 (mod q B ) ,
but not qB+ and 3, < 2cr, then also w = z = 0 (mod 4). Write
x + iy = n (a, + ib),
for the decomposition into complex primes. Then f as a divisor of x2 + y2
is either prime to q or divisible by qZaand so can be expressed as a sum of two
squares, and then has a representation
f= n (a? + b?) = z2+ w ~ ,
where the as, 6, are included among the arrb,, and in which we can take
Z + iW = n (a8 + ib,).
3. EQUATIONS INVOLVING SUMS OF SQUARES 15
Then x + iy = ( X + iY)(Z + iW)
where X , Yare rational integers. This with (12) gives (11).
The equation
x2 + y2 = z2 + w2.
REFERENCE
1. R. D. Carmichael. Diophantine Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, New York
( 19 1 5).
CHAPTER 4
Theorem 1
The equation
x4 + y4 = z2
has no integer solutions with x y # 0 (and so no rational solutions with xy # 0).
We need only consider the solutions with x 2 0, y b 0,z 2 0 and (x,y ) = I .
Clearly x and y cannot both be odd, and so we need only consider .Y = 1,
y = 0 (mod 2). Hence by ( 6 ) of chapter 3,
x2 = a2  b2, y2 = 2ab, z = a" + b2,
a 2 b a O , ( a , b ) = l ; ( x , b ) = 1 ; a r 1,b=O(mod2).
Hence x = p2  q2, b = 2pq, a = p2 + q2,
where p 2 q 2 0, ( p , q ) = I , and p and q are not both odd.
Now y 2 = 2ab = 4pg(p2 + 9").
4. QUARTIC EQUATIONS WITH ONLY TRIVIAL SOLUTIONS 17
Since p , q, p2 + q 2 are relatively prime to each other in pairs,
p=r2, q=s2, p2+q2=t2, r2O,s2O,taO,(r,s)= I,
and so r' + s4 = t 2 .
Also
x = r'  s4, y = 2rst, z = r' + 6r4s4 + .'s
If xy = 0, then rst(r  s) = 0. Clearly r # s and so solutions with x y # 0
correspond to solutions with rs # 0 and vice versa. Hence any solution x, y , z
with xy # 0 leads to a solution r, s, t with rs # 0 and t < i%,since z >
(r4 + s4)2 = t4. The process can be continued and leads to a new solution
r l , sl,tl with rlsl # 0 and tl < qt.The t, tl, etc., form a sequence of de
creasing positive integers and so we arrive at a stage when t , = 1 and a con
tradiction arises, and then r,s, = 0.
This method is the socalled method of infinite descent and is due to
Fermat. It has many important applications in number theory. The proof
could have been slightly shortened if we had assumed in the beginning that
.Y, y , z was a solution of equation (2) with least z, but it is often convenient in
some questions to make the descent.
Corollary
The equation
Y2 = x4 +1
has only the rational solutions X = 0, Y = & 1.
For if X = x / y where ( x ,y ) = 1, then Y = z/y2, and
x4 + y4 = 22.
Theorem 2
The equation
x4  y4 = 22,
(.v, Y ) = 1 (4)
has no integer solutions except x2 = y 2 = 1 and x2 = 1, y = 0.
For these solutions xyz = 0, and we suppose now that xyz # 0. Let
x > 0, y > 0, z > 0 be that solution for which x is least. Clearly x is odd and
then y may be even or odd.
If y G 1 (mod 2), then
x2 = a2 + b2, y2 = a2  b2, z = 2ab, (a, 6 ) = 1, a > b > 0,
and so x2y2 = a4  64.
Then u4  04 = 42.
Corollary
If we replace x , y by x ~f:y , we see that the only integer solutions of
x4 + 6x2y2 + y 4 = 2, (x,y) = 1 (6)
are given by x2 = 1, y = 0 and x = 0, y 2 = 1.
Using this we now prove
Theorem 3
The only integer solutions of
x 4  6xay2 + y 4 = z2, (x,y ) = 1
are given by x = 0 or y = 0.
We may suppose that x > y > 0.
Write (x2  y2)2  4x2y2 = 22,
and so (x2  y2 + z)(x2  y2  2) = 4x2y2.
We show now that 2 is the greatest common divisor of the two lefthand
factors, We cannot have x = 1, y = 1 (mod 2), for then z2 =  4 (mod 16).
4. QUARTIC EQUATIONS WITH ONLY TRIVIAL SOLUTIONS 19
If x = 1, y = 0 (mod 2), then z is odd and the greatest common divisor
divides 2z, and so is 2. Similarly, if x = 0, y = 1 (mod 2). Both factors are
obviously positive and so
x2  y 2 + z = 2a2, xa  y 2 z = 2b2, xy = a b , a > 0, b > O,(a,b) = 1.
Then + bZ,
x2  y a = a2
and so (x2 + y2)2 = (a2 + b2)2 + 4a2b2
= a4 + 6a2b2 + b4.
k = I.
The equation
x4 + x"2 + y4 = 22, ( x , y ) = 1, (7')
has only the solutions x 2 = 1, y = 0 ; x = 0, y 2 = 1.
Here x and y are of different parities and we may suppose that y is odd
and has the least possible value.
Write 4z2  (2x2 + y2)2 = 3y4,
The two factors are relatively prime for (2x2 + y 2 , 3y) = 1 since y is odd, and
we cannot have x2 = y 2 = 1 (mod 3). Hence, either
2z + 2x2 + y 2 = a4, 22  2x2  y 2 = 3b4, y = ab,
or 22 + 2x2 + y 2 = 3a4, 2z  2x2  y 2 = b4, y = ab.
The first pair of equations gives
4x2 = a4  2a2b2  3b4 =  4 (mod 16)
20 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
we have X2 + xy + y2 = x2, .P  xy + y2 = Y2
k = 1.
The equation
x4  x"y2 + y4 = 22, (x, y ) = 1
hasonlyrhesolurionsx2= 1 , y = O ; x = 0 , y 2 = 1 a n d x 2 = y 2 = 1 .
Write the equation as
(x2  y2)2 + xZy2 = 22.
Corollary
On replacing 2x, 2y by x f y , we see that the only solutions of
x4 + 14x2y2 + y4 = z2
aregiuenbyx2 = 1,y2 = 0, I , o r y 2 = 1,x2 = 0, 1 .
An interesting corollary is Fermat's
Theorem 3
There cannot be ,four squares in arithmetical progression.
Let the squares be x2, y 2 , z 2 , w2.
Then x2 + z2 = 2y2, 222 = y2 + w2
Theorem 4
Let a, b, c be rational numbers where ac # 0. Then if there are only a finite
number of rational solutions of
(b2  4ac)X4  2 b X 2 Y 2 + Y4 = Z2, (9)
there are only a j n i t e number for
ax4 + bx2y2 + cy4 = z2.
These are given by y = X , z = x Y and possibly x y = 0.
If x # 0, replace the second equation by
ax4 + bx2y2 + cy4 = x2z;,
Then ax4 + (by2  zDx2 + cy4 = 0.
Hence (by2  z : ) ~ 4acy4 = v2,
say, and this is the first equation with y = X , z1 = Y. Since X = 0, Y = 1 is
a solution of (9), y = 0 is a possible solution of (10).
Take b2  4ac = 1 and suppose that the only solutions of
X4  2 b X 2 Y 2 + Y 4 = Z2,
are given by X Y Z = 0. Then the only possible solutions of
ax4 + bx2y2 + cy4 = z 2
are given by xy = 0.
Putting b = f 3, ac = 2 in equation (9), the only possible solutions of
2
ax4 f 3x2y2 +  y4 = z2
a
are xyz = 0. In particular if a = 1 and b = 3,
(x2  y2)(x2  2y2) = 22,
and we have ?I = f 1, y = 0 and x2 = y2 = 1.
4. QUARTIC EQUATIONS WITH ONLY TRIVIAL SOLUTIONS 23
2. An interesting special case of equation (1) is the equation
ax4 + by4 = cz2, (x, y ) = 1.
Most of the results on the impossibility of nontrivial integer solutions do not
go too far back. They are due to Pocklington l, Nagel12, and Lind3. Many of
them can be proved by a simple application of infinite descent. Among these
are the equations
x4 + dy4 = z2, (x, y ) = 1, y # 0, (1 1)
for the following values of d. Let p be a prime number. Then
I. d = p, p = 7, 11 (mod 16),
11. d =2p, p = k 3 (mod 8),
111. d = 4p, p = k 3,  5 (mod 16),
IV. d = p, p = 2 3 , 5(mod 16).
From Theorem 4, it follows that equation (12) is also impossible when d is
replaced by 4d where now d is defined above. Hence 111 follows from IV.
Let us take 11,
x4 + 2py4 = z2, > 0,y > 0, > 0.
A congruence mod 8 shows that y f 1 (mod 2), and so x =z E I (mod 2).
From
(2 x2)(z T x2) = 2py4,
since the two factors have greatest common divisor 2, we have either
x2 = 2a4, z T x2 = 16pb4, y = 2ab,
or z k .x2 = 2pa4, z T x2 = 16b4, y = 2ab,
The first set gives
a4  8pb4 = kx2.
The  sign can be rejected, and then
(az + x)(a2  X) = 8pb4
gives either
a2 +x = 2pc4, a2 x = 4d4, b = cd,
or a2 +x = 2c4, a2 x = 4pd4, b = cd.
The first of these gives
a2  2d4 = pc4,
and this is impossible since (2/p) =  1.
24 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
A congruence mod 16 shows that the  sign is impossible. For the + sign,
the method of descent applies since cd = a < y.
4. QUARTIC EQUATIONS WITH ONLY TRIVIAL SOLUTIONS 25
Sometimes the application of biquadratic residues may be useful. Let p be a
prime = 1 (mod 8) and so p = a2 + b2 where we may suppose a is even and
so a = 0 (mod 4). Then 2 is a biquadratic nonresidue or residue mod p
according as a E 4 (mod 8) or a E 0 (mod 8). We have now
V. The equation
x4  py4 = 222
has no integer solutions if 2 is a biquadratic nonresidue of p .
Let z = 2'_7,, z , = 1 (mod 2).
Then
A = U,
Pa
bl
4 ' c1
26 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
where k3 = k, = I (mod 8), are taken from a finite set and M, ivl are integers.
The equation F = k3w2is impossible since it gives
x2 + y 2 + z2 + w2 = 0 (mod 8),
and so x = y = z = w = 0 (mod 2).
Suppose next that A is even. Then besides equation (13) we have also
F = 2k5w2, F, = 2k6w:. (14)
We consider the first of these; clearly w f 0 (mod 2) as this would give
x2 + y2 + z2 = 0 (mod 8), x = y = z = 0 (mod 2).
Hence w = 1 (mod 2) and
x2 + y 2 + z2 = 2 (mod 8).
This gives three possibilities typified by x = 0 (mod 4), y = z = 1 (mod 2).
The equation F, = 2k6w7 gives the three corresponding congruences
b, + c, = 2w: (mod 8), c, + a, = 0 (mod 2),
a , + 6 , = 0 (mod 2)
all of which are impossible from IV.
We show now there are no solutions with F, = 0. Then G = 0 and
X2
 Y2 

22
b,r  c1q CIP  a,r a1q  b,p
Since (x, y , z ) = 1, we have with integer d,
b,r  c,q = dx2, c,p  a,r = dy2, a,q  b l p = dz2.
Then A = a(b,r  c,q) + .. .
= d(ax2 by2+ + CZ) = dF,
and so the odd factors of d and F are = 1 (mod 8).
Also F = x2  y2  z2 (mod 8).
We can exclude x = y = z = 1 (mod 2) since then F =  3 (mod 8) and so
all the factors of F cannot be = 1 (mod 8). Also x = 1, y = 0, z = 0 (mod 2)
can be excluded since then F =  1 (mod 4). Similarly x = 0 (mod 4),
y = z = 1 (mod 2),since now F = b +
c (mod 8) = 2 (mod 8). Finally let
x = 2 (mod 4), y = z = 1 (mod 2). Then there are the three possibilities
where
and the positive odd factors of these three terms are all = 1 (mod 8).
To reduce equation (12) to this form, we take k , = k2, and
b,c + bc, = 2qr, c,a + ca, = 2rp, a,b + bla = 2pq.
Then bca, = aqr + brp + cpq, etc.
and so a,, b,, c, will be integers if 111 is satisfied.
The equation (12) now takes the form
(aa,  p2)x4+ . . . = 0,
or a(pb  aq)(pc  ar)x4 + . . . = 0.
On replacing x by (qc  rb)x/a, we have equation (15).
(aqr + brp + cpq)/bc . 
Now A = a . . I
P . .
also aqr brp CP9
A = 2 1 1 1 ,
pbc qca rub
REFERENCES
I . H. C. Pocklington. Some diophantine impossibilities. Proc. Camb. Phil. SOC.,
17 (1914), 110118.
2. T . Nagell. Sur Iirnpossibilite de quelques tquations a deux indeterminkes.
Norsk Mat. For. Skriftern I NO. 13, Kristiania 1923.
3. C. E. Lind. Untersuchungen uber die rationalen Punkte der ebenen kubischen
Kurven vorn Geschlecht Eins. Diss. Uppsala, (1940).
+
4. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation x4 my4 = z2. Q.J. Math., (2) 18
16 (1967).
5 . L. J. Mordell. Some quartic diophantine equations of genus 3. Proc. Am. Math.
SOC.,17 (1966), 11521158; also 18 (1967), 190.
2+
CHAPTER 5
Theorem 1
Integer solutions of the equation
a,x, + a2x2 + . + a,x,
' '
= a, (1)
where the a's are integers, a1a2,. ,a, # 0, exist i f and only f
(a19 a29 * * ., an) I a.
This condition is obviously necessary and so we may assume that
(a,, a2, . . ., a,) = 1.
Suppose first that n = 2. If a = 0, the general solution is x, = a2t,
x2 = alt where t is an arbitrary integer. If a # 0, the equation is equiva
lent to
3. Theorem 2
Let L,(z) = allxl + . . . + arnx,,( r = 1, 2,. . . , n), be n linear forms with
integer coefficients and determinant D > 0. Then the equations
Lr(z)= a, (r = 1 , 2 , . . ., n) (4)
have an integer solution if and only if the congruences
L,(z) = a, (mod M ) (r = 1 , 2 , . . ., n) (5)
are solvable for all M .
The condition is necessary. For the sufficiency, we reduce the L,(x) to
canonical forms given by the
Lemma
A unimodular integral substitution changes the Ls into the forms
~11x1~
,21x1 + ~ 2 2 x 2 , .. .) CnlXI + * * * + Cnnxn,
where cii > 07 0 Crl, crz, . . 3 cii1 < cii.
32 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Let c,, be the greatest common divisor of the coefficients ofL,. Then L, may
be transformed into c,,X, by a unimodular integral substitution. This substi
tution changes L, into c,,X, + L,(X,, X,, . . ., X,) where L2 is a linear form
in X,, . . ., X,. This can be changed into czaX, where c, is the greatest
common divisor of the coefficients of La. Then replacing X , by X , kzczlXl +
if need be, we may suppose that 0 Q c,, < c,,. This process can be continued
and so the lemma follows. It is also clear that cllcaa.. . c,, = D .
We now continue with the proof of the theorem. We can replace the
equations by
cllX, = a,, cZlXl + czaX2 = a,, . . . .
Since cl1X, = a , (mod cl,) is solvable, a, = 0 (mod cL1),and so the equation
for X , has an integer solution. We eliminate X , by writing
51CllXl + 5 , ( C , l ~ , + CZZX,) = 5101 + 52%,
and taking (,ell + facZl= 0. Since the equation is solvable as a congruence
to mod cllcZafor all 5,, Say X , is an integer.
Similarly we can eliminate X , , X , from the first three equations, etc.
It may be noted that the Theorem 1 can be extended to the case when the
number m of equations is < n . When all the righthand a are zero, we can
find an estimate for the magnitude of a solution.
4. Theorem 3
The m simultaneous equations
L, = a,lxl + arzx, + * . . + arnx, = 0, (6)
(r = 1, 2, . . . , m), ( m < n) where the a's are integers, have an integer solution
5 # 0, for which the x satisfy the inequality
Ix,[ Q ( A 1 A 2 . ..A,)l'(,rn), (7)
where Ar = lar1l + lar21 + . + larnl.
*
Let the x run through the integer values in the interval [0, N ] where N is an
integer defined later. Then if B, is the sum of the positive a,,, ar2,. . ., a,, and
 Cr is the sum of the negative ones,
C,N Q L, Q B,N.
Write A ,  B, + C,. Then L, assumes at most ArN + 1 values. Hence if
( N + 1)" > n (A,N + l),
m
r=l
the Lr take the same set of values for two different S , say 5' and z". Then
c = z'  x'' is a solution of L, = 0, (r = 1,2,. . ., n), and Ix,I Q N for
s = 1, 2 , . . ., n.
5. SOME LlNEAR EQUATlONS 33
An estimate for N is given by
+ 1) n A , ,
m
(N + 1) > (N
r=1
or
r=1
Theorem 4
n
Let L, = 2a,,x, (r = 1 , 2, . . ., n) be
s=1
n linear forms with real coeficients
and determinant A = Ila,,))# 0. Let 11, I, , . ., I,, be n real numbers such that
Ill2.. .I,, 2 In(.
Then integers x # 0 exist such that
lLrl < I,, (r = 1, 2 , . . ., n).
Further any n  1 of the equality signs may be omitted,
CHAPTER 6
Properties of Congruences
Theorem 1
Let f(x) be apolynomial in one variable with integer coefficients and let p be a
prime. Suppose there exist x1 and 6 2 0 such that
and this has a solution for X . We notef(x) = 0 (mod pa)>,but not (mod pd ).
The solvability off(x) = 0 (modp) for all integers r 3 1 can be expressed
by saying that f ( x ) = 0 has a root, say x = X , in the padic field Q,. This
means that the solutions of f(Xr) = 0 (mod p) can be written in the form
X, = xo f x,p + . . . + xrlp,l,
where the x are integers with 0 6 x < p and where, say,
X+,  X , = xrp.
It proves convenient to mention the solvability off(x) = 0 in real numbers,
and then we can say that f(x) = 0 is solvable in the padic field Q,, .
Example
.x2 = a,
where a is apadic unit, i.e. (a, p) = 1. Ifp is an odd prime, the equation has
a solution in Q, if and only if a is a quadratic residue of p , i.e. (alp) = 1.
If p = 2, the condition is a = 1 (mod 8).
Theorem 2
Let f(z) = f(xl, x2 . . . , x,) be a polynomial with integer coeficients in n
ijariables and of total degree 1 < n. Then if the congruence
for all integers xl, x2, . . ., x,. On replacing xf by xl, xf+ by x:, etc., we may
suppose that no x occurs in g(5) to a power > p . Then considered as a poly
nomial in xl,
g ( s ) = (x?  xl)gl(Xz, * * * 5 xn) (mod P)
= (x!  X I ) . . .(x:  x,)g,
on continuing the process, Clearly g, is a constant.
Suppose now that f(~) is a polynomial such that f ( z ) $ 0 (modp) except
when x1 = x2 = . . . 3 x, E 0 (modp). Then the congruence
1 (f(~))p~ = (1  x f  l ) . . .(lx:l) (modp)
holds for all Z. It is obviously true for cz = 0 since f ( z ) = 0. For the other 2,
(f(s))P' = 1 , and at least one of the righthand factors is ~ 0The . righthand
side is of degree (p  1)n in the variables and so we have a contradiction if
( p  l)n > ( p  1)1, i.e. n > 1.
An illustration is given by
alx: + . . . + a,xf, = 0 (modp),
where (ala2.. .a,,p) = 1, n > 1. The congruence always has a solution
different from z = 0.
2. The case 1 = 2 is of special interest and we give a different discussion for
f ( x ,y, z ) = ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0 (modpl), (x, y , z, p ) = 1. (2)
W e prove
Theorem 2
Suppose that a, 6, c are relatively prime in pairs, and so abc # 0,and are
square free. Then the congruence
ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0 (mod M )
is solvablefor arbitrary M with (x, y , z , M ) = 1, i f i t is solvablefor M = 4abc.
This implies that integers A , B, C exist such that
bA2 + c = 0 (mod a), cB2 + a 3 0 (mod b), aC2 + b E 0 (mod c).
Suppose first that p is an odd prime and p'llM. There are two cases ac
cording as ( p , abc) = 1 or p. Suppose first that r = 1. Then the congruence
is solvable when (p, abc) = 1. For, write
x2 = ba'y2  ca'za (modp).
Take z = 1 and let y run through the values 0, 1, . . .,p  1. Then the right
hand side runs through 1 + ( p  1)/2 = (p + 1)/2 values, and so one of
these must be either zero or a quadratic residue ofp. Since c f 0 (modp), we
cannot have both ax = 0, by = 0. Hence Theorem 1 applies for r > 1 on
considering f ( x , y , 1) as a function of x or y.
6. PROPERTIES OF CONGRUENCES 37
Suppose next that p I abc. For simplicity, we suppose that ( p , bc) = 1,
and p 1 a. Then
by2 + cz2 = 0 (mod p ) .
+
This is solvable with y z 0 (mod p ) if and only if (  b c / p ) = 1. Then
Theorem 1 applies on considering f(1, y , 1). If, however, y = z E 0, the
congruence (2) is impossible for r = 2.
Suppose next that p = 2. We may take r 3 2 since the congruence is
solvable for r = 1. For simplicity, we suppose that at most one of a, 6, c is
even and that this is not divisible by 4.
Case I. a, b, c are all odd. Then the congruence (2) is solvable for r = 2 un
less a = b = c (mod 4). If this is not so, then we may assume that a =
 b (mod 4 ) and so a solution is given by x = y = 1 (mod 2), z = 0 (mod 2).
A solution is then given when r = 3 by taking z = 0 (mod 4) when a + b =
+
0 (mod S), and z = 2 (mod 4) when a b = 4 (mod 8). By Theorem 1, the
congruence is solvable for r > 3.
Case II. One of a, 6, c is even, say a = 2 (mod 4). Then the congruence is
solvable unless either b + c = 4 (mod 8) or b + c 3 a (mod 8). Suppose
first that a =_ 2 (mod 8). Then a solution when r = 3 requires y E z I
+
I (mod 2), and then x = 0 (mod 2) if b c E 0 (mod 8), but x = 1 (mod 2)
+
if b c = 2 (mod 8), i.e. b + c =  a (mod 8). The result for a =
 2 (mod 8) follows in the same way. Solvability for r > 3 follows by applying
the theorem to the congruence applied as a function of y.
3. The congruence
ax3 I 3bx2y + 3 c x y 2 + dy3 = z3 (mod 9).
This has only the trivial solution x =y =z E 0 (mod 3) if
I. a f 0, f k I (mod 9), d $ 0, f 2 1 (mod 9),
11.
fl  a3
3
+ c  ad2 ? ( b  a 2 d + 
 d 3 ) $ 0 (mod 9).
3
We have
z = ax + dy (mod 3), z3 = (ax +d ~(mod
) ~9).
Then
(a  a3)x3 + 3(b  a2d)x2y + 3(c  ad2)xy2 + (d  d3)y3= 0 (mod 9),
and
 a3 d  d3
a
3
x3 + (b  a2d)x2y + (C  ad2)xy2 + 3
y 3 = 0 (mod 3).
38 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Corollary
The congruence
ax3 + 3bx2y + 3cxy2 + dy3 = 1 (mod 9)
has no solutions if 1 and 11 hold with the omission of a f 0 and d f 0.
The congruence
ax3 + 3bx2y + 3cxy2 + dy3 = 1 (mod 7 ) ,
is impossible if to mod 7 , I and either I1 or 111 holds.
1. a f &I, d $ fl,
11.
b2 + c(d f a 
7
111. brO, CEO, d k a f 0 , fl.
From I, x y f 0. Hence x3 = k 1 , y3 = k 1. Then we can write the con
gruence with X = x / y , 2 = l / y as
aX3 + 3bX2 + 3cX + d Z 3 = 3 E,
since the sum is zero if.f'(z) f 0 (mod p ) , and is p iff(;.) = 0 (mod p ) . Here
2' means that no x is zero.
Write this as
t=1 2
Sum now for each a with 0 6 a < p . The sum is zero except when the x, y
satisfy
t,x? = t2y:,
I . . .) t,xf: = fay>, (modp). (6)
Denote by M the number of solutions for tl, f a , cc, y . Then 11, t2 can take at
most ( p  1)2 sets of values, and x can take at most I values for given y.
Hence
M < ( p  1)2+nlll2.. .I,.
For each solution, the sum for the a gives p".
Hence 2 IpN(a)  ( p  l y y < p y p  1)2+nll12.. .I,.
(a)
Theorem 5
The congruence
f(z) = alx? + . . . + a,xf: + a = O(modp),
where p is a prime, aala2. . .a, f 0 (modp) always has a solution with
x1x2.. .x, f 0 if
( p  1)n1'2pn/2 > 1112.. .I,.
6. PROPERTIES OF CONGRUENCES 41
The proof proceeds as for Theorem 4 except that now t, = t2 (mod p ) . Then
M +
< ( p  l)l+VIl2.. .I,,, and the exponent 2 n is replaced by 1 + n.
A result4 required in Chapter 14 for the integer solutions of the equation
+
z3 = a.y2 + by2 c is given by
5. Theorem 6
The congruence
y2 = x3 + k (mod a),
when a is odd, has a solution with ( y , a) = 1 except when a = 0 (mod 7),
k = 6 (mod 7).
It suffices to consider the case a = p' where p is an odd prime and r is a
positive integer. If there is a solution (xo,yo) with ( y o , p ) = 1 when r = 1,
then by Theorem 1 there is a solution for r > 1 .
Three cases arise, p = 3, p = 2 (mod 3), p = 1 (mod 3) when r = 1. When
+
p = 3, since x3 = x (mod 3), y 2 3 x k (mod 3) and this has a solution
y = 1.
When p = 2 (mod 3), the congruence x3 = y 2  k (modp) is solvable for
arbitrary y.
When p = 1 (mod 3), we can use an estimate for N the number of solutions
of the congruence given by Theorem 4, but there will be less numerical detail
if we use the fairly deep estimate5 given by Hasse and Davenport,
IN  pI < 2dp, or N > p  2dp.
Then i f p 2 13, N > 4 and so there will be at least two different residues of
x3 (modp), and so there exists a value of y f 0 (modp). The only prime
p < 13 is 7, and it is easily verified that a solution y f: 0 (mod 7) exists except
when k = 6 (mod 7).
When a is even and a/2' is odd, there are solutions with ( y , a) = 1 if there
are solutions of y 2 = x3 + k (mod 2') with y odd. When r = 1, we can take
y = I . When r = 2, we have solutions if k $ 3 (mod 4) since we can take y
odd. When r = 3, we have solutions with y odd if k $ 3, 5, 7 (mod 8). This
result holds for r 2 3.
REFERENCES
I . C. Chevalley. DCmonstration d'une hypothese de M. Artin. Abh. Math. Sem.
Hamburg, 11 (1935), 7375.
2. L. J. Mordell. On the equation ax2 + by2  cz2 = 0. Monatshefte fiir Math.,
55 (1951), 323327.
3. L. J. Mordell. The number of solutions of some congruences in two variables.
Math. Z . , 37 (1933), 193209.
4. L. J. Mordell. Note on cubic equations in three variables with an infinity of
integer solutions. Annuli mat. puru uppl. (4) 29, (1949), 301305.
5. H. Davenport and H. Hasse. Die Nullstellen der Kongruenzetafunktionen
in gewissen zyklischen Fallen. J . Reine Angew. Math., 172 (1934), 151182.
CHAPTER 7
1. Let
where
Similarly
h22f1(.7.) = X; + S2(T),
2 b2rxr, etc.
n
where X, =
r=2
It can be shown that the substitution does not affect padic solubility.
2. The case n = 2 is trivial and so we commence with n = 3 and write
f ( x ,y , Z) = ax2 + by2 + C Z ~= 0. (3)
We now may suppose that a, 6, c have no common factor, and also that
x, y , z have no common factor. We also suppose that a, b, c do not all have
the same sign and thatf(x, y , z ) 3 0 (mod p') is solvable for all primes p and
integers r >, 1 with (x, y , z , p) = 1.
We now reducef(x, y , z ) to a canonical form. Firstly, we may suppose that
a, 6, c are squarefree. For let a = U , C X ~b, = b,p2, c = c,y2 where a,, b,, c1
are squarefree. We have now a 11 correspondence between the solutions of
equation (3) and of
m,,z1) y1, = alx? + b,Yf + clz? = 0
given by
n,x, = ax, cllyl = py, d,z, = yz, (x1, y,, Zl) = 1,
d.Y = pyx,, fly = yay,, dz = apz1, ( x , y , z ) = 1.
Here alblcl = abc/p and so lalblcll< label. Clearly the process, applied to
all the prime factors of (6, c), (c, a), (a, b), must terminate at a stage when
(6, c) = (c, a) = (a, b) = 1. Further the final equation is solvable as a con
gruence for all p'.
We now write equation (3) in the form
ax2 + by2  CZ' = 0, u > 0, b > 0, c > 0. (4)
Let p be an odd prime divisor of a. Then by2  cz2 = 0 (mod a) is solvable
and so as in Mordel13 and Skolem4,
by2  cz2 = b(y + kz)(y  kz) (modp),
say, and so f(x, Y , 4 = LlM1 (mod P),
identically in x, y , z where L1,M 1are linear forms in x, y , z.
Similarly if q, r are odd prime divisors of 6, c, respectively.
f(x, y , 4 = L2M2 (mod 41,
f(x, y , z ) = L3M3(mod r).
Also ax2 + by2  cz2 = (ax + by + C Z ) ~(mod 2).
Hence since abc is squarefree, on taking into account the various p, q, r, we
have by the Chinese remainder theorem,
f ( x , y, z ) z L M (mod abc),
where L,M are linear forms.
We show now that we can find integers x, y, z # 0, 0, 0, such that
ax2 + by2  cz2 = 0 (mod abc), (5)
and 0 < 1x1 < dbc, 0 6 (yI < d/ca, 0 < IzI < d/ab,
provided we exclude the trivial case a = b = c = 1. Here the numbers
dbc, dG, dab are irrational. The number of sets of integers x,y, z with
o<x<d/bC,o<y< z/Ca,0~~<2/'abis~(I+[d~])>~(db
abc. But L has only abc residues mod abc, and so for two sets of values for
x,y , z, say, xl, yl,z1 and x2, y2, z2,
Uxi, yi, 21) L(x2,~ 2 z2)
, (mod abc).
Hence L(xl  x2, yl  y2, z1  z2) = 0 (mod abc),
and Ixl  x21 < dbc, Iyl  y21 < dG, Izl  z21 < dab.
Then for x = x1  x2,etc.
abc < axa + by2  CZ' < bbc,
and so ax2 + by2  cz2 = 0 or abc.
7. HOMOGENEOUS EQUATIONS OF THE SECOND DEGREE 45
Theorem 2
There exists a nontriaial solution with
Theorem 3
rfa, b, care square free, (a, b) = (b, c) = (c, a ) = 1 , anda, b, c do not have
the same sign, then the equation
ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0
has nontrivial integer solutions if and only if  bc is a quadratic residue of a,
and so for every prime factor of a, i.e. x2 + bc = 0 (mod a) is solvable, and
similarly for  ca and  ab, and if
ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0 (mod 8)
is solvable.
These give N , say, necessary and sufficient conditions. It can be shown that
if any N  1 of these conditions are satisfied, so is the remaining one. This is
a consequence of the laws of quadratic reciprocity and the supplementary
laws, namely, that if p , q are two different odd primes
and
7. HOMOGENEOUS EQUATIONS OF THE SECOND DEGREE 47
There is, however, no need here to go into details. The result is well known
from Hilberts theory of the normresidue symbol.
Theorem 4
If one integer solution not (0, 0,O)of the irreducible equation
f ( x ,y , z ) = ax2 + by2 + cz2 + 2fyz + 2gzx + 2hxy = 0 (7)
exists, then the general solution with ( x ,y , z ) = 1 is given by a j k i t e number of
expressions of the form
x = Alp2 + Bipq + Clq2, y = A2p2 + B 2 ~ 4+ C2q2,
z = A3p2 + B3pq + c3q2, (8)
where p , q take all integer values with ( p , q) = 1, and the A , B, C are integer
constants.
For let a solution (x,, yo, z,) be known. Write
x = rx, p, +
y = ry, q, + z = rz,,
where p , q, r are rational numbers. Then we have a linear equation in r from
which r = f(p, q, O)/L(p,q ) where L is a linear function of p and q. Hence
ignoring denominators, we have with an appropriate factor 8,
8 . ~= f l ( P , q),
8Y = f X P , q), 8,z = f 3 ( P , q),
where fi,f2,f3 are binary quadratics with integer coefficients, and we may
now suppose that p , q are integers and that ( p , q ) = 1. A simple elimination
procedure shows that the common factors of f l ,f 2 , f 3are independent of p , q.
These and S can be removed on replacing p , q by a linear substitution on
P. 4.
The method of Theorem 4 has been used by Mordel15to give an elementary
proof of Holzers
Theorem 5
The solvable equation ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0 taken in the canonicalform with
a > 0, b > 0, c < 0 has a nontrivial solution with
1x1 I dm, IyI IdW, IZI I dZ
It is easily seen that all the equality signs may be removed unless two of
the a, b, c are unity.
Let (x,, yo, z,) be a solution with (x,, yo, z,) = 1. We show that if for
this solution, ( z o ( > dab, then another solution (x, y , z) can be found with
IzI < lzol. Hence there exists a solution ( x , y , z ) with IzI I dab. The
inequalities for x , y are now obvious. Put
x = x, + tx,
y = y, tY, + z = zo + tz,
where X , Y, 2, are integers to be determined later. Then
(ax2 + b Y 2 + cZ2)t + 2(axoX + byoY + czoZ) = 0.
48 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
1
Hence, on neglecting a denominator, a solution, say, (x, y , z), is given by
6~ = zo(aX2 + 6 Y 2 + cZ')  2Z(axoX + by0 Y + CZOZ),
ax = xo(aX2 + b Y2 +  2X(axoX + by, Y + C Z O Z ) ,
CZ2) (9)
Sy = yo(aX2 + 6 Y 2 + cZ')  2 Y(uxOX + by0 Y + CZOZ),
where S is a common divisor of the three expressions on the right.
Further x , y , z are integers if
Ale, 6l(Xyo  Yxo),
For from
ax; + by; + cz; = 0,
it easily follows that (S, abxoyo) = 1. From (9) it suffices to show that
P = a x o X + 6yoY = O(mod6), Q = a X 2 + b Y 2 = O(mod6).
Since X = xo Y/yo, P = Y(axi + by;)/yo = 0 (mod 8);
also Q E (ax; + by:) Y z / y ; E 0 (mod 6).
From (9)
Then
Then (1 1) is replaced by
Theorem 6
The equation f(z) = 0 is sohable in rational integers i f and only i f f ( x ) =
0 (mod p') is soh>ablefor all primes p and,for ail r with (xl,x2, x3, x4,p) = 1,
anrlj(.r) = 0 is soloable in real numbers.
We may suppose that the a are square free since if a, = A1a? etc. where A ,
etc. are square free, a 11 correspondence is established between the solutions
of
5
r=l
arx; =o, $ A , X ; = 0,
r=l
by the relations
X, = . .,
alxl,. x1 = a2a3a4X1.. .
We may also suppose as in the case of the ternary quadratic that no three of
the a's have a common factor.
Since the coefficients a,, a2,a3,a4 do not all have the same sign, we may
suppose that a, > 0, u4 > 0. Write
factorize in the padic field. We may also suppose that b, = 0 (mod p%) but
not p A p + l, and also when p = 2. Consider the congruences with a > 0,
a = 6 , (mod a = b, (modpApP1), p =pl, . . . ,ps.
These determine a uniquely mod m = 2A2+3p:1+l. . .p;$+ Since b, f 0
(mod p A p P + l ) b,a
, = 1 (modp). Hence the quadratic character (b,al/p) =
1, and so b,a is a quadratic residue in Qpand so is apadic square. Similarly
b,a = 1 (mod 8) and so b,al is a quadratic residue in Q2 and so is a
2adic square. Since b, and a differ by a square factor in all the fields Q,,
Q,, both the forms
ax: + a,X: + a,XZ,  a x :  a3XE  a4Xi
represent zero in all the Q, and Q,. These forms have a zero in every padic
field, except possibly when p I a. Also the forms are indefinite since a, > 0,
a, < 0. Hence if a has only one prime factor q different from 2, p , , . . .,ps, the
forms will also have a zero in QQ.Then from the ternary case of Theorem 1,
we have
a = ale? + a2c& a = a3c32  a&,
with rational c, and so finally
a,cl + a2c: + a3cf + a4ci = 0.
The existence of such an a is proved by Dirichlets theorem that there are
an infinity of primes in an arithmetical progression in which the first term is
prime to the difference. Let a be an arbitrary one of the a defined by the
congruences above; write d = (a, m). Then there exists an integer k 2 0 such
that a/d + km/d is a prime q. We take a = a +
km = qd.
We now state without proof the conditions for the padic solvability of the
equation
f ( x ) = alx: + a,x$ + a3xi + a 4 4 = 0,
wheref(x) is in the normal form, i.e. the a are square free integers and no
three of the a have a common factor.
The a of course must not all have the same sign. The padic equation is
solvable for all p when (p, a,, a,, a3, a,) = 1, as is obvious from the result
for the ternary quadratic. Next let p = p , , be an odd common prime factor
of a, and a, for which ( a3a4/p)= 1. Then we must have (( a,a2p,)/p) = 1.
Similarly for the other prs.
Finally 2adic solvability is required. This is easily seen to be the solvability
of f ( x ) = 0 (mod 8). The conditions are as follows.
+
If a1a2a3a4= 1 (mod 8), then we require a, k a, + a3 a, 3 0 (mod 8).
There are no conditions if
ala2a3a4= 2, 3, 5, 6 , 7 (mod 8).
7. HOMOGENEOUS EQUATIONS OF THE SECOND DEGREE 51
Suppose next that
ala2a3a4= 4(mod 8) and a, = a, = O(mod2),
say. Then if
~a,a,a3a4= I (mod 8),
we require
+a, + j a , + a3 + a4 = j(agaz  1) (mod 8).
No conditions are required if
~a,a,a,a, = 3, 5, 7 (mod 8).
We prove now the
4. Theorem 7
Every indefinite quadratic form j ( x ) in fiiie iiariables represents zero.
It suffices to take
f(z)= a1x: + ' .. + a&,
where the a are square free, a, > 0, us < 0.
Write
g = alx: + a&, h = a3xg  a4xi  a&.
We argue as in the case of four variables. We find by Dirichlet's theorem a
positive rational integer a which is represented by both g and h in the real
field, and in all padic fields Q, with the exclusion perhaps of a field Q, where
q is an odd prime number not dividing any of the coefficients a,, a2, . . . . Then
g represents a by the theory of the ternary quadratic. Also since h represents
zero in Q,, it represents a rationally by the theory of the quaternary quadratic.
The theorem follows as for n = 4.
It is now trivial that an indefinite form f ( x l , x2,. . ., x,) with n > 5
variables represents zero. It is also easily proved that solutions exist with
XlX,. . . .Y, # 0.
5. A much more difficult question is to investigate the solvability of two
simultaneous homogeneous quadratic equations f ( 2 ) = 0, g(z) = 0 in n
variables. Mordell" has shown by an application of Meyer's theorem that
+
subject to some simple natural conditions, for example, that Af(s) p g ( z ) is
not a definite form for all real values of A, p not both zero, that nontrivial
solutions, i.e. not all zeros, exist if n 2 13. SwinnertonDyer12 has improved
this to n 3 11. It is conjectured that n = 9 is the best possible result, but some
equations in 9 variables are such that four of the variables must be zero.
An interesting question is whether the two simultaneous equations in five
variables are solvable when they are solvable in every padic field includingp,.
52 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
REFERENCES
1. H. Hasse. Uber die Darstellbarkeit von Zahlen durch quadratische Formen
im Korper der rationalen Zahlen. J. reinp angew. Math., 152 (1923), 129148;
also 205224.
2. L. Holzer. Minimal solutions of diophantine equations. Can. J. Math., 11
(1950), 238244.
3. L. J. Mordell. On the equation ax2 + by2  cz2 = 0. Monatshefte fur Math.,
55 (1951), 323327.
4. T. Skolem. On the diophantine equation ax2 + bya + cz2 = 0 . Rendiconti di
Matemuticu e delle sue applicazioni (9,11 (1952), 88102.
5. L. J. Mordell. On the magnitude of the integer solutions of the equation
ax2 + by2 + cz2 = 0 . J. number theory, I (1968), 13.
6. M. Kneser. Kleine Losungen der diophantischen Gleichung ax2 + bya = cz.
Abh. Math. Sem. Hamburg, 23 (1959), 163173.
7. J. W. S. Cassels. Bounds for the least solution of homogeneous quadratic
equations. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 51 (1955), 262264. Addendum, ibid. 52
(1956), 664.
8. H. Davenport. Note on a theorem of Cassels. Proc. Camb. Phil. SOC., 53
(1957), 539540. Addendum, ibid. 52 (1956), 664.
9. B. J. Birch and H. Davenport. Quadratic equations in several variables. Proc.
Camb. Phil. SOC., 54 (1958), 135138.
10. Z. I. Borevich and I. R. Shafarevich. Numbertheory, Chapter I. Academic
Press, New York and London (1966).
1 1 . L. J. Mordell. Integer solutions of simultaneous quadratic equations. Abh.
Math. Sem. Hamburg, 23 (1959), 124143.
12. H. P. F. SwinnertonDyer. Rational zeros of two quadratic forms. Acta
Arith., 9 (1964), 260270.
CHAPTER 8
Pell's Equation
1. Theorem 1
Let D be a positive integer which is not a perfect square. Then the equation
y2  D,v2 11 (1)
has an infinity of integer solutions. If (.Y, y ) = ( U , T ) where T > 0, U > 0 is
the solution with least positive x, all the solufions are gioen by
XY dD = f(T + UdD)", (2)
where n is an arbitrary integer.
We ignore the trivial solution y = k 1, x = 0 given by n = 0.
The proof of ( I ) follows easily from a result on Diophantine approximation
given by
Lemma 1
Let 8 be an irrational number and q > 1 an arbitrary positive integer. Then
there exisi integers x and y such that i f L = y  x0,
ILI < l / q , 0 < .Y 6 q. (3)
Let x take the values 0, I , 2, . . ., q and let y be such an integer that 0 6 L < 1.
Then q + 1 values for L arise lying in the q semiopen intervals
Hence two of the values of L corresponding to say ( x l , y,) and (x2. y2),where
s1 # x2, say x1 > x2, lie in the same interval and so
lY,  J'2  (x1  .Y2)0l < I/q.
Then (3) follows on putting y = y 1  y,, x = x1  s2.On replacing (3) by
ly  ~ 8 1< I/x,
it follows that there are an infinity of integer solutions of this inequality.
Lemma 2
A number m = m(D), e.g. m = 1 + 240, exists such that
Iy2  Dx21 < m,
for an infinity of integers, x,y ,
3+
54 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Corollary
I f d is a giren integer, there exists an injinity of solutions with x = 0 (mod d ) .
This is obvious from Y 2  D d 2 X 2 = 1.
In the study of the units of quadratic fields, say Q ( d d ) ,a Pellian equation
takes the form
y 2  dx2 = 4.
If now (x, y ) = (u, t ) , u > 0, t > 0 is the solution with least x, then it can be
shown similarly that the general solution is given by
y + 2xd/d = & ( t + u d d) '
where n takes all integer values.
The solution of the equation
y 2  Dx2 =  1 (4)
is a much more difficult question and simple explicit conditions for solvability
are not known. A necessary condition is that D is not divisible by 4 or by any
prime = 3 (mod 4). It is easily proved that the equation is solvable when
D = p is a prime = 1 (mod 4).
For let (x, y ) = (U,T ) be the fundamental solution of y 2  px2 = 1.
Then U = 0, T = 1 (mod 2). Write
T+l T  1
.=
2 2
Then either
T+ 1 T  1
 2  Pa2,   b2,
2
T
+1 T 1
or a2,
= ph2,
2 2
where a, h are integers. The second set gives a2  pb2 = 1 , and contradicts
the definition of the fundamental solution.
56 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Conjecture
Let p be a prime = 3 (mod 4) and so now
Y2  px2 = 1.
Theorem 3
The equation
x3 + y 3 + z3 + w 3 = n (7)
has an infinity of integer solutions i f there exists one solution (a, b, c, d ) such
that
(a + b)(c + d ) > 0,
is not a perfect square, and a # b, or c # d.
Put x=a+X, y=bX, Z = C + Y, w=dY.
Then (a + b)X2 + (a2  b2)X + (c + d ) Y 2 + (c2  d2)Y = 0.
Write
(a +b)(X+ y)2
+ + (c d)( Y +  d)a
 (a + b)(a  b)2  (c + d)(c  d)' = 0.
4 4
The result now follows from equation (1) since
+
D = (a b)(c + d), and (a b)(a  b)2 + + (c + d)(c  d)2 # 0
unless a = b, c = d.
It is very surprising that this is the only known method of proving the
existence of an infinity of integer solutions of the general equation (7).
8. PELL'S EQUATION 59
Another application of Pell's equation is given in Chapter 13 where it is
shown that the equation
a(x3 + y 3 ) + b(z3 + c3) = 0,
where a, b, c are integers, has an infinity of integer solutions other than
x+y=o.
3. Of special interest is the application of the Pel1 equation to the discussion
of the integer solutions of the simultaneous equations
+ bxlxz + C X ~= d,
UX: (8)
a1x: + b,XlX, + clx; = d1Z', (9)
where the constants are integers. We may suppose that none of the lefthand
sides are perfect squares, and that
b2  4ac = D >0
is not a perfect square.
These equations include as particular cases many equations of current
interest.
We first of all note that the equations have only a finite number of integer
solutions. For from Chapter 7, the general solution of equation (9) with
( x l , x2, z ) = 1, is given by a finite number of expressions of the form
x, = 1,x2 + m,xy + n,y2, (r = 1,2),
where the I, m, n are integer constants and x , y are integers. On substituting
in equation (8), we have a finite number of binary quartic equations of the
formf(x, y ) = A say. By a theorem of Thue in Chapter 20, there are only a
finite number of integer solutions for x,y. To find these is in general a diffi
cult problem, and most results require detailed and complicated proofs.
However, A. Baker has recently found estimates (very large ones, indeed) for
the magnitude of the solutions.
The Pellian method of approach is to note that the general solution of
equation (8) can be written in the form
x = pu + qu, y = ru + sv,
where thep, q, r, s refer to a finite set of rational numbers, and u, v are integer
solutions of a Pellian equation. Then from equation (9), we have a finite set of
equations
z 2 = Au' + BUV+ CV',
where A , B, C are rational numbers.
Suppose for simplicity that the Pellian equation takes the form
U'  Dv2 = 1,
60 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
and denote by uo, vo the fundamental solution. Then the general solution is
given by
u + udD = (u, + u,d/D)".
Write a = uo + vodO, p = u,  voz/O, ffp = + 1,
Then 2u = an + B", 2vdB = ffn  B", z = z,,
and z," = Ala2" + B1F2"+ Cl( f 1)".
Hence we are led to the following
Problem
Let a sequence u, be given by a recurrence formula
+
u , , ~ au,+l + bun = c, (1 1)
where the a, b, c are given integer constants. When is u, a perfect square ?
We give some applications to the Fibonacci sequence u,, where u, = 0,
u1 = 1, and
un+2 = un+1 + un,
and to the Lucas sequence v,, where uo = 2, u1 = 1, and
Theorem 4
v, = x2 only when n = 1, 3, fx = 1,2,
v, = 2x2 only when n = 0, + x = 1, 2.
Theorem 5
u, = x2 only when n = 0, f 1,2, 12, fx,= 0, 1, 12.
u, = 2x2 only when n = 0, f 3 , 6 , and fx = 0, 1,2.
Proofs for u, = xa were given about the same time by Cohn4 and Wylie5.
We give here the later proof by Cohn6 who also proved the other results.
We need some properties of u, and v,. From equation (12), on taking the
residues of u, mod 4, we have a periodic sequence of order 6 given by
2,1,3,0,3,3,2,1, . . .
and so v, = 0 (mod 2) only when n 3 0 (mod 3), and uk = 3 (mod 4) when
k = i2 (mod 6). We see that v, = 0 (mod 3) only if n 5 2 (mod 4), since
the residues of 21, mod 3 form a periodic sequence of order 8 given by
2 , 1 , 0 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 0 , 2 , 2 , 1 , 0 ,....
8. PELL'S EQUATION 61
We note that
Hence
L n= (I),vn, u, = (l)"lUn.
= 5U,UkU, + un(v2  2)
=  2 e , (mod uk).
The first result above follows since rk is odd.
so 2 L l n + 2 k = unz'Zk + uZkz'n
= U,(Lf  2) + UkL'kU,
l'zm = 17;
=  1,  4 (mod vk).
Since vk = 3 (mod 4), ( v n / v k ) =  1 and so v, cannot be a square.
Take next v, = 2x2. There are now only the solutions n = 0, _+6 and
+ x = 1 , 3. Suppose first that n is odd. Since
v; = 5u2,  4,
then x4 = 5(3un)2  1.
and so v, # 2x2.
Take next n = 6 (mod 8), n # 6. Then we can write
n = 6 + 2.3'k, k = 2 (mod 6).
Hence 2V, = 2V0 = 36 (mod vk),
and so v, # 2x2.
Take finally n = 2 (mod 8). Since v  , = v, and n = 6 (mod 8), v, = 2x2
only if n = 6 (and so also n = 6).
We come next to Theorem 5. Now u, = x2 only for n = 0, k 1,2, 12 and
+ x = 0, 1 , 1 , 12.
Suppose first that n = 1 (mod 4). Since u1 = 1, we exclude n = 1, and
write
n = 1 + 2.3'k, k = + 2 (mod 6).
Then U, U1  1 (mod Vk),
and so u, # 2.
If n = 3 (mod 4); u  , = u, and so u, = x2 only if n = 1 (and so also if
n =1).
Suppose next that n = 2m is even. Then uzm = umvm = x2.
If m = 0 (mod 3), u, = 2y2, v, = 2z2.
The second gives only m = 0,  6 , and m =  6 gives no value for y.
8. PELL'S EQUATION 63
If 171 $ 0 (mod 3), u, = y2, u, = z 2 . The second gives only m = 1, 3 and
in = 3 gives no value for y.
In a similar way it can be shown that if u, = 2x2, then n = 0, & 3 , 6 and
fx = 0, 1, 2.
Of special interest is the application of such ideas to the equation
dy2 = ax4 + bey2 + C,
For
The equation
y 2 = 5x4 +4
has only the solutions +x = 0, 1, 12.
64 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
y + x W 3+ d3)n 1 + 45 2n
Here
2 (
= 
= ( 7 , and )
x2 = uZn.
The equation
y2 = 5x4 4
has only the solutions & x = 1.
Here , and x2 = u ~ , ,  ~ .
2
The preceding results arose from the discussion of the case a = 1 of the
more general sequence
unt2 = aunt1 + un.
Cohn7 has discussed this in detail and has found results similar to those
given here. In the course of his investigation, the equation
2y2 = 3x4  1
arises. His method could not prove that the only integer solutions are given by
x = 1, 3. This was however, proved by Bumbylo by an extension of Cohn's
method. For now with a = 5 2 4 6 , +
x2 =
an + al"
l + a
The proof depends upon an application of the law of quadratic reciprocity in
the quadratic field Q(d/2).
Other methods of dealing with quartic equations are given in Chapter 28.
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. On a Pellian equation conjecture. Acta Arithmetica, 6 (1960),
137144.
2. L. J. Mordell. On a Pellian equation conjecture. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,36
(1961), 282288.
3. L. J. Mordell. On the four integer cube problem. J. Lond. Math. Soc., 11
(1936), 208218. Addendum 12 (1937), 80. Corrigendum 32 (1957), 383.
4. J. H. E. Cohn. On square Fibonacci numbers. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,39 (1964),
537540.
5. 0. Wylie. Solution of the problem. In the Fibonacci series Fl = 1, Fa = 1,
+
F,, + = F,, F,, I, the first, second and twelfth terms are squares. Are there
any others? Am. Math. Monthly, 71 (1964), 220222.
6. J. H. E. Cohn. Lucas and Fibonacci numbers and some diophantine equations.
Proc. Glasgow Math. Assoc., 7 (1965), 2428.
7. J. H. E. Cohn. Eight diophantine equations. Proc. Lond. Math. SOC., 16
(1966), 153166. Addendum, ibid, 17 (1967), 381.
8. PELLS EQUATION 65
8. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y2 = Dx4 + 1. J. Lond. Math. Soc.,
39 (1964), 161164.
9. W. Ljunggren. Some remarks on the diophantine equations x2  Dy4 = 1,
X*  Dy2 = 1. J. Land. Math. SOC., 41 (1966), 542544.
10. R. T. Bumby. The diophantine equation 3x4  2y2 = 1, Math. Scan., 21
(1967) 144148.
CHAPTER 9
1. Problem
Given a rational solution of f ( x , , x2,. . ., x,) = 0, where f is a polynomial
with rational coeflcients, to deduce other solutions.
Suppose first that the equation represents a curve, say f ( x , y ) = 0. We refer
to a rational solution ( x , y ) of f ( x , y ) = 0 as a rational point P on the curve
f(x, y ) = 0. If we write the equation in the homogeneous form F ( X , Y, 2) = 0,
where x = X/Z, y = Y/Z, we still refer to rational points ( X , Y, Z ) on the
curve F(X, Y, Z ) = 0 when the ratios X / Z , Y / Z are rational. We have a 11
correspondence between (x, y ) and ( X , Y, 2) except when 2 = 0. We can,
however, say this corresponds to an infinite rational point (x,y).
Theorem 1
Let f ( x , y ) = 0, g(x, y ) = 0 be two curves of degrees r, s. Zfrs  1 of their
intersections are rational points, then the remaining intersection is also a
rational point.
On eliminating y , x is determined by an equation of the rsth degree with
rational coefficients. Since rs  1 of its roots are known, the remaining one is
determined by an equation of the first degree and so is also rational, as was to
be proved.
If, however, only rs  2 of the intersections are rational, the remaining two
are determined by a quadratic equation and so belong to a quadratic field.
Theorem 2
L e t f ( x , y , z ) = 0, g(x, y , z ) = 0, h(x, y , z ) = 0 be three surfaces of degrees
r, s, t. I f rst  1 of their intersections are rational points, then the remaining
intersection is also a rational point. Ifrst  2 of their intersections are rational,
then the remaining two intersections hace coordinates in a quadratic field. I f
one of the surfaces is a cubic surface, then the line joining these points meets it
in a rational point.
The last part is obvious since the line can be defined by two planes with
rational coefficients.
Applications will be given in Chapters 12 and 13.
We come back to curves.
Letf(x, y ) = 0 be a conic with the known rational point P(xo,yo). We take
for g(x, y) = 0, the line y  yo = t(x  xo)through P, where t is a rational
9. RATlONAL SOLUTIONS DERIVED FROM GIVEN ONES 67
parameter. This line meets the conic in one other point Q, and so Q is a
rational point whose coordinates are given in terms of the parameter t. All the
rational points Q onf(x, y ) = 0 are given in this way since the slope of the
line PQ defines t. There is also a 11 correspondence between the points Q and
the rational values of t including t = co. Also P corresponds to itself for the
value of t for which the line is a tangent at P . The intersection of the line
x = xo other than P corresponds to t = co, but when x = xo is a tangent, P
then corresponds to t = co.
On eliminating y , we find, say,
Alt2 + Blt + C, Azt2 + B2t + C2,
s=
At2 + Bt + C '
=
At2 + Bt + C
where the A , A,, A2 etc. are integer constants.
Hence the solution of F ( X , Y , Z ) = 0 is given by putting x = X/Z,
y = Y / Z , t = p/q, where p , q are coprime integers, and then
dX = Alp2 + Bipq + Clq2, dY = A2p2 + Bzpq + Czq2,
dZ = Ap2 + Bpg + Cq2.
The factor d can be removed by an appropriate substitution p + hp dq. +
Then the solutions X, Y, Z are given by a finite set of binary quadratic forms.
Theorem 3
All the rationalpoints on an irreducible cubic curve with a double point can be
expressed in terms of a rational parameter.
There can be only one double point P, for if P, P1 were both double points,
the line P P , would meet the curve in four points. Also P is a rational point,
say (so,yo).This is easily proven since P is determined by the equations,
Example 1
ax3 + bs'y + cxy2 + dy3 = ex2 + fxy + gy2,
say g(x, r) = h(x,y>.
Here y = t s gives
x = 4 1 , t)lg(l, t>, Y = t w , t)lg(l, t ) .
We note that the origin (0,O) corresponds to both t = 0 and t = a.
68 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 4
From a known set S of rationalpoints P,,Pz, . . ., P, on a cubic curve, others
can in general be found.
The tangent at P , meets the cubic in three points. Two of these are at P ,
and so the third point, say P , , , , being determined by an equation of the first
degree, is rational and is different from P if P , is not a point of inflexion. So
the tangent at P,,,may be expected to lead to a new rational point P 1 l , l l etc.
Next the line P,Pzmeets the curve in a third rational point P1,2,in general,
different from P , and P2. This tangential and chord process can be applied to
all the points of S and also to all of the points found in this way. In general,
one would expect an infinity of rational points to arise, but this must be
proved in each case.
The method above suggests the conjecture that all the rational points on a
cubic curve of genus one can be deduced from a finite number by the chord
and tangent process. This will be proved later, in Chapter 16.
2. We now give a number of classic instances due to Diophantus, Fermat,
Euler, Lagrange, Cauchy.
Example 2
y2 = x3 + k.
Let P ( p , q), q # 0 be a rational point. The tangent a t P is
and so x3 + k = (q + ?f (x  p))'.
Since two roots are x = p , q, the sum of the roots of this equation gives for
the third root, x ,
x = 9p4
 2
4q2
p , and then y =q +@
2q
(v
4q2
3p).
Alternatively, put x =p + X , and
y2 = + 3p2X + 3pX2 + x3,
q2
Example 3
+ bx + cx2 + d.y3,
p3 = a3 a # 0.
A solution is given by putting y = a + bx/3a2.
Example 4
y3 = a + bx + ex2 + d3x3, d # 0.
A solution is given by y = dx + c/3d2.
Example 5
Let y2 = ax4 t bx3 + c s 2 + dx + e,
with the rational solution ( p , q ) , q f 0.
On putting x = p + ,'A we may suppose that the solution is (0, q ) and that
e = e:, el # 0. Put
y = A 2 + BX + el,
where 2e,A + B2 = c, 2e1B = d.
Then A2x t 2AB = ax + 6,
giving in general a new value for x .
Example 6
y2 = ax4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + e.
Let a = a: # 0 be a perfect square. Put
y + C x + D,
= a1x2
Example 7
y2 = ax4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + e.
70 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Example 8
y2(ax2 + bx + c ) + y(alx2 + b,x + c,) + a,x2 + b2x + c2 = 0.
Solve for y. Then
2y(ax2 e bx + c) + alx2 + b,x + c1 = z,
say, where
z2 = (alxz + b,x + c,)~ 4(ax2 + bx + c)(a2x2+ b,x + c,),
a quartic curve in z, x .
We may proceed more simply as follows. Let (x,, y,) be a known solution.
If we put x = x,in the equation, the quadratic in y has two roots one of which
is y,. The other is a rational number y , given by
yz + y1 = (alx2 + b,x + cl)/(ax2+ bx + c).
Hence in general we have a new solution (x,, y 2 ) different from the first. We
can continue the process. Put y = y , in the equation. Then the quadratic in x
gives us a rational x2 where
xz + xl = (by: + b,y, + b,)/(ayZ + sly, + a,).
Then in general we have a new solution (x,,y,). So we find rational solutions
(xz, Y 3 ) , (x39 Y 3 ) , (x39 Y4), (x4, Y4), * . * *
Example 9
The simultaneous equations
y 2 = alx2 + b,x + c,, z2 = a2x2 + b,x + c2.
Suppose that a rational solution (x,, y,, zl) is known. On putting x = x1 X , +
we may take x , = 0 and then replace cI, c, by c,2, ci. In the first equation, put
y = t x + c,. Then
t2x + 2rc, = a l x + bl, x = (b,  2c,t)/(t2  al).
Then
z2(t2  al)2 = +
s2 = a2(bl  2 ~ , t ) ~b2(bl  2tc,)(t2  a,) + cZ(t2 
9. RATIONAL SOLUTIONS DERIVED FROM GIVEN ONES 71
The quartic in r becomes a square when 6,  2tcl = 0, i.e. for t = b,/2c,
unless c1 = 0, and so in general other rational values of t can be found.
If, however, c, = c2 = 0, put y = Y / X , z = Y / X , x = 1/X.
Then Y 2 = a, + blX, Z 2 = a, b2X. +
and b z Y 2  b l Z 2 = a1b2  a2bl.
The solution of this equation is given by the classical theory of quadratic
forms.
An alternative method is to note that
cgy2  c;zz = s((alcz" a2c:)x + blcg  b&) = x(px + q), say.
Take czy + ClZ = 2C,C,(P.\: + 4)/4,
czy  c,z = qx/2c,c,,
Then y = el + rx, say, and (rx + c , ) ~ = u1x2 + b,x + cf, etc.
An ancient problem which had its origin1 among the Arab scholars before
972 A.D. is, when k = 5, to find rational solutions of the simultaneous
equations:
Example 10
y 2 = x2 + k, Z' = x2  k.
It is easily verified that if k can be written in the form
k = ab(a + b)(a  b),
then a solution is given by
2x = u2 + b2, 2y = a2 + 2ab  b2, 22 = az  2ab  b2.
From this solution, others can be derived by the method of Example 9.
For a = 5, b = 4, k = 5fj2,x = 41/2. Hence when k = 5, a solution is
given by
x = j 41
y y=iz,
49
z=
31
12'
This solution was found by Leonard0 of Pisa, about 1220 A.D. and also by
Euler who considered the general equation.
The equations can be dealt with by arithmetical considerations on writing
them in the following forms:
x2  5y2 = u2, x2 + 5y2 = 02%
From the first solution of Leonardo's equation, we find the second solution
3,444,161 4,728,001 113,279
= 1,494,696' = 1,494,696' = 1,494,696'
A complete solution can be found by more complicated arithmetical methods
which show that all the solutions can be derived from the first by rational
operations. The third solution has 15 digits in the numerators and denomi
nators.
3. One of the first results in which the method of infinite descent of Chapter 4
shows that all integer solutions can be derived from rational functions of one
solution, was given by Euler and Lagrange.
Theorem 5
AN the integer solutions of the equation
x4  2y4 = z2, > o,y > 0, z > 0, (x,y) = I,
can be so derived from the solution (x,y , z ) = (1, 1, 1).
Suppose x, y is the solution with least y and x > 1. If z 3 0 (mod 2), then
x = y E 0 (mod 2), and so we have
x = y E z = 1 (mod 2).
x2+z2 x222
Since +(
(7)T= y 4)
,
we have
y2 = u2 + b2, u 2 0, b 3 0, (a, b) = 1.
Clearly ab # 0, since then z = x2 = y 2 = 1. First, for + k b , we have
x2 = a2  ba + 2ab, y2 = a2 + b2.
The first equation shows that a f 0 (mod 2), and so a = 1 (mod 2), b =
0 (mod 2). Hence from the second equation
u p 2  q2,
1 b = 2pq, y = pa + q2, ( p , 4) = 1.
Alsopq # 0. Then
x 2 + 2b2 = (a + b)',
and so
x = +(c'  2d2), b = 2cd, u + b = c2 + 2d2,
c 5 0, d 2 0, (c, d ) = 1 and cd # 0. Hence
p 2  q2 + 2pq = c2 + 2d2, pq = Cd.
9. RATIONAL SOLUTIONS DERIVED FROM GIVEN ONES 73
From the second
p = rc/s, q = sd/r, (r, s) = 1 , rs # 0,
and so
c=sX, d = r Y , p = r X , q = s Y , (A, Y ) = 1 , X Y # O .
Substituting in above, we have
(r2  s2)X2+ 2rsXY  (s2 + 2r2)Y2 = 0.
Theorem 6
All the integer solutions of the equation
.y4  2y4 = > 0, y > 0, ( x , y ) = 1,
z2,
The equation with the  sign has been dealt with. For the equation with the +
sign, d2 < b2 < t y 2 or d < i y , i.e. there is a solution of the original equation
with a smaller y. Continuing the process, we have two equations such as
e4  2f4 = +g2.
It may be remarked that the solution x = 1, y = 0 leads to b = 0.
In all these examples, new rational solutions were derived from known
rational solutions. It is sometimes possible to deduce rational solutions from
known solutions given as numbers in an algebraic number field.
We have Heegner's3
4. Theorem 7
If the equation
y2 = ax4 + bx3 + ex2 + dx + e, (1)
where a, b, c, d, e are rational numbers, has a solution ( p , q ) in an algebraic
number field K of odd degree b 3 , then there exists a rational solution.
We may suppose that p satisfies an equation with rational coefficients of
degree r, sayf,(p) = 0, and that K is generated by p . For if p generates a sub
field Kl of X of degree r l , then from equation (l), q must be an element of an
algebraic number field of degree 2r, and so of rl since r is odd. Then q =
frd(p), a polynomial of degree r  6 with rational coefficients, and where in
general 6 = 1. Since the relation
= dp4 + bp3 + cp2 + dp + e
is a consequence off,(p) = 0, we have if now x is an arbitrary variable, the
identical relation
f ,"&)  ax4  bx3  ex2  dx  e =f r ( ~ ) f r  ~ ~ ( x ) ,
1. Equivalent curves. Two curves are called equivalent if they can be trans
formed into each other by a birational transformation with rational coeffi
cients. This means that if the curves are given by f ( x , y ) = 0, F ( X , Y ) = 0,
we have, except for a finite set of values for the variables,
x = a(X, Y ) , y = b(X, Y ) ; X = A(x,y), Y = B(x,y),
where a, b, A, B are rational functions of their arguments with rational
coefficients.
Theorem 1'
A cubic curuef ( x , y ) = 0 with a rationalpoint is equivalent to a cubic whose
equation is in the Weierstrass normal form
ya = 4x3  gax  g3.
If the curve is written in the homogeneous form, F ( X , Y, Z) = 0, then
ga,g, are well known invariants of the ternary form F(X, Y , Z ) . We give
Nagell'sa proof.
Let P be the rational point and take as origin Q, the point where the tangent
at P meets the curve again. The line y = tx through Q, where t is a parameter,
meets the cubic in two other points determined by the equation,
Lxa + 2Mx + N = 0,
where L, M , N are polynomials in t of respective degrees 3, 2, 1, and with
rational coefficients. Hence
(Lx + M ) a = M a  LN.
Since P and Q are rational points, and QP is a tangent, the quartic in t ,
M a  LN = 0 has a rational root, say t = to. Write to t = to + 1/T,Then
(Lx + = F(T)/T4,
where F(T) is a cubic in T.Apply a linear substitution T = CX + D with
rational coefficients C, D, and put L x + M = N Y / ( C X + D)a, and then
we have an equation of the form
ya = 4 x 3  g a x  g3.
10. RATIONAL POINTS ON SOME CUBIC CURVES 77
Then r takes the form
t = (FA+ G)/(CX + 0) and y = rx.
Clearly rational X , Y lead to rational x , y and conversely.
It proves convenient to regard ( X , Y ) = (co,co) as a rational point. This
arises from the homogeneous form of the equation
Y2Z = 4 x 3  gJZ2  8 3 2 3 ,
which has the rational point ( X , Y, 2) = (0,1,0), so that Y / Z = co,X / Z = co.
Theorem 2
If the quartic curve
y2 = ax4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + e
has a rational point, it is equivalent to a cubic curve
y2 = 4x3  g2x  g3.
We may assume that e is a perfect square. Then on writing x = 1/X,
y = Y / X 2 ,we may assume that a is a perfect square. If a = 0, the result is
obvious. If a # 0, we may assume that a = 1 on writing x = X/&, y =
Y/&. Then on replacing x by X  +b, we may assume that b = 0. We now
write the quartic as
y2 = x4  6cx2 + 4dx + e.
A 11 correspondence between this quartic and the cubic is given by
y = 2 + 2 x + c, 2x = (Y  d ) / ( X  c).
For on substituting for y,
.Y*  6cx2 + 4dx + e = x4  2x2(2X + c ) + ( 2 X + c)~,
x2(X  c) + dx = X 2 + c X + +(c2  e).
2x(X  c) =  d & (d2 + 4 ( X 3  c z X ) + (c2  e)(X  c))lI2
=  d f ( 4 X 3  g2X  g3)l,
+
where g2 = e 3c2, g , = ce  d 2 + c3, d 2 = 4c3  g2c  g,.
Hence we can write
y2 = 4 x 3  g2X  g3, 2x(X  C) = Y  d.
We note that this normal cubic has the rational point ( X , Y ) = (c, d ) .
A sometimes more convenient form for the quartic is
z2 = ax4 + 4bx3y + 6cx2y2 + 4dxy3 + ey4 = F(x, y).
78 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
The binary quartic F(x, y ) has the two well known invariants g,, g, given by
a b c
g, = ae  4bd + 3ca, g3 = b c d .
c d e
Suppose now that the normal cubic has no double point.
We notice some obvious consequences of these results. If the cubic curve
F ( X , Y , Z ) = 0 has one rational point, then all the rational points can be
found if all the rational points of the normal cubic are known. Further if the
curve F ( X , Y, Z) = 0 has a finite number 2 1 of solutions, the normal cubic
has only a finite number of solutions and so any other cubic curve
F,(X, Y, 2 ) = 0 with the same invariants as F ( X , Y, 2 ) can have only a
finite number of rational points.
Similar results apply to the quartic za = F(x, y).
2. One would expect that the general cubic curve has an infinity of rational
points if it has one, but this requires proof for any given curve.
Theorem 3
Let a, b, c be squarefree integers, relatively prime in pairs, abc # 0 and d an
integer. Then the curve
ax3 + by3 + cz3 + dxyz = 0,
when at most one of a, b, c is f 1, has either none or an infinity of rational
points.
When a = b = 1, c # k 1, the curve has either one or two or an infinity of
integer solutions. Only two solutions may be possible when d = (c f: 2) or
d =  (4c f l), and so ifsuch an equation has a third solution, there will be an
infinity of solutions.
When a = b = c = 1, and d # 1, 3,  5 , the curve has either three
rational points or an infinite number. Three of the points are (1,  1,O) etc.
The case d =  3 is trivial since then x + y + z = 0. When d = 1, there are
only six solutions, (1,  1,O) and (1, 1,  1) etc. When d =  5 , there are
only the six (1,  1,0), (1, 1,2), etc.
The results for d = 1,  5 are due to Mordel13, the others are due to
Hurwitz 4.
We prove first that the tangential Q ( X , Y, 2 ) of any point P(x, y, z) on
the curve is given by
6 X = x(by3  cz3), 6 Y = y(cz3  ax3), 62 = z(ux3  by3),
1
by3  cz3 cz3  ax3 ax3  by3
6 * S * 6 1< 1.
I
This means that a finite number of rational points are possibly only for the
four equations,
x3 + y3 + cz3  (c f 2)xyz = 0, I
Example
The equation
x3 + + 23  xyz = 0
y3
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. Indeterminate equations of the third and fourth degrees. Q. J.
Pure Appl. Math., 45 (1913), 170181.
2. T. Nagell. Sur les propriktks arithmktiques des cubiques planes du premier
genre. Acta Math., 52 (1929), 93126.
+ + +
3. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation x 3 y 3 z3 kxyz = 0. Colloque
sup la thkorie des nombres. Bruxelles (1955), pp. 6776.
4. A. Hurwitz. Ueber ternare diophantische Gleichungen dritten Grades. Viertel
jahrschrijit Naturf. Ges. Zurich. 62 (191 7) 207229. Math. Werke (Birkhauser Cie,
Basel) 2 (1933), 446468.
5. J. W. S. Cassels. On a diophantine equation. Acta Arithmetica, 6 (1960), 4751.
6. G. Sansone and J. W. S. Cassels. Sur la probleme de M. Werner Mnich.
Acta Arithmetica, 7 (1962), 187190.
CHAPTER 11
Suppose that one of these points, say Pl(xl, y,, z,) is rational. Then ob
viously all the rational points on the surface are given by the third intersection
with the surface of the line
x _ x l  Y  Y l 21,
1 m n
where I, m,n are rational parameters.
Results may also be deduced' when the double points are defined by
irreducible equations of the second, third and fourth degrees.
When one rational point PI is known, an infinity of rational points can in
general be found. Thus any tangent line to the surface at Pl meets it at a
point Pz different in general from P1.The process can be continued. Further,
the tangent plane at PI meets the surface in a cubic curve with a singular
point at P,. The curve, if irreducible, has a double point and so its coordinates
can be expressed rationally in terms of a rational parameter. A similar result
holds if the cubic splits into a conic and a straight line. A more interesting
case, considered further on, arises when the cubic curve splits into three
straight lines and then these are defined by a reducible or irreducible cubic
equation. The tangential process may be continued by taking another rational
11. RATIONAL POINTS ON CUBIC SURFACES 83
point on the cubic curve defined by P1, but there seems no analogue corre
sponding to the finite basis theorem for cubic curves. In fact, Segre2 has
proved the surprising result that cubic surfaces exist containing a rational
point PI which cannot be obtained by the tangent plane process starting from
any given set of rational points of the surface not including P1.
The existence of straight lines on a cubic surface may prove useful. In
general, there are 27 such lines, determined by an equation of the 216th
degree, and various sets of these lines may be determined by equations of
lower degrees.
Theorem 1
AN the rational points on a cubic surface can be found if it contains two lines
whose equations are defined by conjugate numbers of a quadratic field and in
particular by rational numbers.
Let P1, P, be a pair of conjugate points on conjugate lines L1,L, on the
surface. Then the line PIPzmeets it in a third point P whose coordinates are
rational since if a cubic equation with rational coefficients has a rational
quadratic factor, it will also have a rational linear factor. Conversely let a
rational point P be given. A plane drawn through P and L1 will meet La in a
point P,. Then PP, meets Ll in a point P1 and clearly PI, P, are conjugate
points in the quadratic field.
Before the later general results were found, solutions of some equations3
were found by special devices.
The equation
(x + y + z ) ~ dxyz = m.
We can find easily the special solutions with m = dyz,. Then the equation
can be written as
+ +
(x y z ) = ~ dyz(x +
z).
This equation defines a cubic curve in homogeneous coordinates. It has a
+
double point at x z = 0, y = 0, and so its coordinates can be expressed
rationally in terms of a parameter.
Put x + z = py, and ( p + l)3y = dpz.
Then +
m = dyz2 = d2pz3/(p l)3.
This requires p = dmt3 and then x, y , z are rationally expressable in terms of
a parameter 2.
This equation was the first really significant equation for which a parametric
solution was found in the 1 15years since the time of Ryley, who in 1825 found
a parametric solution of
X3 + Y3 + Z3 = n. (2)
84 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Euler s equation
x3 + y3 + z3 = 1. (4)
The complete solution can be found from Theorem 1 since two lines on the
surface are given by
x+py=o, z=p; x + p2y = 0, z = pa,
where pa + p + 1 = 0.Alternatively, write the equation as
(x + Y ) ( X + P Y ) b + P2Y) = (1  z)(l  ZP)(l  zPa).
The solution in terms of rational parameters p, q is given by
Theorem 2
Zff(x, y , z ) is as above, the general cubic equation, f ( x , y , z) = 0 has either
none or an infinity of rational solutions.
Take the equation in the homogeneous form F ( X , Y , Z , W ) = 0, and
suppose there is a rational solution (Xl, Y,, Z1, W,) # (0,0, 0, 0), and we
may assume that Z , # 0.
Put
x = XI5 + t, Y = Y15 + 7, z =z15, w = w15 + p.
The equation becomes
t2L1 + 5L, + L3 = 0, (10)
where L1,L2,L3 are homogeneous forms of degrees 1, 2, 3, respectively, in
t , ~p, ,and L1, L2 are not both identically zero. If L, is identically zero, the
equation in 5 gives at once all the rational solutions of F ( X , Y , Z , W ) = 0.
Suppose next that L1 is not identically zero. An infinity of solutions arise on
imposing the condition L1 = 0 on t , ~p, ,provided that L2 is not identically
divisible by L1. When this is so, a linear substitution on t , ~ p, ,replaces L1
by p, say. Then the 5 equation takes the form
(f + A 4 1 ($) + M3 = 0,
where M1, M 3 are linear and cubic polynomials in 5 / p , v / p . On solving for
( / p , we see that the problem of finding the rational solutions of this equation
is equivalent to that of finding rational solutions of the equation
z2 = S(X, y), (1 1)
where f ( x , y ) is the general cubic polynomial in x, y . This is the type of
equation which would have arisen when the tangent plane at a rational point
of the surface F(X, Y, Z , W ) = 0 meets the surface in three straight lines.
We give Whiteheads6 solution of equation (1 1).
Write
z2 = ax3 + bxzy + cxy2 + dy3 + ex2 + f x y + gy2 + hx + iy + j , (12)
4 f
86 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
We note that
2Pt  Q = at3  +(b + 9d)t2 + (2e  aa)t + +a(b + d )  J
and this is not identically zero unless a = e = f = 0, b + 9d = 0.
On solving the quadratic for y, we have two values of y which are finite and
different, except for a finite number of values of t since neither P nor A =
Q2  4PR = 3t1 + . . . is identically zero.
11. RATIONAL POINTS ON CUBIC SURFACES 87
Hence 2Py =  Q f dK,
2P2x = 2P2y2 + 4P2ty
= 2PQy  2PR + 4P2ty
= y(4P2t  2PQ)  2PR
= ( Q f d L ) ( 2 P t  Q )  2PR
= Q2  2PR  2PQt f (2Pt  Q)d&
Since z = y3 + . .  ,we have, say,
x =a f qdA, y = p f pld& z =y k ndh.
These two points define a straight line and any point on it can be written as
x = + clle, Y =p + pie, z = + yle,
where 8 is a parameter. The points where this line meets the cubic surface
Z 2 = f ( X , Y ) are given by a cubic equation in 8. This has a factor B2  A,
and the remaining factor is linear, and determines a rational point. The third
root will not be infinite except for a finite number of values of t. For if the
coefficient of O3 is zero,
+ alpla + dp; = 0,
a;
Theorem 3
The equation
5x3 + 9 ~ +3 1023 + 1 2 ~ 3= o
is solvable everywhere locally but has no rational solutions except (0, 0, 0,O).
The proof depends upon the application of the cubic fields k, = Q($'%),
kz = Q(V%) and their composition K = klkz,and requires the theory of
relative fields. This seems to be the only known instance of an equation of this
form which has been proved impossible otherwise than by simple congruence
considerations.
Previously Selmer lo stated that he has verified the solubility of
ax3 + by3 + cz3 + dw3 = 0
in all the relevant cases when labcdl < 500.
4. Prior to the discovery of Theorem 2, various classes of cubic equations
had been shown to have parametric rational solutions. This has been done by
Mordell, by combining both quadratic and cubic irrationalities as for equation
(lo), and by Segre by the use of geometric considerations. Further results by
the use of more abstruse geometrical ideas were found by Segrea. He de
veloped these in a memoir in which he studied in great detail the configurations
arising from the 27 lines on a cubic surface and the sets of 216 doublets, of 720
triplets, of 72 sextuplets, the sets being such that no two lines in a set intersect.
1 1. RATIONAL POINTS ON CUBIC SURFACES 89
The determination of a set depends upon the solution of an algebraic equation
in one variable of degrees 27,216, 720, 72. The existence of a rational root in
one of these equations, say conditions pl, pz, p3, p4, gives results on the exis
tence of rational solutions. Thus, for p l , pz, there is an infinity of solutions,
and for p z all the rational solutions are given as quotients of polynomials of
degree 4. He finds numerous results for which his memoir, which contains
many references t o the literature, should be consulted.
REFERENCES
1. T. Skolem. Einige Bemerkungen uber die Auffindung der rationalen Punkte
auf gewissen algebraischen Gebilden. Math. Z., 63 (1955), 294312.
2. B. Segre. On the rational solutions of homogeneous cubic equations in four
variables. Math. Notae (Rosario Argentina), 11 (1951), 168.
+ +
3. L. J. Mordell. On Ryleys solution of x 3 y 3 z3 = n. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,
17 (1942), 139144.
+ +
4. H. W. Richmond. On rational solutions of x 3 y 3 z3 = R. Proc. Edin
burgh Math. SOC.,(2) 2 (1930), 92100.
5 . B. Segre. A parametric solution of the indeterminate cubic equation za =
f ( x , y ) . J. Lond. Math. SOC.,18 (1943), 226233.
6. R. F. Whitehead. A rational parametric solution of the cubic indeterminate
equation za = f ( x , y ). J. Lond. Math. SOC.,19 (1944), 6871.
7. H. S. P. SwinnertonDyer.Two special cubic surfaces. Mathematika, 9 (1962),
5456.
8. L. J. Mordell. On the conjecture for the rational points on a cubic surface.
J . LO^. Math. SOC.,40 (1965), 149158.
9. J. W. S. Cassels and M. J. T. Guy. On the Hasse principle for cubic surfaces.
Mathematika, 13 (1966), 111120.
10. E. S. Selmer. Sufficient congruence conditions for the existence of rational
points on certain cubic surfaces. Math. Scand., 1 (1953), 113119.
CHAPTER 12
1. Only a few scattered results are known for the rational points on quartic
surfaces, and the first now given is due to Euler.
The equation
+ y4 = 24 + w4.
x4 (1)
Putx = at + c, y = bt  d, 2 = at + d, w = bt + c, wherea,b, c, dare
parameters. A quartic in t arises in which the coefficients of t4,t O are zero. The
coefficient of t will also be zero if
c(a3  b3) = d(a3 + b3).
Take c = a3 + b3, d = a3  b3.
Then 3t(a2  ba)(c2 da) = 2(ad3  ac3 + bc3 + bd3).
This gives, on ignoring the denominators,
x = a1 + a6b2  2a3b4 + 3aab5 + abe.
y = asb  3a5b2  k 4 b 3 + a2b6 + bl.
+ a6b2  2a3b4  3a2b6 + abe.
z = a7
w = aab + 3a6ba  2a4b3 + a2b6 + bl.
Very little is known about the more general equation
ax4 + by4 + cz4 + dw4 = 0, abcd # 0, (2)
Richmond has shown that if arational point P(xo,yo, zo, wo)is known, others
can be found if abcd is a perfect square. His proof depends upon geometrical
considerations, but we present the proof rather differently. This condition
implies that a rational line can be drawn through P to meet the surface Q in
three points at P, and so if the line does not lie on the surface, then Q, the
fourth point of intersection, will also be rational.
When xoyozowo= 0, the method does not give a new solution, and
Richmond tacitly assumes that xoyozowo# 0.
Let the line be
x
XO yyo 
2  2 0 wwwg
 t. (3)
1 = m n P
12. RATIONAL AND INTEGER POINTS ON QUARTIC SURFACES 91
Then
a(xo + It)' + b(yo + mt)4 + c(zo + nt)4 + d(wo + ~ 2 =)0. ~ (4)
This equation will have a triple root t = 0 if
+ by: + cz; + dwt = 0,
ax6
axtl + by3,m + czin + dw;p = 0, (5)
axil2 + by$m2 + czgn2 + dwip2 = 0.
Suppose first that wo = 0, xoyozo# 0.
Eliminating a, b, c from equation ( 5 ) we have
This curve contains the point (X, Y) = (2, 0). The inflexions on the cubic
are given by

a?  a Y + 2cu4  6cu4(uX  u) = 4cu4 2
axa  a = 3aY = 0
~2
Put 1=LX, +
''09 m = MY, + PY0,
 n = NZ, .
+ PZO
WO WO WO
Yo zo xo wo
This case has been dealt with.
Suppose finally that
a14 + bm4 + en4 + dp4 = 0.
On again eliminating a, b, c, d from this equation and (9,we have
4*
94 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
  222 t4  2 z
x = ya
2t
= .
t4  2
+2
2djG t4
12. RATIONAL AND INTEGER POINTS ON QUARTIC SURFACES
The equation
x4 + y4 + 24 = 2.
Put z = x + y, then
x4 + y4 + ( x + y)4 = 2,
2(x2 + xy + = 2, y2)2
x2+xy+y2= 1.
A parametric solution is given by putting y = 1  tx giving
x(l  t + t2) = 2t  1.
The solutions of (9), (10) and (11) below are due to Carmichaele.
3. The equation
x4 + ay4 + bz4 = w2.
New solutions can be found in general from a given solution (xl, y , , z,,wl).
The equation is satisfied by the assumption
x2 = X 2  a Y 2  bZa, y2 = 2XY, 'Z = 2XZ,
w = X 2 + a Y 2 + bZ2.
A solution of the first of these is given by
X = X: + uY: + bZ:, Y = 2X1Y1, Z = 2X1Z1,
x = X:  aY:  bZ:.
Then y2 = 4X1Yl(X: + a Y: + bZf),
Z2 = 4X,z,(X:+ U Y ? + b z f ) .
Theorem 1
The equation
z2 = u: k U2u3, (13)
where Ur = arx2+ h,xy + b,y2 + f r v + grx (r = 1, 2, 3), and the coejicients
are integers, has an injinity of integer solutions fi h:  4arb, > 0 and is not a
perfect square for either r = 2 or r = 3, and either U2 or U , is absolutely
irreducible.
We have from (13)
z + u %,, 4 ,,
zu,=u
l  4 P
where p , q are integers and (p, q) = 1. Then
Theorem 2
The equation
z2 = k2 + x2(ax2 + by2), abk # 0 (16)
has an injinity of integer solutions if either b > 0, or b < 0, b2 < 4ak2.
We have
Ap b
= 
6
t2
hq = S
2k A = (P,F).
Hence there will be an infinity of solutions for x , y if b(p2  aq2) > 0 and is
not a perfect square, i.e. if b(b2t4 4ak2) > 0 and is not a perfect square. This
is possible if b > 0 for an infinity of values of t, and also if b < 0 and
b2 < 4ak2 for t = 1.
The case b < 0, b2 > 4uk2 seems difficult.
Theorem lo
3 8 9 Qp
The equation
(x2 + a)(y2 + a) = (az2 + b2)2,
where a and b are integers, has integer solutions given by
x = bu + Cdv, y = bu  CdU, z =u = (X + y)/2b.
where c, dare any integers for which
a k b2 = c2d,
and the integers u and v satisfv the equation
f u 2  do2 = 1.
The equation with the plus sign has an infinity of solutions if d > 0 and is
not a perfect square. The equation with the minus sign may have an infinity of
98 DIOPHANT'INE EQUATIONS
where the a's and d are integers (and we may suppose that d > 0). It seems
difficult to find the integer solutions since no general criterion for solvability
exists. However, if aZ2< 0, the term a2,x2y2implies that y, say, is bounded
and then x and z are given by a quadratic equation. When one integer
solution (xo,yo, z,,) of (18) is known, an infinity can be found. This leads to
solutions (xo,y1,zl), ( x l , y1,z2), ( x l , y2, 4, (x2,y2, 4 etc. where from
a Pellian equation, y,, x l , y,, x 2 , . . . may each have an infinity of values.
For rational values of x , y , z, Mordell has proposed the
Conjecture
There exists in general an injinity of rational values for x, y , z.
Put x = X / Y, y = P / Q , z = Z / Q Y where X , Y, P, Q, Z are integers and
( X , Y ) = 1, (P,Q ) = 1.
Then
$ arsXryzrpaQas= dZ2,
r,a = o
12. RATIONAL AND INTEGER POINTS ON QUARTIC SURFACES 99
or
X2(~z2P2 + azlPQ + a2oQ2) + XY(a12P2 + a l l P Q + U10Q2)
+ Y 2 ( ~ o z P+2 aolPQ + ~ o o Q =~ )dZ2. (19)
Necessary and sufficient conditions can be imposed upon P, Q so that this
equation is solvable for X , Y, Z. Suppose for simplicity that a,, = all = a,,
= 0, and write the equation as
REFERENCES
+ +
1 . H. W. Richmond. On the diophantine equation F = ax4 by4 cz4 dw4 = +
0, the product abcd being a square number. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,19 (1944),
193194.
2. B. Segre. On arithmetical properties of quadratic and quartic surfaces. J. Lond.
Math. SOC.,19 (1944), 195200.
3. Morgan Ward. Eulers three biquadrate problem. Proc. Nut. Acad. Sci., 31
(1 943, 1251 27.
4. Morgan Ward. Eulers problem on sums of three fourth powers. Duke Math. J.,
15 (1948), 827837.
5 . L. J. Lander, T. R. Parkins, and J. L. Selfridge. A survey of equal sums of like
powers. Math. Cornp., 21 (1967), 446453.
6. R. D. Carmichael. Diophantine Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, New York
(1915), pp. 4 4 4 8 .
7. L. J. Mordell. On some ternary quartic diophantine equations. Elemente der
Mathernatik., 31 (1966), 8990.
8. H. C. Williams. A note on a diophantine problem. Unpublished.
9. A. Schinzel et W. Sierpinski. Sur lequation diophantienne ( x 2  1) ( y 2  1)
= ( ( b  ~ ) / 2 )  1). El. Math. 22 (1963), 3738.
10. K. Szymiczek. On a diophantine equation. El. Math. 22 (1967), 3738.
CHAPTER 13
The equation (8) has in addition to the three solutions given by c = 2, the
further solutions
x = 4t2  6t  1, V. = 4t2  2t  I , z = 4t2 + 4t  1;
and 2 7 , ~= 2(4t4  4f3  6t2 + 17t  2),
27y = 4(2t4  8 t 3 + 61' + 4t  13),
27: = 8t4 + 20t3  24t2  16t + 37.
By putting t = 1 + 9r,, we can reduce the denominators of x, y , z to 3.
102 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 2
The equation
ax3 + ay3 + bz3 = bc3, abc # 0, (9)
where a, 6, c are integers, has an infinity of integer solutions other than the
trivial ones x + y = 0, z = c.
The result is a simple consequence of the existence of the rational generator
+
x y = 0, z = c on the cubic surface defined by the equation (9).
Put z = c + t(x + y ) ,
where t is an arbitrary integer parameter. Then dividing out by x + y,
a(.?  xy + y 2 ) + 3bc2t + 3bct2(x + y ) + bt3(x + Y ) =~ 0.
Put x+y=u, xy=v.
Theorem 3
The equation
z2 = p 2 + Ix + my + ax3 + bx2y + cxy2 + dy3, (10)
where (1, m) = 1 , has an infinity of integer solutions.
By making a linear transformation, we may suppose that I = 1, m = 0.
If p = 0, solutions are given by x = 0, z2 = dy3.
I f p # 0, put x = 4p2X, y = 2pY, z = pZ. Then
Z2= 1 + 4X + 64ap4X3 + 32bp3X2Y + 16cp2XY2 + 8dpY3.
Put now 2 = + 2 X  2 X 2 , Z 2 = 1 + 4X  8 X 3 + 4 X 4 .
1
Then X4 = (2 + 16ap4)X3+ 8bp3X2Y + 4cp2XY2 + 2dpY3.
Solutions of this are given by putting Y = t X , t an integer parameter, since
then
X = 2dpt3 + . . . + 2 + 16ap4.
Similarly we can prove
Theorem 4
The equation
z3 = p 3 + Ix + nzy + a.v2 + bxy + cy2, (I, m) = 1 (1 1)
has an infinity of solutions.
A parametric solution is given by taking
1 = 1, m = 0, x = 3p2X, z =p + X, y = tX.
104 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem* 5
The equation
z2 = p 2 + Ix + my + ax2 + bxy + cy2 + Ax3 + Bx2y
+ Cxy2 + Dy3, p # 0, (12)
has an injinity of integer solutions ifp I (I, m), and if the equation
ax2 + bxy + cy2  (Ix + m ~ ) ~ / =4 p+ ~2 p ,
has an injinity of integer solutions.
This will be so if there is one solution, e.g. x = 0, y = 1, when m = 0,
c = + 2 p , and if
z = p + L1
 + s,
2P
2ps = L2   L?
*
4P2
Then z2 = p 2 +
+ L1 + 4P
L2
+ 2 p s + L1
P
S
+ s2.
By hypothesis there are an infinity of integer values for X , Y for which the
coefficient of t is one. Hence the theorem.
3. Even in the simplest case of the equation z2 = f ( x , y), namely,
za = ax3 + by3 + c, (13)
13. INTEGER SOLUTIONS OF CUBIC EQUATIONS IN THREE VARIABLES 105
very little is known. In special cases, solutions may be found. Thus if c =
( 4 ~ b d ~a )solution
~, is given by
x = up2, y = bq2, z = a2p3 + b2q3, pq = 2d2,
wherep, q are integers. This gives a finite number of solutions depending upon
the number of factors of d, and so equations can be constructed having at
least as many integer solutions as can be desired.
There are some cases where an infinity of integer solutions can be found, as
is shown in Chapter 14, for the equation
) ~ab2x3 + y 3 .
z 2  ( 2 7 ~ b c= (14)
Results may sometimes be found when a solution is known, occasionally
rather trivially as, for example, with
22 = x3 + y3  1.
Put x = I + w , y = 1  wand so z2 = 6w2 1. +
Hence there are an infinity of integer solutions with x y = 2. +
More generally let (x, y, z ) = ( p , q, r), r # 0 be a solution of equation (13).
+
Put x = p + t X , y = q t Y, where X , Y, t are integers.
Then
z2 = r 2 + 3(up2X + bq2Y)t + 3(upX2 + bqY2)t2+ ( a x 3 + bY3)t3.
z = r +  (up2X + bq2Y)t + kt2,
3
Put
2r
where k is an integer, and
2kr + 4r9
2 (ap2X + bq2Y)2= 3(upX2 + bqY2),
3k
and so k2t +7 (ap2X + b$Y) = aX3 + by3. (16)
It may happen that for suitable k , the quadratic equation (15) in X , Y may
have an infinity of solutions. Then t is determined by equation (16), and its
only possible denominator is a divisor of k2r. If an integer value of t arises,
equation (15) shows that z is an integer.
We apply these results to prove
TheoremD6
The equation
z 2 = (612 + 61  l ) x 3 + (612  61  l)y3 + 11  12f2, (17)
where I is an integer # O , has an injnity of integer solutions.
106 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 7
I f a nontricial solution exists, it can be derived from a fundamental solution
by a$nite number of elementary operations.
The cases b > 0 and b I 0 must be considered separately. Suppose first that
b > 0.
Theorem 8
I f (x,y , z ) is a fundamental solution of equation (19), then x2 + y2 < b
except when a = 1, b = 4, or a = 2, b = 1.
For either axy  z I 0 and then from (19), x2 y2 I + b, or
Write (19) as
108 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
(
2y2 1  
T)>b.
Theorem 9
I f a nontrioial solution exists, there will be an infinity of solutions except when
u = l , b = 2.
For the special cases a = 1, b = 2, i.e. x2 + y2 + z2  xyz = 2, there
exists only one fundamental solution, namely (1, 1 , l), since only for this is
x2 + y2 5 2. The elementary operations produce only the further solutions
s u c h a s ( k 1 , k l , O ) , ( l ,  l , O ) , ( l , 1, 1).
We shall now show that a solution can be found with a height greater than
that of a given solution. We consider in order the cases a > 2; a = 2, b = 1 ;
a = 2 , b > 1;a= 1,b>2.
a > 2
If a nontrivial solution exists, there will be a solution (x, y, z ) with
x 5 y I z. Then ( y , z, ayz  x ) is a solution of greater height since ayz 
x > x from yz > x.
The infinity of solutions is also obvious from a Pel1 equation in two of the
variables.
a=2,b=l
There are solutions ( I , y , y ) with infinitely many fundamental solutions.
a=2,b>l
13. INTEGER SOLUTIONS OF CUBIC EQUATIONS IN THREE VARIABLES 109
Since (1, 1, I) is not a solution, at least one of x, y , z exceeds 1, say z 2 2.
Then ayz  x > x as before since yz 2 2x.
~ = l , b > 2
Since ( 1 , 1, 1 ) is not a solution, we may suppose that z 2 2 in a fundamental
solution (x, y , z). The cases ( I , 1, 2), (1,2, 2), (2, 2,2) are the only possible
ones with z I2. If either (1, 1, 2) or (2, 2 , 2 ) is a fundamental solution, b = 4,
and it has been shown that then there are an infinity of solutions. For the
solution (1,2,2), and those with z > 2, we have as before uyz  x > x etc.
Trial of the possible fundamental solutions of equation (19) seems to be the
only method for determining whether (19) is solvable. A necessary condition
is that if b = 3 (mod 4), then a = 0 (mod 4). This follows from the con
gruence
x2 + y2 + z2  axyz E 3 (mod 4).
This is impossible if any of the x, y, z are even. Hence
x =y =z = 1 (mod 2), axyz E 0 (mod 4), a = 0 (mod 4).
Suppose next that b I0, say b = c. Then from equation (19)
z(axy  32) I c.
Two cases arise according as axy  3z > 0 and then x Iy I z I c, and
such values can be found by trial, or axy  32 I 0.
Then from equation (21),
3uxy Iz I faxy,
2yy1  +Zx) 2 c.
Suppose first x < 3 / a and so a = I , x = 1 , 2 or a = 2, x = 1.
These values are impossible since they make the lefthand side of equation
(19) positive. Hence
x 2 3/a, 2y2(4u2x2  1) I c,
and so if c # 0, x, y , z are bounded and the fundamental solutions are easily
found by trial.
If c = 0, then x = 3/a and so a = 3 or 1.
If a = 3, x = 1 and then y I z I +y. But
0 = 1 + +
y2 22  3yz I 1 + + $y2  3y2.
y2
REFERENCES
1 . J. C. P. Miller and M. F. C. Woolett. Solutions of the diophantine equation
+
x3 y 3 + z3 = k . J . LO^. Math. SOC., 28 (1955), 500510.
2. L. J. Mordell. On sums of three cubes. J. Lond. Math. Soc., 17 (1942), 139144.
3. B. Segre. On the rational solutions of homogeneous cubic equations in four
variables. Mathematicue Notae (Rosario, Argentina), 11 (1951), 168.
+ +
4. L. J. Mordell. On the infinity of integer solutions of ax3 ay3 bz3 = bc3.
J. Land. Math. SOC., 30 (1955), 1 1 11 13.
+
5. D. H. Lehmer. On the diophantine equation x3 + y 3 z3 = 1 . J. Lond.
Math. SOC.,31 (1956), 275280.
6. A. Hurwitz. Uber die Darstellung der ganzen Zahlen als Summen von den
Potenzen ganzer Zahlen. Math. Annufen., 65 (1908), 424427; also in Math.
Werke (BirkhauserCie, Basel), 2 (1933), 421426.
7. L. J. Mordell. On cubic equations z2 = f ( x , y) with an infinity of integer
solutions. Proc. Am. Math. SOC.,3 (1952), 210217.
8. L. J. Mordell. Note on cubic diophantine equations z2 = f ( x , y) with an
infinity of integer solutions. J. L o r d Math. SOC.,17 (1942), 199203.
9. A. Hurwitz. Uber eine Aufgabe der unbestimmten Analysis. Archiu der
Math. und Phys., 3 (14) (1907), 185196; also Math. Werke (BirkhauserCie,
Basel), 2 (1933), 410421.
+ + +
10. L. J. Mordell. On integer solutions of the equation x2 y 2 z2 2xyz = n.
J. Lond. Math. Soc., 28 (1953), 500510.
1 1 . H. Schwartz and H. T. Muhly. On a class of cubic diophantine equations.
J . Lond. Math. SOC.,32 (1957), 379383.
12. A. A. Markoff. Sur les formes quadratiques binaires indkfinies. Math. Ann., 15
(1879), 381409.
13. J. W. S. Cassels. An Introduction to Diophantine Approximation.
Cambridge University Press (1957).
CHAPTER 14
where the a are rational numbers. Many of these results are classical and are
due to Euler and Lagrange.
The equation
ax2 + by2 = cz", (1)
where a, b, and c are integers.
Suppose first that n is odd. Consider the classical case when c = 1.
Some integer solutions may be found by putting
z = up2 + bq2,
where p and q are arbitrary integers, and taking
xda + yd6 = ( p d a + qdb)",
The equation
112 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
w = n ( p + qe + rez),
e
The equation
Z2 = ax3 + bx2y + cxy2 + dy3, (3)
where a, b, c, dare rational numbers.
All the rational solutions are given at once by putting x = pz, y = qz
where p and q are arbitrary rational numbers. Finding the integer solutions
is a different matter. However, as shown by Lagrange, some integer solutions
are found without much difficulty when a, b, c, d are integers and a = 1. Let
0 = B,, Oz, O3 be roots of the equation, reducible or irreducible,
t3 + bt2 + ct + d = 0.
Write z2 = ( x  e,y)(x  8zy)(x  03Y),
and x  ty = ( p + qt + rt2)2, t = d,, 02, 8,,
Theorem 1
The equation
y2  ax2 = z3 + bz + c, (4)
where a # 0, and b, c are rational, has a two parameter rational solution.
Let O = 01, O,, O3 be the roots of the equation
t3 + bt + c = 0.
Put y xd/a = n e
( p + 982 (r + s g d i ) ,
P =
bq2 + as2 1  cq2
r=,
29 24lS
Theorem 2
The equation
z 3 = ax2 + by2 + c (5)
has an injinity of integer solutions f a , b, c are odd integers, (a, b) = 1, and if
when a = 0 (mod 7), c f b3 (mod 7 ) ,or when b = 0 (mod 7), c f u3 (mod 7)
and so ifab = 0 (mod 7), it sufices if c f i1 (mod 7).
114 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
x d i +y d Z = n ( X , d i + YJmb).
3
r=l
Theorem 3
The equation
z2  ( 2 7 ~ b d=
) ~ab2x3 + y3, ab # 0, (8)
where a, b, d a r e integers, has an injnity of integer solutions.
Consider the equation
z2  k2 = ab(x3 + cy3), abc # 0, (9)
Denote by f3 = B,, 02, O3 the roots of t 3 = c. Take
z+k = an ( p + q6' + r02),
e
(10)
z k = bn + qlB + r102),
(p1
R
Also in equation (14), s and z will be integers if br2/a and b2r3/aare integers.
Take nowp = 3bX, q = Y, r = 3aZ, k = 27ab2d. Then x and z are integers
and x 3 0 (mod b), z E 0 (mod 6).
Replacing x and z by bx, bz, equation (17) becomes
z2  ( 2 7 ~ b d )=
~ abax3 y3. + (18)
Also equation (16) becomes
2d = b X 3 + 2aZ3  X Y Z .
This equation is of the first degree in Y and has an infinity of integer solutions
as will be noted in Chapter 30,
3. Simple algebraic considerations sometimes suffice to find the solutions of
an equation in a given algebraic number field K. Consider the equation
f(x,y) = 0 in the field K = Q ( t ) defined by an irreducible equation F(t) =
0 of degree n.
Then x = xo + x,t + +
' . * x ,  p l = x(t>,
y = yo + y,l +  + y,ltnl
* * = yo),
Theorem 4
When K is a quadratic field, the only nonrational solutions of the equation
x4 + y4 = 1 are given by
K = Q(i), x = fi, y = 0, x = 0, y = ki,
& a  .?2I 
 e2a  1.
When K is a cubic field, then the only solutions, except for rational ones,
are given by
y = +i+ tX, x4 + ( i  1 + t 4 4 = 1,
(20)
or x = f 1 + ty, y4 + (It 1 + ty)4 = 1.
where t is a rational parameter.
14. SIMPLE ALGEBRAIC CONSIDERATIONS 117
For the tirst part. on putting I  .P = ty2, we obtain the parametric
solution,
I  t2
 = 2t

x2 =
1 + t2
42
1 + 12
and so t is in K. Write
x = (1 + t2)xy, Y =+ ty.
(1
Hence == (2  b,), a2 + bf = 4,
F(z) = Z + 2 + 2, t =
1 + d7 K = Q(2/7),
2
and then the values for x, y.
It is easily shown that the other five possibilities do not lead to a solution.
Similar Considerations apply to the proof of the results for a cubic field.
5+
118 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
p1 = bqk/d,, 41 = UPk/d,.
and (33) becomes L = ubk2/dl + c/d.
Since ubL and ubld, are integers, d I ubc. Then we have (23) and (24).
Suppose next that I = 1 giving case (B). Then from (33),
2 L ~ b= +(ab
z+I:( k) + 7.
2ubc
120 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
The first term on the right is an integer a n d so d 1 2abc. We now have (25)
and (26).
This finishes the proof.
Finally, we notice some results by Fjellstedt' on the solvability in a
quadratic field Q(dm), m > 0 of equations of the form x 2  ciy2 = /I
where a,/3 are integers in the field Q ( d G )H.e discusses the cases /3 = 1
by methods due to Nagell but his paper contains many misprints. He gives
many references.
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. A rational parametric solution of z2  k = ax3 + bx2y +
cxy2 + dy3. J . Lond. Math. Soc., 18 (1943), 222226.
2. L. J. Mordell. Note on cubic equations in three variables with an infinity of
integer solutions. Ann. Mat. Pura Appl., IV., 29 (1949), 301305.
3. L. J. Mordell. The congruence ax3 + by3 + c = 0 (mod xy), and integer
solutions of cubic equations in three variables. Acta Mathernatica, 88 (1952),
7783.
4. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation x4 + y4 = 1 in algebraic number
fields. Acta Arith., 14 (1968), 347355.
5. A. Aigner. Uber die Moglichkeit von x4 + y4 = z4 in quadratische Korper.
Jahresbericht der deutschen Math. Verein., 43 (1934), 226228
6. D. K. Fadeev. Group of divisor classes on the curve defined by the equation
x4 + y4 = 1. American Math. SOC.Trans. Soviet Maths. Dokl., 1 (1960), 1149
1151.
7. L. J. Mordell. The integer solutions of the equation ax2 + b y 2 + c = 0 in
quadratic fields. Bull. Lond. Marh. Soc., 1 (1969), 4344.
8. L. Fjellstedt. On a class of diophantine equations of the second degree in
imaginary quadratic fields. Ark. Mat., 2 (1954), 435461.
CHAPTER 15
1. A great many results have been found by applying this theory, and many
of the most important results in Diophantine analysis have been proved in
this way. Let K = Q(8) be an algebraic number field defined by a number 8
given as a root of an irreducible equation of degree n with rational integer
coefficients and leading coefficient unity. Then every integer w in K can be
expressed in the form
W = XlW, + .. + xp,,
where the x are rational integers and the w are a basis of the integers. The
integers of the form
= xo + x , +~ . . . + x,lenl
form a ring Z[O],say.
A unit 7 in K or Z[O] is an integer divisor of unity and so N ( 7 ) = & 1. All
the units are given by Dirichlet's
Theorem 1
Suppose that K has rl real conjugate fields and r2pairs of conjugate imaginary
+
fields. Write r = rl r2  1. Then every unit 7 in the field K can be expressed
in the form
t t
rl = 7:7:...7:,
where qo is a root of unity in the field, ql,7 2 ,. . . , yr are the so called funda
mental units, and the t take all integer values, positive, negative or zero.
An obvious consequence is that if I is a given integer, all the units can be
expressed in the form
7 = tot',
where to,5 are units and tobelongs to a finite set.
Similar results hold for the units in the ring 2 [ O ] . This Theorem 1 and the
next are of the greatest importance in the applications.
Theorem 2
The number h of ideal classes in K is finite. I f a is any ideal in K , then
ah = (PI,
where P is an integer in K. I f a' is a principal ideal and ( I , h) = 1, then a is a
principal ideal (a).
122 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
These theorems are easily applied. There are others which require more
detailed arithmetical knowledge, such as the properties of K considered as an
extension of a field k, and in particular a study of the relative discriminant.
Sometimes the application of the reciprocity laws in the fields proves useful.
The proof of theorems often depends upon intricate numerical calculations.
We recall the results when K is a quadratic field, say K = Q(d/d), where d
is a square free integer.
Two cases arise:
I. d = 2 , 3 (mod 4). Then the integers are given by x = x 1 x2d/d,where+
x l , x2 are rational integers. Also x is a unit if x:  dxi = f 1, and this is the
Pel1 equation.
11. d = 1 (mod4). The integers are given by x = x 1 + x2(1 +
dd)/2, and
x is a unit if
X : + ~ 1 x 2+ a(l  d)x: = f 1.
Then all units 7 are given by 7 = k 5" where 5 is a fundamental unit and n
takes all integer values.
If d < 0, the only units are f 1, except that when d =  1, there are four
units given by i n ,n = 0, 1, 2, 3, i.e. f 1, f i, and that when d =  3, there are
six units f pn, n = 0, 1, 2, where p = ( 1 + d 2 ) / 2 ,i.e.
f l , f(1 + d 3 ) / 2 ,f (  1  dr3)/2.
2. Many important Diophantine equations are particular cases of the equa
tion
X Y = CZ',
where X , Y, Z are integers in K and c is a given integer in K. The solution of
this depends upon ideal theory. Denote by h the number of classes of ideals.
We commence with the case h = 1, and then and only then does unique
factorization exist for the integers in K . We suppose that the common divisors
of X , Y belong to a finite set, and then there is no loss of generality in
supposing that ( X , Y ) = 1. We have now
X = 5,c1P', Y = 52~2Q', Z = t3c3PQ,
where 5152 = 5;, C l C 2 = cc$.
Here C1, t2,5, are units, cl, c2, c3 are algebraic integers, each trio being taken
from a finite set, and P, Q are arbitrary algebraic integers with (P, Q ) = 1.
We consider some applications in the simpler Euclidean fields, namely
Q(0, Q ( C 2 ) , Q(d3).
Thefield Q(i)
The equation
x2 + y2 = ZI, I > 1,
where x , y are rational integers, ( x , y ) = 1 and z > 0.
15. APPLICATIONS OF ALGEBRAIC NUMBER THEORY 123
Here (x + iy)(x  iy) = zI.
+
Write d = (x iy, x  iy). Then d I (2x, 2y) and so d I 2, and d = 1, 1 + i, 2.
If d = 2, x = y = 0 (mod 2). If d = 1 + i,
x
=
+ iy x + y + i(x + y )
2
9
I + i
is an integer and so x = y (mod 2 ) ; but then ZI = 2 (mod 4), and this is
impossible. Hence d = 1 and so
x + iy = 'i (a + ib)I, x  iy = ( ijr(u  ib)I, r = 0, 1, 2, 3,
z = 2 + b2,
where a, b are rational integers.
In particular, for the equation
1 + y2 = 21,
a and b must satisfy the equation
& 2 = ir(a + ib)' + ( i)'(a  ib)l.
We prove that when I = 3, the only solution is y = 0.
Since i = ( i)3, the i' can be absorbed in (a ib)3, hence +
+1
 = a3  3ab2 = a(a2  3b2),
andsou= ? I , b = O , z = I,y=O.
We prove that when I = 4, the only solution is y = 0.
Here 1 + iy = &(a + ib)4 or ? i(a + ib)4,
The first gives
+ 1 = a4  626' + b4 = (a2  b2 + 2ab)(a2  b2  2ab),
and so
a2  b2 + 2ab = tl, a2  b2  2ab = +1, T l ,
giving a = & 1, b = 0 or a = 0, b = f 1.
The second gives
&1 = 4 2 6  4ab3,
and is impossible.
It will be shown in Chapter 30 that, for all I, the only solution is y = 0.
The equation
y2 +4 = 13,
If y is odd, we have
2 + iy = (a + ib)3,
2 = a(ua  3b2),
givinga = 2,b = 1,z = 5 ; o r a =  1 , b = l , z = 2,andanevenvaluefory.
If y is even, put y = 2 Y, z = 22, and so
~2 + I = 223.
Then Y is odd and since ( Y + i, Y  i ) = 1 + i,
then 1 + iY = (1 + i)(u + ib)3,
and 1 = u3  3a2b  3ab2 + b3,
= (a + b)(aa  4ab + b2).
The field Q ( G 2 )
The equation y 2 + 2 = x3 has only the integer solutions x = 3, y = & 2.
Clearly x f 0 (mod 2), and so
y + d x = (a + b d  ) 3 , x = a2 + 2b2,
where a, b are integers. Hence
1 = b (3a2  2b2),
and so b = 1, a = f 1, x = 3.
The result is due to Fermat.
Thefield Q( dr3)
The application of this field, say Q(p), where p2 p + +
1 = 0, is of great
importance in the discussion of many cubic equations, and in particular of
equations of the form
+
x3 y3 = az3.
This equation has attracted the attention of many mathematicians over a
period of years as can be seen from the second volume of Dicksons History
of the Theory of Numbers.
We give a brief rCsumC, sufficient for our applications, of the arithmetical
properties of the field, and for which one may consult Bachmann and
Marshall Hall, Jr.2
15. APPLICATIONS OF ALGEBRAIC NUMBER THEORY 125
The integers in the field are given by a t bp where a and b are rational
integers and the units by k p", n = 0, I , 2 . The primes are:
I. the rational primes q =  I (mod 3),
11. the factors x = a + bp, x1 = a + bp2 of p = xnl = a2  ab + b2,
wherep is a prime = 1 (mod 3).
111. the prime h = 1  p where h2 = 3p.
+
We define a primary integer x py as one with x = 1, y = 0 (mod 3), and
+
then each integer a bp has a unique primary associate x y p given by +
+
a bp = k p"(x + yp), n = 0, 1, 2. The primary integers form a subgroup.
We require some results on cubic residues. There are N(n) = p residues
mod x , and so these can be taken as 0, I , . . ., p  1. If a is any integer
$ 0 (mod x ) in Q(p), then
aN(n)l = 1 (mod x),
and so a(P1)13  pt
= (mod x), t = 0, I , 2.
Then the cubic character of c( (mod n) is defined by
The cubic law of reciprocity states that if x , x' are two primary primes, then
This also holds when n' = 4. There is the supplementary law,
(;)3= pb'3.
(52)3 = (3(3, =
b
= a, y = 0 (mod 2 ) . Also
= 661, and
b 3 0 (mod 3), and so
(3 = 1 if and only if
p = a2  6abl + 366: = +
(a  3 b 1 ) ~ 276:.
52
126 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Lemma
vq is a prime = 2, 5 (mod 9), then p is not a cubic residue of q, i.e. x3 =
p (mod q) is not solvable.
Write q = 3r + 2, and suppose x3 = p (mod q ) is solvable. Then
 I
XN(q)l = = X(3rt1)(3rt3) = 1(
x42l
 1, mod q),
and so p(3r+ 1 X r t 1 ) = 1, pTtl = l(modq), p r t l = 1.
Theorem 3
Let a = p or p2, where p = 2, 5 (mod 9 ) is a prime, and let E be a unit in
Q(p). Then the equation
x3 + y 3 + caz3 = 0,
has no solutions (x,y , z , c) in thefield Q(p) except
z=o, x = y, PY, p2.YY,
unless a = 2, when there are also the solutions
X3 = y 3 =  &Z3, E = & 1.
Also a + +y = 0, ..
aB2:
+ Ea (g)3 = 0.
15. APPLICATIONS OF ALGEBRAIC NUMBER THEORY 127
Here .IS, P / S , y/S are relatively prime in pairs since their sum is zero. Hence if
a is a factor, say, of y/S,
where el, e2, c3 are units and xl, y,, z1 are integers in Q(p). Also x l y l z l # 0 as
otherwise z = 0. Hence
.,x: + E2y; + e3az; = 0,
or say, x; 72y; +
73az; = 0, +
where vz, v3 are units. Now y l is prime to a as otherwise x1 = 0 (modp).
Hence T~ is a cubic residue o f p and so v2 = k 1. Then
x: f y; + v3az; = 0,
*
i.e. an equation of the same type as the original one.
Also N ( ~ y z <) ~N ( ~ ~ y , z =
, )N
~ (s3a) = N (f)3*
hence, 1 3 N(Sxy),
and so x, y , S are units and x3 = k 1, y 3 = k 1.
If a > 2, then z = 0 and the only solutions are those with xyz = 0. If a = 2
there is now also a solution x3 = y 3 = z3, E = f 1. These and x3 + y 3
= 0, z = 0 are the only solutions.
It has also been long known that there are a number of other values of a for
which the equation
x3 y 3 = az3 +
+
has no rational solutions except x y = 0, z = 0. Let p = 5 (mod IS),
q = 11 (mod 18) be primes, and s o p and q are primes i n Q(p). Then there are
no rational solutions except z = 0 when
a = P,2P, 9P, P 2 , 9P2, 4P2,P4, PIP: >
Clearly z1 $ 0 (mod 3), and so z? = k 1 (mod 9), xy = & 5 (mod 9), and
this is impossible.
111. u = x;, u = py:, u  0 = 9z;.
Here x:  py: = 9z;.
This is the same as 11.
IV. li = x;, u = 9py7, u  v = z;.
Theorem 4
+ +
The equation x3 y 3 z 3 = 0 has no solutions in Q(p) except those given
by X ~ =
Z 0.
We may suppose that x, y , z are integers and (x, y ) = 1, etc. Write
A = 1  p so that A is a prime and
3 = (1  p)(l  pz) = A2(1 + p) = A2p2, and A2 = 3p.
We prove first that xyz = 0 (mod A). For suppose that xyz f 0 (mod A).
Put with rational integers a and b,
+ bp = a + b(l  A) = a + b (mod A).
x = a
Since x $ 0 (mod A), a + b E k 1 (mod 3), x3 = f 1 (mod 3A). Then
x3 + y 3 + z 3 = f 1, f 3 (mod 3 4 $ 0 (mod 3A).
The next stage is to show that if the equation is solvable for an exponent n
it is also solvable for n  1, and so for n = 1. Since z $ 0 (mod A), this
+
contradicts x3 y 3 = 0 (mod A4).
Write (x + y)(x + py)(x + p2y) = 17A3=Z3.
Then one and so all of the three factors must be divisible by A, since x + y =
x + +py hy etc. Also only one of them can be divisible by a power of A
greater than one. On writing y for py or p2y, if need be, we may suppose that
x + y = 71A3n2z;, x + py = T ~ A Y ; , x + p2y = q3Ax;,
where rll, 7 2 ,173 are units, ( x l y l , 4 = 1, (xl, y , , zl) = 1, x l y l z l = z # 0.
Multiply by p, p2, 1 and add. Then
or x; + 5,y; = 5 h 3 n  3 z : ,
where 5, t1 are units. Then as n > 1,
x: + C1y: = 0 (mod X3).
Since ( x l y l , A) = 1, x: = & 1 (mod A2), y; F & 1 (mod h2),
and so 5, = 5 1 (mod h2), and t1 = & 1.
Hence we have a similar equation with n  1 in place of n. This concludes the
proof.
There are applications of the field Q ( d 3to
) some equations of the form
ax3 + by3 + cz3  dxyz = 0 (x, y, z ) = 1. (1)
Such equations also occur in the discussion of the integer solutions of the
simultaneous equations
X + Y+Z=dW, (2)
XYZ = eW3, (3)
Thus equation (3) leads to
X = ax3, Y = by3, Z = CZ~, W = XYZ,
where abc =e is some factorization of e and so (1) follows from (2).
15. APPLICATIONS OF ALGEBRAIC NUMBER THEORY 131
It is very difficult to prove the nonexistence of integer solutions of the
general equation (1). Sometimes progress can be made with the special case
a = 6, and in particular with
= (43  cp3)z3.
Suppose first that d = 0 (mod 3). Then we take p = 3, q = d, and
X = +
3 ( p ~ p2y) + dz, Y = 3(p2x + py) + dz,
(7)
Z = + + dz.
3 ( ~ y)
Then X + Y + 2 = 3dz,
XYZ = Az3,
where A = d3  2 7 ~ .
Here X , Yare integers in Q ( d r 3 ) , and Z is a rational integer # O from equa
tion (9). Write 6 = ( X , Y, Z).Then from equation (7), since 6 I p2X p Y Z + +
etc.
S I 9x, 9y, 3dz,
and so we may take 6 = 1, d r 3 , 3 . We cannot have 6 = 43.
For then z = 0 (mod d3), z = 0 (mod 3) and 3 I 6.
On replacing X by 3"X etc., z by 3 a ~ cc, = 0, 1, we may suppose that
equations (S), (9) hold and that ( X , Y, 2 ) = 1. This is obvious when cc = 0.
When cc = 1, equation (7) becomes
X = p~ + p2y + dz, Y = p2s + py + dz, Z = x + y + dz.
I32 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
321 = Xi + Y1 + z1.
Then x1y:' + YlZ? + ZlX:' = XlYlZl.
where cl, c2 are a finite set of integers in K with clcz = c, (cl, c2) = I , and
tl, t2,t3 belong to a finite set of units with t1t2= (k. Also the algebraic
integers P, Q satisfy the condition (clP, c,Q) = 1.
The simplest application is to the equation
y2 = x3 + k.
and full details are given in Chapter 26. A simple case may be given here. We
suppose that h(Q(dt/k))f 0 (mod 3), d = 2, 3 (mod 4) and is square free.
Then s $ 0 (mod 2), and from
(y + .\/k)(y  dk)= 2.
we deduce with rational integers a, b,
y + dk = &(a+ bdk)3,
where E = 1, 7 , 7  l where 17 is the fundamental unit in the field, i.e.
7 = T + Udk, T2 kU2 = ? 1.
We now have binary cubics in a, b which require further discussion.
The real difficulty with the equation
XY = CF, ( X , Y ) = 1,
arises when h is not prime to 1. Suppose for simplicity that h 1 I. Then
(X) = qcc:, (Y) = r&,
refers to all the ideal factorizations of c. Since ( X ) and a: are principal ideals,
r l , c2 must be principal ideals. Hence solutions can occur only for factoriza
tions of c not involving ideal factors. It may happen that only (c) = rl need be
considered. This also arises sometimes when ( X , Y ) # 1. We may then de
L ~ a l is an ideal and if I = h the equation is
duce an equation (A') = L L ~ Cwhere
impossible if dl is not a principal ideal.
An application is given in Chapter 26 to the equation
y 2 = x3 +k
when k = 1 (mod S), k < 0,k #  7 , h(Q(&)) = 3, e.g., whenk = 31.
We now give an application to a cubic field.
136 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 5
The equation x3 + dy3 = 3z3, where d is square free, d = L 2, f4 (mod 9),
and h ( Q ( f i ) ) = 3, has no rational solutions if 3 = c3 and the ideal G is not
principal.
We require some results on the cubic field Q(0) where = d. The integers
have the form a + be + cB2 where a, b, c are rational integers. Also (3) = z3
is given by (3) = (3, Vd 5 1)3 or (3, vz
f 1)3 according as d = f 2 or
5 4 (mod 9).
We may suppose that x, y , z are integers and that (x, y ) = 1 and so
( y , z ) = 1. We prove that (z, 3) = 1 .
I f 3 I z, x3 + dy3 E 0 (mod 9).
Since 3 y , y 3 = k 1 (mod 9), and x3 rt d E 0 (mod 9), which is impossible.
Write (x + ey)(x2  exy + e2p) = 3z3.
Theorem 6
The solution of X Y = cZ1,where ( X , Y ) I 8 where 6 is a given ideal, has the
form
X = AClP', Y = pCZQ', Z =V ~ ~ P Q ,
where P , Q are arbitrary integers in K, and tl, la, t3 are units, A, p, v are
numbers in K not necessarily integers, all six being taken from a finite set and
such that
XPi152 = 6V'G.
where S1, 6, are elements of a finite set of ideals all of whose prime ideal
divisors divide 6 and where (c) = r 1 r 2 is an ideal factorization of c.
There are only a finite number of classes of ideals, say those typified by
al, a2,. . ., a,,.
Let the inverse class of a be typified by a'.Then aa'= (P)
15. APPLICATIONSOF ALGEBRAIC NUMBER THEORY 137
where P is an integer. Hence a  ' ( X ) = 6,c,(P)' and so S 1 c , / a  I = ( A ) is a
principal ideal. Hence
( X ) = (A)(P)', x = AtP',
where 5 is a unit. Since 5 = 5,5: where 5, takes only a finite number of
values, we have the theorem. Also A is one of a finite set of numbers in K .
+
An application to the equation y 2 = x 3 k will be given in Chapter 26.
There are obvious extensions to the solution of the more general equation
x,x,.. . x, = CZ',
where we suppose now that
(X,, X,) I 67,s ( r , s = 1, 2 , . . ., n, r f 8.)
REFERENCES
1 . P. Bachmann. "Die Lehre von der Kreistheilung". B. G. Teubner, Leipzig
(1872), pp. 185199 and 220224.
2. Marshall Hall, Jr. Some equations y 2 = x 3  k without integer solutions.
J. Lond. Math. Soc., 38 (1953), 381.
3. M. Ward. The vanishing of the homogeneous product sum of the roots of a
cubic. Duke Math. J., 26 (1952), 553562.
4. G . Sansone and J. W. S. Cassels. Sur le probleme de M. Werner Mnich. Acta
Arith., 7 (1962), 187190.
CHAPTER 16
1. Theorem 1
AN the rational points of a cubic curve f ( x , y , z ) = 0 of genus one, can be
found from a finite number by the chord and tangent process.
A sketch is given of the original proof by Mordelll. It may be supposed that
there are an infinity of solutions, as otherwise there is nothing to prove. We
show first that the problem is equivalent to that of finding the integer solu
tions in x, y , z of an equation with integer coefficients.
ax4 + bx3y + cx2y2 + dxy3 + ey4 = z2. (1)
Let (x, y, z) be a rational solution of f ( x , y , z ) = 0; a solution with z = 0
may be considered trivial, and so we may suppose z # 0. Put
x = XZ + X, y = yZ + Y, z = ZZ.
Then S1Z2 + s,z + s, = 0, (2)
where S1,S,, S3 are homogeneous functions in X , Y of degrees one, two,
three. Since the curve is of genus one, S, # 0. Hence
2s1z = S2 (q  4s1s3)12.
Here S,  4S1S3 is a homogeneous binary quartic in X , Y which becomes a
perfect square for values of X, Y given by S, = 0. This square cannot be zero
for then S, = 0, S, = 0, and so a linear factor would divide out in equation
(2). Hence by a linear transformation on X, Y, we are led to an equation (1)
in which a is a perfect square # O . By a further transformation, we have now
the problem of finding the solution in integers x, y , z where (x, y ) = 1 of an
equation, say,
x4 + bx3y + cx2y2 + dxy3 + ey4 = f z 2 , (3)
where b, c, d, e, f are integers.
Let the algebraic integer 0 be defined by
O4 + be3 + cd2 + dd + e = 0. (4)
Write equation (3) as
( x  ey)(x3 + ( e + b)xay + . . .) = fz2.
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A CUBIC CURVE.~(SJ,:) = 0 OF GENUS ONE 139
The common ideal factors of the two factors on the lefthand side are finite in
number. Hencc from the general result of Theorem 4, Chapter 15,
s  fly = pT2/m, (5)
where p is one of a finite set of integers in Q(8), and m is one of a finite set of
rational integers, and
T =p + qe + + s~3,
Theorem 2
There exists a jinite set S of rational points P1,Pa, . . . , P, on the cubic curue
y2 = 4x3  g,x  g3, (7)
such that all the rationalpoints on the curve can be derivedfrom the P by rational
processes.
This is given by taking the point where the tangent at P1 meets the
curve again, and the point P1,2where the line joining P1,P2 meets the curve
again, adding these points to the set S, and then proceeding similarly with all
the points of the enlarged set.
On replacing x, y by x/4, y/4, the equation (7) takes the form
y2 = x3  h2x  h3. (8)
We may suppose that h2 and h3 are integers, for if h2 = H 2 / H , h3 = H 3 / H ,
it suffices to replace x, y by x / H 2 , y / H 3 .
Since the curve is of genus one, the equation
x3  h2x  h3 = (x  el)(x  e2)(x  e3) = 0
does not have equal roots. The equation can be considered as defining cubic
fields K = Q(e), (e = el, e,, e3), reducible or irreducible.
We require the coordinates of the points P1,2,Pl,l. Let e denote any of
el, e2, e3. We prove that PlS2is given by
+ yx2 
2
.
Hence x3  h,x  h3
(
= y1
x1
(x  X I ) )
X3 + H1X2 + H2X = ( y , + Y2
x2
 y1
 Xl
(X  XI,).. (1 1)
Another form for Xla follows from equation (10). This gives
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A C U B I C C U R V E ~ ( X , Y , Z =
) 0 OF GENUS O N E 141
This can be written as
Theorem 3
The nuinbers of the jomr .\  ci ( e = el,e2, e3), iikm norins are ralional
squares, belong to only ajinite number of classes.
142 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 4
U P , , P2 belong to the classes C,, C,, then P1 + P2 belongs to the class C,C,.
This is obvious from equation (9).
Theorem 5
The point P2 = 2P1 belongs to the principal class, i.e. x2  e = v2, where v is
in Q(e).
This is obvious from equation (14).
The converse of this theorem is given by
Theorem 6
I f P , belongs to the principal class, there exists a rational point P, such that
Pz = 2P,.
Let x2  e = ( A + Be + Ce)), (15)
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A CUBIC CURVE f(.u,y,z) = 0 OF GENUS ONE 143
where A , B, C are rational numbers. This holds for e = el, e,, e3. On multi
plying out, replacing e3 by h2e + h3, and e4 by h2e2 h3e, and equating +
coefficients of I , e, c2 on both sides,
+A' 2BCh3 = x2,
2AB + 2BCh2 + C2h3 =  1, (16)
B 2 + 2AC + C2h2 = 0.
On eliminating A from the second and third equations,
B 3  h,BC2  h3C3 = C,
(:I3
we have
or as C # 0,
1 =  h, (g)  h3
Write 1jC = y,, BjC = .xl. Then xl, y , is a rational solution of
y21  X;  h2x  h3. (17)
The third equation in (16) gives 2Ay1 + x: 3 h2 = 0. Then substituting
for A , B, C ,
A+Be+Ce 
,
 xf  h,
+ x1
e +   ,e2
2Yl Y1 Y1
and so from equations (15), (14), x2 = x l , and so P2 = 2P,.
Theorem 7
UP,,P2 belong to the same class, then
Pi + P2 = 2P3,
where P3 is also a rational point.
This is obvious from Theorems 4 and 6, since Pl + P, belongs to the
principal class.
Theorem 8
All the rationalpoints on the curre y 2 = s3  h,x  h, can be obtained from
a finite number by the addition process.
We distribute all the rational points into classes putting in the same class all
those points for which x  e belongs to a given class as previously defined.
From Theorem 3, the rational points then fall into a finite number of classes,
and these may be represented by the points
Al(x1, Y AAdx2, ~ 2 1 ,. . .? An(xn7 Yn).
_
X  (ax  h2c2z2)(c2x+ az2)  2h3c4z2 2bcyz
2 2  (c2x  .z2)2
Since ( X , Z ) = 1, 1x1,IZI are respectively less than the moduli of the
numerator and denominator of the righthand side. Hence
M = O(JJ,~)>.
We now prove that p1 = O(M1l4).The formula (14) gives
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A CUBIC CURVE,f(X,J?,Z) = 0 OF GENUS ONE 145
say. Since ( X  eZ2)'12 is an integer in K , so is p qe re'. Hence if A is+ +
the discriminant of the e equation, Ap, Aq, Ar are rational integers. So also
are the numbers
Since (sl,
zl) = 1, h Z / y l z , is also an integer. Hence
xf I h(2p + hr), 2: I Ar.
But A(2p + h,r) and Ar can be expressed linearly in terms of ( X  eZ2)ll2
with e = el, e,, e3, and so they are O ( d M ) . Hence xf = O(da),z: =
O ( d M ) ,and so p, = O ( M " 4 ) ,and then p, = O(p112).
Applying the same process to the equations similar to (18), and denoting
,
the corresponding p by pl,p,, . . ., we have pr+ = O(p:12). Such a sequence
is bounded and so we come to a stage P , + , , a point with bounded coordinates
and so only with a finite number of possibilities for P,,,. The theorem now
follows from equation (19).
There is a simple analytical interpretation of these arithmetical results. The
coordinates (.Y, y ) of any point P on the curve
y2 = .v3  h2.y  h3
+
We now define the sum P, P p of two points P,(ul) and P,(u,j as the point
with parameter u, +u, = u3. Hence the sum is the image in the x axis of
Pl.,,the third point of intersection of the line P,,Pz with the cubic.
The finite basis theorem can now be stated in the form:
Theorem 9
AN the rational points on the cubic (7) are given parametrically by
Zl = nllUl + .. . + 177,3/,,
where u,, . . ., 11, are afixedjnite set and the m take all integer iwlires.
An infinity of rational points can be derived from a given one u unless
there exists an integer n such that nu equals a period of the elliptic function
146 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
and then u is of finite order and is called an exceptional point. The parameters
u of the exceptional points form a finite Abelian group of the cubic.
The minimum number g of generators of infinite order of the basis is called
the rank of the curve.
We have Nagell's
Theorem 10
I f ( x l ,y l ) is an exceptional point not at infinity of the curve
y 2 = x3  A X  B, (21)
where A , B are integers, then x l , y 1 are integers and either y , = 0 or y : is a
divisor of thediscriminant D = 4A3  21B2.
It is an open question whether curves exist with an assigned number N of
exceptional points. There exist a number of nonequivalent cubics with
N = I , 2, 3 , 4 (cyclic or noncyclic group), 5, 6,7, 8 (cyclic or not), 9 (cyclic)
10, 12, 16 (noncyclic), but none with N divisible by 1 1 , 14, 15, 16 (cyclic) 20,
24, 32. For proofs and references, see Linda and Nagelllo.
Estimates have been given by Billing4 for g , the number of generators of
infinite order for the rational points on a cubic curve in his comprehensive and
valuable memoir. He has also found all the generators for 0 < IAI, IBI < 3.
Birch and S~innertonDyer~ have given g for most of the sets 0 < I A1 < 20,
0 < IBI < 30, IAl < 200, B = 0.
3. Two particular cases of the equation (21) are of special interest and have
been discussed by many writers, namely, the equation y 2 = x3 k which +
will be discussed in Chapter 26, and the equation
y 2 = x3  A X (22)
which we deal with here. Many results have been found by Billing4, Birch and
SwinnertonDyer 5 , and Lind 6 . The equation (22) is associated with the
equation
Y 2 = X 3 + 4AX (23)
by the relation
and so a solution of equation (23) can be derived from one of (22). Conversely
on applying the transformation (24) to (23), a solution of (22) can be deduced
from one of (23).
Further equation (22) is birationally related to the equation
X4 + 4A = 2' (25)
by the relation
2x = x 2  z, y = xx.
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A CUBIC CURVE,f(.Y,),:) = 0 OF GENUS ONE 147
Billing4 gives the basis points for equation (22) for J A l 5 50 with, however,
at1 error for A = 33. The range has been extended by Birch and Swinnerton
Dyer5.
Lind6 has dealt exhaustively with the question of finding values of A for
which equations (22) and (23) have only exceptional solutions. His results
depend upon the study of the equation (25) already considered in Chapter 4.
He gives, inter aha, the instances
A =p, p = f 3 , 5 (mod 16),
A = p, p = 5, 7(mod 16),
Conjecture
The function f ( s ) has at s = 1 a pole whose order is the number of generators
of the rational points of infinite order.
148 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. On the rational solutions of the indeterminate equations of the
3rd and 4th degrees. Proc. Camb. Phil. SOC.,21 (1922), 179192.
2. A. Weil. Sur un thCorkme de Mordell. Bull. Sci. Math., (2) 54 (1930), 182191.
3. T. Nagell. Solution de quelques probltmes dans la thCorie arithmktique des
cubiques planes du premier genre. Vid. Akad. Skrifer Oslo, I (1935), Nr 1.
4. G . Billing. Beitrage zur arithmetischen Theorie der ebenen kubischen Kurven
vom Geschlecht Eins. Nova Acta. Reg. SOC.Scient. Upsaliensis., ser IV. 11
(1938), Chapter IV.
5. B. Birch and H. P. F. SwinnertonDyer. Notes on elliptic curves I. J . reine
angew Math., 212 (1963), 725.
6. C. E. Lind. Untersuchungen uber die rationalen Punkte der ebenen kubischen
Kurven vom Geschlecht Eins. Dissertation, Uppsala (1940).
7 . B. Birch and H. P. F. SwinnertonDyer. Notes on elliptic curves 11. J. reine
angew Math., 218 (1965), 79108.
8. N. M. Stephens. Conjectures concerning elliptic curves. Bull. Am. Math. SOL.,
73 (1967), 160163.
16. RATIONAL POINTS ON A CUBIC CURVE,f(S,),Z) = 0 OF GENUS ONE 149
9. J . W. S. Cassels. Diophantine equations with special reference t o elliptic
curves. J . Land. Math. Sac., 41 ( 1966), 193291.
10. T. Nagell. Recherches sur Iarithmetique des cubiques planes d u premier
genre dans un doinaine d e rationalite quelconque. Nova Acto Reg. Sac. Scient.
Upsaliensis, Ser. IV 15, N r 6, 1952.
1 I . A . Wiman. Uber den Rang von den Kurven y 2 = x(x + a ) (x + h). Acta
Math., 76 ( 1944), 22525 1.
12. A. Wiman. Uber rationale Punkte auf den Kurven y 2 = x(xz  2).Acta
Math., 77 (1945), 281320.
13. A. Wiman. Uber rationale Punkte auf Kurven dritter Ordnung vom
Geschlechte Eins. Actri Math., 80 (l948), 223257.
6t
CHAPTER 17
Definition
A point on the curve f = f(x, y, z ) = 0 which also satisfies the equations
Theorem 1
N < +(n  l)(n  2). (2)
For if N > +(n  l)(n  2), a curve of degree n  2 can be drawn through
+
+(n  l)(n  2 ) 1 of the double points, and any other n  3 points of the
curvef = 0 of degree n, since
+(n  2)(n + I) = +(n  I)(n  2) + 1 + n  3.
17. RATIONAL POINTS ON CURVES OF GENUS g = 0 OR 1 AND g > 1 151
These two curves would intersect in at least
n3+(n I)(n2)+2=n22n+ 1 >n22n
points. This is impossible by Bezouts theorem.
Hence an integer p > 0, called the genus of the curve, is defined by
N = +(n  I)(n  2)  p . (3)
Definition
A curw passing through the N double points of the curiv f = 0 is called an
adjoint curve o f J
When the double points form a rational set, the conditions on the adjoint
curve can be expressed linearly with rational coefficients in terms of the
coefficients of the adjoint curve, which are supposed hereafter to be rational
numbers.
We recall that two curvesf(s, y , z ) = 0, F ( X , Y, 2 ) = 0 can be birationally
transformed into each other if their points, except for a finite number, are
connected by a relation of the form,
.V = A(X, Y , Z ) , y = B(X, Y,Z), z = C(X, Y,Z),
X = a ( s ,y , z ) , y = b(x, Y , z), z= 4 x 9 Y , z),
where As etc. are polynomials in the arguments A, Y, 2,etc. This is a 11
correspondence, except for the singular points. Such curves have the same
genus. When rational, they are called equivalent if the polynomials A , a, etc.
have rational coefficients.
It is well known that a curve with singularities of order greater than two can
be transformed by a birational transformation into a curve with only double
points.
2. A fundamental result due to Hilbert and Hurwitzl is given by
Theorem 2
E w y rational curw C of degree n and genus zero is equiilalent to a rational
curre of degree n  2 and genus zero.
An adjoint curve of degree n  2 can be made to pass through n  2
further points, for example, arbitrary rational points, or a rational n  2
point set, since
f(n  2)(n + 1) = +(n  l)(n  2) + n  2.
Hence a family of adjoint curves of degree n  2 is given by
441 + A 2 4 2 + . * + Anl+nl = 0,
where the X are arbitrary constants, and the 4 are rational polynomials in
s,y, z of degree n  2. By the choice of the n  2 points defining the 4, we
may suppose that the 4 are irreducible and linearly independent.
I52 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Define a curve C , by
(1  r, = . . . = , 6n1
;67  4 2 Cll1
Theorem 3
Every rational curve C of genus one and degree n > 3 , which has a rational
point P, is equivalent to a cubic curve.
The curve has fn(n  3) double points since
I = +(n  I)(n  2 )  fn(n  3).
Draw an adjoint curve of degree n  2 which meets the curve C in three
points at P. Its equation contains n  4 arbitrary constants since
f(n  2)(n + 1)  fn(n  3 )  3 = n  4.
The adjoint meets C in a rational n  3 set since
n(n  2 )  n(n  3 )  3 = n  3.
We now draw another adjoint curve of degree n  2 through the rational
n  3 set. This family of adjoint curves involves two arbitrary parameters
since
+(n  2)(n + I )  fn(n  3 )  (n  3) = 2,
and so takes the form
A141 + A 2 4 2 + A343 = 0,
where the A are rational. These adjoints intersect C in a rational 3 set since
n(n  2 )  n(n  3)  (n  3 ) = 3.
Then f1:f2:f3 = 41:42:43
Theorem 4
A rational curce ofgenus two is equivalent to a curve
y2 = aox6 + a1x5 + . . . + a6.
154 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
Theorem 5
The quartic curve
ax4 + by4 + cz4 + 2fy2z2 + 2gz2x2 + 2hx2y2 = 0
is in general of genus three.
Mordell put forward in 1922, the
Conjecture
There are only a finite number of rational points on a curije of genus > 1.
Much attention has been given to this in recent years but it is still unproved.
There are not known many nontrivial instances of this conjecture apart from
those given by Fermats last theorem. The known results for the quartic
above are found by replacing z 2 by z and so reducing the problem to that of
rational points on a curve of genus 1.
In Chapter 4 a quartic curve of genus three was given which has no rational
points except trivial ones.
Some curves of genus two which have no rational points have been
found by Mordel13. The equations may be written in the form
z2 = (alx2 + b1y2)(a2x2+ b,y2)(a3x2 + b3y2),
where the a and b are integers and are all positive, except that in one pair, a
and b may have opposite signs.
Theorem 6
The equation (4) has no integer solutions except (0, 0, 0) if all the following
conditions are satisfied:
+ +
(i) a, + a2 + a3 =  1 (mod 4), b, b2 b3 E 0 (mod 4),
(ii) only one b is even,
+
(iii) none of the sets a,, a2, a3, or a , + bl, a2 b2, a3 + b3, are congruent
mod 4 to 1 , I , 1 , or to a permutation of (0,1 , 2).
(iv) a2b3  a3b2, a3b1  a,b3, a,b2  a2bl have no common divisor, and all
their odd factors are = 1 (mod 4).
The equations so found are of special interest since they may be everywhere
locally solvable.
Suppose that ( x , y ) = 1 . Then we easily deduce that
a1x2+ bly2 = d,d,z:,
a2x2+ b2y2 = d3d,zi,
a3x2 + b3z2 = dld2z&
where d, I a2b3  a3b2,etc.
Two cases arise according as all or only two of the d a r e odd.
17. RATIONAL POINTS ON CURVES OF GENUS g = 0 OR 1 AND g > 1 155
In the first case,

z21 = a1x2 + b,y2,
zl +
= a2x2 bzy2, (mod4)
zd = a3x2 + b3y2.
By addition
z: + zi + zi + x2 = 0 (mod 4).
Either z1 = z2 5 z3 = .Y = O(mod 2), and since at least one b is odd,
y = 0 (mod 2) and so (x, y ) # 1 ; or z1 = z2 = x3 = x = 1 (mod 2). Then
according as y is odd or even,
a, + 6, = a2 + b, = a3 + b3 = 1 (mod4),
or
a, = a, = a3 = I (mod 4),
and these have been excluded by (iii).
The case when, say d3,is even can be dealt with similarly. A simple numerical
illustration is given by
(a,, a29 a3) = (4a + 1,3,4b + 3), (bl, bz, b3) = (2, 1, 1).
Then the only condition to be satisfied is that the odd factors of 5  4 4
8b  4a + 5 should be = 1 (mod 4). Some instances are given by (a, b) =
(0, 11, (1, 21, (2, 2).
These equations are everywhere locally solvable, that is, as a congruence
mod p', p a prime. On giving x or y a fixed value, the curve has genus two, and
it is easily shown by Weil's theorem, that the congruences are solvable for
p > 17. The smaller values o f p must be considered separately.
New r e s ~ l t s * ,of
~ , considerable
~ interest have been found very recently
concerning rational points on some curves of genus greater than one. More
over the methods suffice to determine the points and these are also shown to
be finite in number.
Let f ( s , y ) = 0 be a curve I' with coefficients and variables defined in an
algebraic number field K or in a finite extension of K . Let a rational mapping
4, defined over K of r into a curve I', of genus one be given by
d:{u, v > = {Ml(X, MAX, Y)>.
REFERENCES
1. D. Hilbert and A. Hurwitz. Uber die diophantischen Gleichungen von
Geschlecht Null. Acta. Math., 14 (1890), 217224.
2. H. Poincark. Sur les proprietks arithmktiques des courbes algkbriques. J .
Marh. (3), 7 (1901), 161233.
3. L. J. Mordell. On some sextic diophantine equations of genus two. Proc. Amer.
Math. SOC.,19691970.
4. V. A. Demjanenko. Rational points on some classes of algebraic curves.
(Russian) Izuesriju Akad. Nauk. (ser. Mat.), 30 (1966), 13731 396.
5. J. I. Manin. The Tate height of points on an Abelian variety, its variants
and applications. (Russian) Iztlesrija Akad. Nauk. (ser. Mar.), 28 (1964),
13631 390.
6. V. A. Demjanenko. Rational points on some curves of higher genus. (Russian)
Acra. Arith., 12 (1967), 333354.
7. J. W. S. Cassels. On a theorem of Demjanenko. J . Lond. Math. SOC.,43 (1968).
6166.
CHAPTER 18
1. Problem
.k
y ) = m, (2)
where m is any gicen integer.
If m = 0, the only solution is x = y = 0 unlessf(x, y ) has a rational linear
factor and then the solution is obvious. We suppose hereafter that m # 0.
The solution of f ( x , y ) = m is equivalent to the solution of any other
equation F ( X , Y) = m if we can establish a 11 correspondence between
integer sets (x,y ) and ( X , Y). Such a one is given by the substitution
The concept 
and say that all the forms equivalent to a given form define a class of forms.
of equivalence satisfies the usual equivalence axioms.
We need only consider solutions with (x,y ) = 1. For if (x,y ) = d,
x = dX, y = dYthen
f(X7 Y ) = m/dn,
and so only a finite number of values of d arise.
6*
158 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
We show that the solution of equation (2) can be reduced to the case when
tu = 1. We may suppose that (ao, m) = 1 by means of a unimodular substitu
tion if need be. We may also suppose that ( y , m) = 1 on writing dy for y when
( y , m) = d. For any such solution (xo,yo), we can find I so that xo =
fy,, (mod m) and f ( l , 1) = 0 (mod m). Then the substitution
x = IX t m Y , y = X,
gives an equation (2) in which m divides out. There are as many such equations
as there are roots of the congruence f ( l , 1) = 0 (mod m).
Inrarian ts

When f ( x , y ) F ( x , y ) , algebraic theory shows that certain functions of
the coefficients of f ( x , y ) , say, Z(f), are unaltered by the substitutions of
determinant unity.
Thus if Il(f>= Il(F), I2Cf 1 = 12(F), . . . 9

If, however, f ( x , y), F(x, y ) have the same invariants and covariants, it does
not necessarily follow that f ( x , y ) F(x, y). There arises the following
Problem
To construct all the forms with a giren set of inoariants and cotlariants, and
then to separate these into classes of nonequivalent forms.
This is facilitated by picking out a suitable representative of each class of
equivalent forms, say a reduced form, and preferably in such a way that,
firstly, its coefficients are bounded in terms of the invariants, and secondly
that there is only one reduced form in each class.
This leads to other questions:
1. the discussion of the minimum value of I f ( x , y)l for integer values of x, y
not both zero.
This question is a particular case of a general problem in the Geometry of
Numbers or in Diophantine Approximation.
11. to investigate whether the number of classes is finite.
111. to find all the substitutions S changing f ( x , y ) into an equivalent form
F(X, Y ) .
Those substitutions, say A , for which f ( x , y ) = f ( X , Y ) , are called the
automorphs off(x, y). Then all the S are given by
S = AS1,
where S , is any particular substitution changing f ( x , y ) into F ( X , Y ) .
18. NUMBERS BY HOMOGENEOUS FORMS I N TWO VARIABLES 159
We now come back to
f ( s ,y ) = m, (x,y ) = 1.
Suppose that a particular solution is given by (x, y ) = ( a , y). Take any two
integers /3, 6 such that a6  By = 1. As before, denote by S the substitution
s = ax + BY, y = yX + 6Y.
Then f(x9.Y) = F ( X , Y ) . (4)
say, and the coefficient of the highest power of X in F( X , Y ) is m. Hence we
must now construct the forms F ( X , Y ) whose leading coefficient is mX" and
which has the same invariants and covariants asf(x, y ) . We must then find
those of the F ( X , Y ) which are equivalent tof(x, y). If S above is the corre
sponding substitution, then (x, y ) = (a,y ) gives a representation of m by
f(X9 Y ) .
We have the same representation independently of the choice of 8, 6. All
the solutions /3', 6' of a6  ,By = 1 are given by 6' = fl + ta, 6' = 6 + ty,
where& 6 is a fixed solution, and t is any integer. We have now the substitution
s + t Y ) + p Y , y = y ( X + t Y ) + SY,
a(X

=
f=
b + dd
2# 9 s=
b  dd
(8)
2a
The formf(x, y ) is called reduced if If I < 1 , Is1 > 1 , fs < 0. These conditions
are equivalent to
0 < dd b < 21al < .\/a+ b. (9)
This implies b < d2,and so the number of classes of forms of discriminant d
is finite. Now there is not a unique reduced form but a chain of reduced forms,
and two forms are equivalent if and only if their reduced forms occur in the
same chain.
The automorphs of a primitive form are given by
4m
= c,
a necessary condition for the representation is that there exist integers B for
which Cis an integer. In particular, dmust be a quadratic residue of every odd
prime factor p of m, i.e. ( d / p ) = 1. N o other conditions arise when m is odd
since d = 0, 1 (mod 4).
Two simple illustrations may suffice:
Theorem 1
The binary forms with integer coefficients,
f ( x , y ) = aoxn + a,x"' + . . . + anyn, (1 1)
with giivn invariants, can be arranged in afinite number of classes.
We may suppose that a,, # 0. Suppose thatf(x, y ) has X real linear factors
x + city, and p pairs of conjugate imaginary factors x &y, x + +
y j y . Con
sider the quadratic form
162 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
where the t and u are real positive variables. Let the unimodular integral
substitutions ;
x =pX + qY, y = rX + sY,
changef(x, y ) into the equivalent form
F ( X , Y ) = AoX" + A I X "  ' Y + . . . + Any".
Then A0 = a0 n (P + n
A
i=l
air)
U
j=1
(P + Bjr)(p + y j r ) .
Let S change g(x, y ) into, say,
2 Tf(X + +2 2
A
+ /$Y)(X + y i Y ) ,
U
= A. nA
i=l
(TiX + u;T,Y) n ( U j X + p i U j Y ) ( U j X + y l U j Y ) ,
11
j = 1
or
The discriminant D involves only the T, U and so we take for T, U such values
as make
E = DnizAE/h(T,U ) 2
a minimum. This process defines a quadratic covariant off(x, y).
It does not follow at once that the inequality above establishes bounds for
A , since A n  , may be zero. This difficulty was noted by Julia3 who produced
a satisfactory treatment based upon the principles given in Hermites first
paper.
REFERENCES
I . C . Hermite. Note sur la rkduction des fonctions homoghes a coefficients
entiers et a deux indkterminees. Oeuvres, 1 (1905), 8493.
2. C. Hermite. Sur lintroduction des variables continues dans la theorie des
nombres. Oeuvres, 1 (1905), 173178.
3. C. Julia. Etude sur les formes binaires non quadratiques. Mem. Acad. Sci.
Ilnst. Franc(>,55 (1917), 1293.
CHAPTER 19
The equation
ax2 + by2 = m.
We suppose that m > 0 and that (ab, m) = 1.
Write +
f ( x , y ) = ax2 by2 = m,
We shall suppose that ( x , y ) = 1 and so ( x y , m) = 1.
Solvability of equation (l), if ( x , y ) = 1, implies the existence of an integer
k such that
+
ak2 b = 0 (mod m). (2)
This imposes conditions on a and b. Thus if m is odd, the Legendre symbol
(  a b / p ) = 1 for every prime p dividing m. We first prove the l s 2
Theorem 1
If the congruence
ak2 +b 3 O(modm)
is soloable, integers x , y , not both zero, exist such that
ax2 + by2 = M m (3)
for some integer M with M < 2dab if a > 0, b > 0, and IMI < d/labl if
ab < 0.
Put x = k X + m Y,y = X . Then by Minkowski's theorem on linear forms
in Chapter 5, there exist integers (A', Y ) # (0,O)such that
1x1 < fdm, lyl < Iwm,
where 1 is any positive constant.
19. BINARY A N D QUATERNARY QUADRATIC FORMS 165
Hence if a > 0, b > 0.
f(x,y ) < (UP+ b/I2)m < 2 d a b m ,
if we take l 2 = dbz.
If ah < 0,
1f ( x , y)l < max( la1I2rn,lb1Pm) < d l q m,
if we take l 2 = dml.
Further
f ( ~y ), = + m Y)2+ bX2
a(kX
= (ak2 + b ) X 2 + 2akmXY + am2 Y 2 = 0 (mod m )
= Mm.
The problem now is to determine whether M = 1 is possible. Many of the
possibilities for M can be eliminated by congruence considerations. Suppose
that m is odd.
I. congruences mod 4 or mod 8. Thus all to mod 4, a 3 1, b = 1
excludes M = 2 (mod 4) since then x and y are odd and x2  y 2 I
0 (mod 4). If a = I , b = 1, 2, then solvability for M = 0 (mod 4) implies
solvability for M / 4 since now x = y = 0 (mod 2).
11. congruences mod q, q = 3, 5,7,. . ., a prime. If (ab/q) =  1, then
M $ 0 (mod q).
111. sometimes it may be shown that if M = M,, say, is possible, then
M = M 2 is also possible and conversely. For this we use the results,
if ax2+ by2 = m, ax: + by? = ml,
then (axx, + byy# + ab(xyy, x , ~ =) mm,;
~ (4)
and if x 2 + aby2 = m, as: + by: = m,,
then a(xx, + byy,)' + b(sy,  ays,)2 = mm,. (5)
1V. If (m, ab) = 1, and a is square free, then solvability of ax2 by2 = am+
+
implies that of x2 aby2 = m and conversely.
We suppose for simplicity that m is an odd prime p since solvability when
171 is composite follows easily from the identities in 111. Let us now consider
the detailed results.
We begin with the case a > 0, h > 0. We take a = 1 and then
.'i2 + by2 = My, M < 2db,
and ( b/p) = I is the necessary condition for solvability. We write this in a
slightly different form, for example, if b e 1 (mod 4), then ( l / p ) ( p / b )= 1,
166 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 2
The equations
ax2 + by2 = Ip, ax: + by: = mp, (.u, y) = 1, (x,, y , ) = 1.
cannot both be solrable if a > 0, b > 0, (ah, p ) = I, I # in, ltiz < ah.
We may take to mod p,
x E ky, s1 = k y , where ak2 + b = 0.
Since (asx, + byy,)2 + ah(.uy,  = Imp2,
Now
c E 1 (mod 2),
($) k 1 , = (5) = +I,
M = k 1 or * 2 when c = 10 according as
(f)= (5) = I or  I .
The details are comparatively simple except for c = 19 and so we give them.
Here
x2  1 9 ~ '= Mp.
We can exclude IM1 = 4 since this reduces to IM I = 1. We show that any of
M = 1,  2,  3 implies each of the other two.
For from X'  19y3 = p , 4'  19.1' = 3,
A'  19B2 = 3p,
where
A = 4~  19y, B = x  4 ~ ; 3~ = 4A + 19B, 3y = A + 4B.
Since we can take A = B(mod 3), M = 1 M = 3.
Next M =  2 tf M = 3. For from
S'  1 9 ~ '= 2p, 5'  19.1' = 6,
C'  1 9 0 ' ~3p,
where
2C = 5~  19y, 2 0 = x  5y; 3~ = 5C  19D, 3y = C  5D.
19. BINARY AND QUATERNARY QUADRATIC FORMS 169
The result is now obvious since we can take x = y (mod 2), C =
 D (mod 3 ) . Similarly, we can show that each of M =  1 , 2 , 3 implies each
Theorem 3
Integers (s,y , z , it,) # (0, 0, 0, 0 ) exist such that
j ( x , y , z , w) = Mm, I M 1 < d2FFC1, (8)
prolitled that the congruence
cA2 + bB2 + a E O(modrt7) (9)
is solaable.for A and B.
It is shown in Chapter 6 that the congruence is solvable if (m, abc) = 1,
m f. O(mod4).Puts = c A X + b B Y + m Z , y = B X  A Y + mW,z = X,
11 = Y. From equations (6) and (9),
estimates are usually given for positive definite forms, but they also hold
for indefinite forms although the results are not very sharp.
We commence with the case c = 1 and so
f = x2 + by2 + az2 + abw2 = Mm, IMI < dm, (1 1)
and +
A 2 + bB2 a = 0 (mod m), (m, ab) = 1 (12)
The classical case is a = b = 1, Hermites result gives M < 154, i.e. M = 1.
Minkowskis estimate gives A4 < 4 and so M = I , 2, 3.
(F)
The case M = 2 can be written as
+ (y)
+ + + (T) ( Tz ) z U ZMM = m,
since either x, y , z , M: are all even or odd or only two odd, say x, y. The case
M = 3 can be written as
( + ; +; + 3
(y +; + M
)Z +  2)Z (x  w) + (x
1
The method shows that m is representable by f in equation ( 1 I ) when
b = I , a = &3, 5 5 , 7, 11 and also when a = 5 2 , b = 3, 3. It will
suffice to take a few of these cases.
b = l,a = 3 M < d6 = 1, 2, (m,3) = 1.
If M = 2, s2 + y2 + 3(z2 + w2) = 2m. (13)
If x = y (mod 2), then z = w (mod 2), and
and so 3 X 2  y 2  6 Z 2 + 2w2 = m,
and this is I with M =  1.
Suppose next M = 2. Then x =y (mod 2). If x = 2X, y = 2 Y,
2 X 2  6 Y 2  z2 + 3w2 = m,
and this is I with M =  1. If, however, x =y = 1 (mod 2), apply com
position with
1'  3.1'  2.12 + 6.1' = 2.
Then x2 = x + 3y + 22  6w, y2 =x +y  + 2w,
22
z2 = x + z + 3y  3w, W
' =x +y  z + w,
REFERENCES
1. B. A. Venkoff. Elementary Theory of Numbers. (Russian.) (1937), 51.
+
2. L. J. Mordell. Solvability of the equation ax2 by2 = p . J. Lond. Math. Soc.,
41 (1966), 517522.
3. L. J. Mordell. The representation of numbers by some quaternary quadratic
forms. Actu Arith., 12 (1966), 4754.
4. J. W. S. Cassels. An Introduction to the Geometry of Numbers. Springer
Verlag, Berlin (1959), 31.
5 . L. J. Mordell. Observation on the minimum of a positive quadratic form in 8
variables. J. Lond. Math. Soc., 19 (1944). 36.
CHAPTER 20
We give a few brief remarks about the general theory, for which various
account^^^ can be consulted.
1. Let f(x) = f ( x , , x2, . . . , x,) be a homogeneous form with integer co
efficients of degree d in n variables. We discuss the integer solutions for
(z) = (xl, x2, . . . , x,) of the equation
f(r)= m (1)
for given m. We may suppose that the representation of m is primitive, i.e.
(xl, x2, . . ., x,) = 1. If ( p 1 , p 2 ,.. ., p , ) is such a solution, then by means of a
P1
Let f(x) = 2
r.s= 1
arsxrxsi ars = asr, (2)
g(s)
1
= ((my1
m
+ h,(z))2  h2(.r)), (3)
Theorem 1
Every integer m > 0 not of the form 4"8p + 7), h 3 0,p 3 0, is the sum o j
three integer squares, i.e.
x2 + y 2 + z2 = m (5)
is soloable.
Here D = 1, and we show that the class number is one. We require an
estimate for the minimum value taken by a positive definite form for integers
(x,y , z ) f (O,O,0).
Lemma 1
Let g(x, y , z ) = ax2 + by2 + cz2 + 2fyz + 2gzx + 2hxy
be a positive definite form with determinant
We may suppose that the minimum is attained for integers x, y , z for which
(x, y , z ) = 1 and, by means of a unimodular substitution, we may suppose
that a is the minimum. Then for all integers (x, y , z ) # (0,0, 0),
g(x, Y , z ) 2 (1.
Hence
(ax + hy + g z y + (ab  h2)yZ + 2(af  gh)yz + (ac  g2)z2 2 2.
We give y , z integer values Z(0, 0 ) ,which make the binary quadratic in y , z a
minimum. Since we can satisfy
this minimum is
< (+)12((ab h2)(ac  8)  (af  gh)) = (+aD)l.
4a D
3
2 ($a2)2,
64D
and so a3 < .
27
It may be noted that the best possible estimate is a3 < 2 0 .
We prove now that the class number is one.
Lemma 2
If a, b, c, f, g , h are integers and D = 1, then
g(x, y, z )  x2 + y2 + z 2 . (6)
We may suppose that a < 4/3 and so a = 1. On writing x  hy  gz for
x, we may suppose that g = h = 0,
Then

DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Hence we have
m
m
m

 
I
= 3,
1,
5,
A
A
A
= 3, (mod 8),
1, (mod 8),
3, (mod 8),
p
p
p 
1 (mod 4),
1 (mod 4),
3 (mod 4).
Hence in all cases ( 2 / A ) = 1, and either  A = 1 (mod 4) o r p = 1 (mod 4).
Then
($) (5) = = (2)(i)
(2) = = = 1.

classical case. For we need only take w = 0 if m
m 3 (mod 4).

Let us take a = 1. Then every positive integer is represented when b = 1, the
I , 2 (mod 4) and w = 1 if

m = 0, we take w = 1. For other m, we take w such that w 2 + m > 0, and
according as m = 1, 2 (mod 4), or = 3 (mod 8) or 7 (mod 8), we take
w 0 (mod 2), w = 0 (mod 4), w = 2 (mod 4).
If m > 0, a representation is also possible for 1 Ib I 7. We may suppose
that m = 4(8p + 7) as otherwise we can take w = 0. Suppose first that
b = 1,2,4, $ 6 . Take w = 2, then m  bw2 = 48p + 7  b) and is not of
+
the form 4(8p 7). Suppose next that b = 3. If p = 0 we take w = 2Aand
then m  bw2 = 4+, and if p 2 1 take w = 2l and then m  bw2 =
4(8p  5).
Finally, let b = 7. If p = 0, I or 2, take w = 2 and then m  bw2 = 0, 2
4+ or 4A+2.If p 2 3, take WJ = 2l. Then m  bw2 = 4(8p  21).
20. REPRESENTATION OF NUMBERS BY HOMOGENEOUS FORMS 179
Some results on the representation of complex integers by special binary
and ternary quadratic forms are very simple. Niven has proved the
Theorem 2
A representation of m = a + 2ib, where a and b are rational integers, as
s2 + y 2 = m,
where x , y are complex integers, is always possible except when a = 2 (mod 4),
b = 1 (mod 2).
We give a simpler proof6. Write
(x + iy)(x  iy) = a + 2ib.
If a is odd, a solution is given by
s + iy = a + 2ib, s  iy = 1.
Suppose a = 2a, is even. If a, and b are both even, take
x + iy = a, + ib, s  iy = 2.
If a, and b are of different parity, take
x + iy = (1 + i)(a, + ib), x  iy = 1  i.
If a, and b are both odd, the representation is impossible. For if
x=X+iY, y=Z+iW,
X2  Y2 + 2'  W 2 3 2(mod4), XY + Z W = 1 (mod2).
Then say Z W E 1 (mod 2), Z 2  W 2= 0 (mod 4), and X 2  Y 2 = 2 (mod 4)
is impossible.
We use this theorem to prove
Theorem 3
A representation of m = a + 2ib, where a and b are rational integers, as
s2 + y2 + z 2 = m,
where x , y , z are complex integers, is always possible.
For take z = X + iY. Then we have a representation from Theorem 2, if
the integers A', Y satisfy
a  X2 + Y 2 $ 2 (mod 4).
We take X = Y 3 1 (mod 2) if a is odd, and X = 1, Y = 0 (mod 2) if a is
even.
+
Mr. Makowski notes that a solution when m = 2a 2ib is (1, a + ib, b +
+ +
i ai), and when M = 2a 1 2ib, is (2,a  1 + ib,b + 2i  ia).
180 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
REFERENCES
I . P. Bachmann. Die Arithmetik der quadratischen Forrnen, Part 1. Teubner
(1898).
2. L. E. Dickson. Studies in the Theory of Numbers, University of Chicago
Press (1930). Also his History, Vol. 3, Chapter XIV.
3. B. W. Jones. The Arithmetic Theory of Quadratic Forms. Math. Assoc.
of America and John Wiley and Sons (1950).
4. G. L. Watson. Integral Quadratic Forms. Cambridge University Press (1960).
5. S, Ramanujan. On the expression of a number in the form uxa + by2 + cza
+ dw2. Proc. Cumb. Phil. SOC.,19 (1917), 1121. Also in Collected Papers
(1927), 1691 78.
6. L. J. Mordell. The representation of a Gaussian integer as a sum of two squares.
Maths. Magazine, 40 (1967), 209.
CHAPTER 21
Theorem 1
Every integer can be expressed as an algebraic sum of three squares, i.e.
n = k x f ? xi: f xg,
is solvable for some combination of signs.
The proof is obvious from
2n + 1 = (n +  n2, 2n = n2  (n  1)' + 1,
and so s < 3. Since 6 = x2 ? y2 is impossible, s 2 3, and so the best possible
value of s is 3.
Theorem 2
Et'ery integer can be expressed as a sum o f j v e integer cubes.
The result is obvious with four cubes for integers G O (mod 6), since
( x + 1)3 + (x  1)3  2x3 = 6x.
The theorem holds for all integers n as follows on putting for x , the integer
(n  n3)/6.
I+
182 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Conjecture
Every integer n can be expressed as a sum of the cubes of four integers.
This has been proved for all integers n $ 2 4 (mod 9).
Some results due to Richmond l, and Mordel12 are given by
Theorem 3
AN integers = 3 (mod 6), a 1, & 7, 5 8 (mod 18), can be expressed as a sum
of four integer cubes.
We can easily verify that
k3 + (  k+ 4)3 + (2k  5)3 + (  2 k + 4)3 = 6k + 3,
(3k + 30)3 + (  3 k  26)3 + (2k  23)3 + (2k + 14)3 = 18k + 1 ,
( k + 2)3 + (6k  1)3 + (8k  2)3 + (  9 k + 2)3 = 18k + 7 ,
(k  5)3 + (  k + 14)3 + (3k  30)3 + (3k + 29)3 = 18k + 8.
These results are found by putting
x=ak+p, y=bk+q, z=ck+r, w=dk+s
in x3 + y 3 + z3 + w3 = n.
Take 2 a3 = 0, 2 a"p 0.
=
Then n = 3 2 ap2k + 2 p 3 .
2 a, = 0, 2 a, = 2 (mod 3).
It has just been shown by Schinze14that there does not exist a representation
of 9k ? 4 as a sum of cubes of four quartic polynomials.*
3. Theorem 4
I f r is a giiwn integer > 1, there exists a tialue of s independent of the integer n
such that
+xi & S; . . . & X: = n
for integers x.
This result is an immediate consequence of the identity
* See Addendum.
184 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 5
I f s is the best possible value for all n, then
9 Q s Q 10.
We show that s 2 8 when n = 8 (mod 16). Since x4 = 0, 1 (mod 16),
clearly n cannot be expressed as an algebraic sum of less than eight fourth
powers, and for eight powers only when these are all odd and have the same
sign.
Then s 2 9 since z,"=l
xt = 24 is impossible.
The estimate s Q 12 follows from
(X + 314  3(x + 214 + 3(x + 114  x4 = 24x + 36.
This shows that eight fourth powers suffice when n = 12 (mod 24). Four more
will suffice for all n since the congruence
f a 4 f b4 f c4 k d4 = n (mod 24),
is solvable for a, b, c, d. Since a4 = 0, 1 (mod 3), the congruence is solvable
mod 3. Since a4 = 0, 1 (mod 8), it is also solvable for n = 0, k 1, 2, k 3,
4 (mod 8).
To prove s 6 10, Hunter5 uses identities such as
4 8 ~4 + = +
2 ( 2 ~ 3)4 + (2x + 6)4 + 2(2xa + 8~ + 11)4
 (2xa + 8x +  (2x2 + 8x + 12)4.
REFERENCES
1. H. W. Richmond. An elementary note upon Waring's problem for cubes,
positive and negative. Messenger Math., 51 (1922), 177186.
21. REPRESENTATION OF NUMBERS BY POLYNOMIALS I85
2. L. J. Mordell. On the four integer cubes problem. J . London. Math. Soc., 11
(1936), 208218. Addendum. Also in 12 (19371, 80; Corrigendum. Also in
32 (1957), 383.
3. V. A. Demjanenko. On sums of four cubes. (Russian). Zzo. Vysi. Ufebrr.
Zmed. Muternatiku, 5 (54) (1 966), 6369.
4. A. Schinzel. On the sums of cubes of polynomials. J. Lond. Math. Soc.,
43 (1968), 143145.
5 . W. Hunter. The representation of numbers by sums of fourth powers. J . Lond.
Moth. SOC.,16 (1941), 177179.
6. G . H. Hardy and E. M. Wright. An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers.
Clarendon Press, Oxford (1 949, $2728.
Addendum
Mordell has found a simpler proof of Theorem 4. It may appear as On the
sum of cubes of polynomials in the Acta Arith. for 1970.
CHAPTER 22
Theorem 1
The equafion
f(x, y ) = a& + alxn'y + ... + anyn = m # 0, (1)
where n b 3 , and f(x, y ) is irreducible in the rational field, has only a finite
number of integer solutions.
The cases when f(x, y ) is reducible are easily disposed of. If
Theorem 2
If all the roots of f(z, 1) = 0 are complex numbers, there are only a finite
number of solutions of f(x, y ) = m.
If y = 0, there are at most two values for x .
Suppose then y # 0. For real z , If(z, 1)1 > c > 0, where c is independent
of z. Hence
and so y is bounded.
22. THUE'S THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS OF f ( x , y ) = m 187
Thue's proof depends on Diophantine approximation to an algebraic
number 0 of degree n 3 3 by means of rational fractions. His result is in
cluded in Siegel's2
Theorem 3
There are only afinite number of integer solutions for x, y of the inequality
+ +
where v > n/(s 1) s, and s is any one of 1, 2, . . . , n  1.
O n t a k i n g v = P + E , / 3 = m i n S = , , . . . ,.l(n/(s+ l ) + s ) , a n d e , O < ~ d1,
such that v is an integer,
n n
[di] + 1 + [ d i ] < l/n + di = 2di.
Thue proves the result for v > n/2 1. +
It has been shown by Roth3 that this theorem holds if v > 2 + e where
E > 0 is arbitrary. The 2 here is the best possible constant.
where A > 0 is any given constant, has only a finite number of integer solu
tions.
Take s = 1, Y = 4 2 + +
1 ). Then for all large I yl,
Iei 51

A
I I; +
e  lei  el,
d 
Y"
+ 2A1, A l = max pi\,i = I, 2 , . . ., n
6 A + 2 A 1 since lyl >, 1.
Hence
or
188 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
lao nn
1=1
(x  k~)l
= Iml,
that is,
Theorem 4
Let P ( x , y ) be an irreducible binary form of degree n > 2, and let Q(x, y ) be
a polynomial of degree m < n  2 d n . Then the equation
P ( x , Y ) = Q(x, Y ) , (6)
has only aJinite number of integer solutions.
Suppose that this is not so. By a linear transformation if need be, we may
suppose that a,, the coefficient of the highest power xn in P ( x , y ) is not zero,
and so then
P(X,Y) = a0 n ( x  w,
n
i=l
say. Hence for one of the O,, say 0, = 0, x  Oy is very small for an infinity
of integers x, y , corresponding to the solutions, and so
n
22. THUE'S THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS OF f(S,J.') = ??7 189
where k,,k , are constants independent of .Y and y .
Then
and
2
m
A = l
c,+~A(x> = o (7)
with rational constants c implies c1 = c, = ... = cm = 0 or not. Denote by
D the determinant (Wronskian)
D = Dcf1,f2, . . .,fm) = IIfik'(x)II, A = 1 , 2 , . . ., m ; k = 0, 1 , . . ., m  1,
where
=f(x), k = 0.
Lemma 1
f l(x), f 2 ( x ) ,. . . ,f m ( x )are linearly dependent i f and only if D = 0 identically.
For if a relation (7) holds, on differentiating m  1 times, we have
) = O , k = 0 , 1 , ..., m  1.
h=l
Since the first column has 1 in the first row and zeros in the other rows, we have
Hence
Lemma 2
Let y 1 = ailxl + at2x2+ . .. + ai,x,, i = 1 , 2 , . . ., m
be m linear forms in n > m variables with integer coefficients, with absolute
values all 6 A , say. Then the equations
y l = O , ( i = 1,2 ,..., m),
have integer solutions for the x's, not all zero, and with absolute ualues satisfying
1x1 < 1 + (nA)m'cnm). (8)
Let the x take the values 0, f 1, k 2,. . ., f H , where H will be defined
presently, and so the y's take (2H + I)" sets of integer values. Since IyI <
+
nAH, there are at most (2nAH 1)" different sets of values for they. Hence if
(2nAH + 1)"' < (2H + l)",
the same set of y values will arise from two different x sets. By subtraction, we
obtain an x set not all zero and with 1x1 < 2H for which all they are zero. The
H inequality will be satisfied if
(2H + 1)"
2 (2nAH + I Z A ) ~ ,
or (2H + l)""' 2 (nA)",
2H + 1 >, (nA)m'(nm).
22. THUE'S THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS ) m
o ~ f ( x , y= 191
Then we can take H to be an integer such that
(nA)m'(nm) 1 < 2H < (nA)m'(nm)+ 1,
since the interval for 2H is of width 2.
This lemma is a corollary to Theorem 3 in Chapter 5.
Lemma 3
Let 0 be an algebraic integer of degree n 2 3, and a, b, r nonnegative integers
such that
(a + l)(b + 1) > rn.
Then there exist polynomials not identically zero,
Lemma 4
Let b he ajiseil integer with 0 6 b < n, 6 a constant with 0 < 6 < 1, and
192 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
where the square brackets denote the integer part. Then there exists in Lemma
3, an integer c = c(8, a), and a polynomial R(x, y ) in equation (9) such that
Ica,El < c, 0< a < a, 0 < fl < b. (13)
We note that
Since
Corollary
If
22. THUE'S THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS OFf'(S, y) = nz 193
We now have an estimate for RA(x, y), when x , y are near 8, given by
Lemma 5
Writex  0 = u , y  0 = 11, where IuI i1, IvI < 1. Then
IRA(x,Y)I 6 c;(IuI~~ + Ivl), h = 0,1,. . ., r  1, c7 = ~ ~ ( 6).
0 ,
a=O B = O
say, where,
a=O 8 = 1
The lefthand side is an integer. If it is not zero, and the proof of this which
now follows is the most difficult part of the investigation, then the righthand
side 2 1. Then one of the two terms 23 and so
Write now
2Ym(x>ym= 2 g,(y)xl,
b a
R(X,Y) = (16)
m=o I=O
Fo(x), F,W, . . ., M X ) ,
are linearly independent. Then
Write
where the coefficients in F,(x) are rational integers, and those in G,(y) are
rational numbers. The G,(y) are also linearly independent since if they were
not, then R(x, y ) could be expressed with less than b of the F(x).
Lemma 6
$0 if q2 > cTlo. (17)
For otherwise
5 g, (t)= 0.
l=O
XI
say.
On multiplying out by q;, we see that q2 I c ~ , where
~ fl is the greatest
number for which e l , , # 0. This is impossible since I C , , ~ ~6 cT by Lemma 4.
Lemma 7
Let k be any given rational number. If there exists an integer y such that
Ay)(h)# 0, and y + b < r, then there exists an R,(h, p2/q2)wirh 0 < X < r
such that R,(h,p2/q2) # 0.
Since
22. THUES THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS OFf(X,Y) = m 195
there exists a ,f3 such that G,(pz/q,) # 0, or by a slight change of notation, say
Go(Pzlq2) # 0.
By repeated differentiation for x,we have, say,
2 Flp)(x)G, (t),a
b
a ! R , Y():, = = 0, 1,. . ., b.
B=O
Hence
AY(h)Go (t) =
h=O
h,R, (h,:),
where the h, are rational numbers. Since 6 y < b y < r, the Rh are + +
defined, and clearly not all the R,(h,p,/q,) are zero for 0 < h 6 b y. +
We now find y from
Lemma 8
Suppose r > n. Then there exists an integer y = y(0, b, 6, r, h) with
06 y 6 6r + n2  n, A(Y)(h)# 0. (18)
b
From a!R,(x,y) = FF)(x)G,(y), ( a = 0, 1,. . ., b),
B=O
2 FFyx)cB(e).
b
a ! ~ , ( ~ ~=, e)
8=0
f(x) = xn + ulxnl + . . . + a, = 0,
where the a are rational numbers, is the irreducible equation satisfied by 0,
A(x) = f r  b ( ~ ) D ( ~ ) ,
196 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
< 6r + n2  n.
Since h is rational,f(h) # 0, and so A(x) has a zero at x = h of order y at
most equal to d.
Lemma 9
Zf (pl, q l ) = 1, ( p 2 ,q2) = 1, q1 > 0, q2 > c, r 2 2n2, 6 < 4, there exists
cg = c,@, e), and an integer h = h(0, 6 , 6, r, pl, ql, p a , q2) with 0 < <
6r + n2, i.e. h < r, such that
This has only a finite number of solutions from the case dl = 1. Also in
equation (l), dl can have only a finite number of values.
Let us suppose there are an infinity of solutions of the inequality (4)
22. THUE'S THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS O F ~ ( X J ) = m 197
where we may suppose that y > 0. We select two solutions (pl, ql), ( p 2 , q2),
q2 > q l , and define the integer r by
We can take q1 > c, and q2 > c' and also so great that r >, 2n2. We shall
impose conditions on the choice of 6 and q1 which will contradict the assertion
in Lemma 9, i.e. we shall make
< q l bn+ tl dr t br t b  vr t v h
,
d b vhr
< (qlbTi"+T+r)
We can take 6 so small that 6/(b + 1) + 6v < $ E , and r so great that b/r +
n2v/r < +E. Then A < ( ~ ~ q ; " /and
~)~we, can suppose q1 so great that A < 1.
Next
qlbe+d r t r(b  v )
, since b < v,
+
Hence T ( ~ ~ q ~< I ~ ~ ~ ) r
B c ( C ~ ~ ; & / ~ )<
from the choice of q1 for A.
This proves Siegel's theorem when 6 is an algebraic integer.
198 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Then _
j  j < 1
yv Yktb+* Yi+ltbti
for large y. Hence there can be only a finite number of values f o r j x and y .
3. The ThueSiege1 approximation result can be applied to equations other
than (1). A corollary to Theorem 4 is given by
Theorem 5
Let F(x, y ) be a homogeneous irreducible polynomial of degree n and G(x, y )
a polynomial of degree m. Then the equation
F(X,Y) = C(X,Y)
has only a j n i t e number of integer solutions for x, y i f m < n/2  1.
The result is easily proved if all the linear factors of F ( x , y ) are complex.
Suppose next that there are an infinity of solutions when there are real
linear factors of F(x, y). Then for large 1x1, there exists a real linear factor
y  a x such that F(x, y ) / ( y  ax)xnl f c1 where c1 is a constant. Hence
say,
lY  ax1 Ix"'l < CzlG(X,Y)l,
and so
Theorem 6
Let K be an algebraic numberjeld of degree n and a be the root of an equation
of degree d > 2 irreducible in K . Let 5 # 0 be an algebraic number in K and let
H(5) be the maximum tlalue of the absolute values of the coeficients of the
irreducible equation satisfied by 5. Then the inequality
I[  trl ,< l/(H([))d""fl)+S+E, O < s < d
has only ajinite number of solutions in integers E of degree n.
22. THUES THEOREM ON THE INTEGER SOLUTIONS OFf(X,y) = I77 199
The proof of the existence of only a finite number of integer solutions of
Theorem 7
Let 01 > n + I . Then the solutions of (21) satisfy the inequality
max (IxI, I y l ) < ~ e ( ~ ~ ~ ~ ) ~ ,
where c is an effectiuely computable constant depending only on n, CY and the
coeficients of f ( x , y ) .
Previously he had proved some special results, for example, when
f(x, y ) = .x3  2y3, then 1x1 < M , I yI < M where M = (3. 105m)23.
Bakers results also imply that bounds can be found for the solution of
some other equations whose solution can be made to depend upon equations
such as (21), for example,
y2 = ax3 + bx2 + c s + d,
as this can be reduced t o the question of representing unity by a finite number
of binary quartics as is shown in Chapter 27.
REFERENCES
1 . A. Thue. uber Annaherungswerte algebraischer Zahlen. J. reine nngew. Math.,
135 (1909), 284305.
2. C . L. Siegel. Approximation algebraischer Zahlen. Math. Z., 10 (1921), 173
213. Also Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 1 (1966), 646.
3. K . F. Roth. Rational approximations to algebraic numbers. Mathematika,
2 (1959, 120. Also Corrigendum. Malhernatika, 2 (1955), 168.
4. A. Baker. On the representation of integers by binary forms. Phil. Trans. R.
SOC.,263 (1968), 173191.
5. A. Baker. Rational approximations to v2 and other algebraic numbers.
Q.J. Math., 15 (1964), 375383.
CHAPTER 23
Problem
Let wl, w 2 , . . ., w , be a basis of the integers in an algebraic number field
K = Q(0). Denote by N(w) the norm of w in the field. Then it is required to
discuss the solution in rational integers x of the equation
g,(a) = 0, (1 = 1, 2 , . . ., n  m) (2)
for given m < n, and the g ( x ) are polynomials in x with rational coeflcients.
The simplest problem is when x,+  
= x , + ~ = . = x, = 0.
From algebraic number theory, it is known that the general solution of
equation (1) is given by
x1 1 + xz w(*)
a + . + X,W~) = d S P , (s = 1, 2, . . ., n), (3)
where denotes the conjugates of w , the c belong to a finite set of numbers
in K and E is a unit in K . We recall that every unit E can be written in the form
The padic field Q , is defined as a field which contains the field Q and is
such that if X E Q,, then
I. There is a valuation (A'(, on Q , which satisfies 1, 2 and 3 and coincides
with 1x1, when X = x is an element of Q .
11. Limits are defined as for complex number theory, except that an absolute
value 1x1 there is replaced by [XI,
and corresponding results exist for the
padic field. Thus Cauchy's convergence principle holds, i.e. a sequence
XI, A', . . ., tends to a limit if and only if IX,  Xnlp< E for m,n >
N(E).This limit will be in Qp and so the field Q , is complete.
111. Every element of Qp is a limit of a sequence of numbers of Q.
The discussion of convergence is now very simple since a series 2a, con
verges if and only if Ja,J ,+ 0, and so there is no need for the concept of
absolute convergence. The usual results on functions of a complex variable
carry over to padic variables. There is, however, greater simplicity since if
lan\,f 0, the series
m
log(1 + x) = s  
X2
2
+ " . + (1)nlx"
n
+ ... if 1x1, < 1
for qu. It follows at once that the product q;q;a, . . can be expressed as a
finite number of power series in v l , v 2 , . . .with coefficients in K which
converge for all padic integers v l , u2, . . ..
2. We now show by a method due to Skolem howpadic theory can be applied
to the equations arising from (2). It is obvious that equations will have only a
finite number of rational solutions if they have only a finite number of padic
solutions. The equations (2) can be replaced by a finite number of equations
g,(ul, u 2 , . . ., u,) = 0, (1 = 1 , 2 , . . ., n  m), (5)
where the g(u) are power series converging for all padic integers u. The
coefficients may be taken as rational numbers whose denominators are prime
to p since we are considering a set of conjugate equations.
The finiteness of the number of padic solutions can be proved from the
following theorems.
Theorem 1
Let f ( x ) = 2; anxn where lanlpf 0 so that the series converges when
1x1, < 1. Then the equation f(x) = 0 has only afinite number of solutions for
1x1, < 1, i.e. for padic integers x.
More generally we have a result given by Strassmann
Theorem 2
Let fo(x),fi(x), . . . be polynomials whose coeficients are padic integers, and
suppose that fo(x)has at least one coeficient & 0 (mod p). Then the equation
(6)
Theorem 3
Let fo(x,y ) , f i ( x ,y), . . ., g,(x, y), g,(x, y ) , . . . be polynomials whose co
efficients are padic integers and suppose that
Theorem 4
Let a,, a2, . . ., a,,, b,, b2, . . ., b, be numbers in an algebraic number field K.
Then the equation
2 alb:
1=1
= 0
has only a finite number of rational integer solutions for x, if none of the
quotients bJb, is a root of unity.
When the numerical values of the fundamental units of the relevant
algebraic number field play no part in an investigation, and only an estimate
for the number of solutions is required, the details may not be troublesome
as in Skolem's proof of Theorem 5
Theorem 5
I f d is an integer > 1, there is at most one rational integer solution of x3 +
dy3 = 1 other than x = 1, y = 0.
Let us suppose there are two solutions (xl,y l ) and (x2,y2).Write 0 = $2.
+ +
Then v1 = x1 y,B, q 2 = x2 y20 are positive units with norm 1 in the
field Q(0). Since there are no roots of unity in the field and there is only one
fundamental unit, we have
7;1 = 7 2 (9)
with rational integers, u l , u2. We may suppose that u,, u2 are not both
EO (mod 3), for if so, we would have + 1 3 = 7 ; 2 1 3 . Hence we may suppose
that u2 f 0 (mod 3). Then u,/u2 is a 3adic integer and so we have, say, the
3adic equation
7; = 7 2 
and the lefthand side can be expanded as a binomial series. Equating the
coefficient of O2 to zero, we have
(")2 x1
+
(.?i)2
5 x1
(")
(Y')5 d + (")8 (&)*
x1
d2 + . . . = 0.
204 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
we have
t0
3bt (y) = 0,
or
where the B are polynomials in xl, y, with integer coefficients. This is im
possible, for if 3* is the highest power of 3 dividing v , all the other terms are
divisible by 3+. For the general term is
s1
t=O
2 (y) +
3'bt y, 2 3'ct (y)
m
t=o
= 0.
Theorem 6
+
The equation x2 7 = 2" has only the positive integer solutions given by
.Y = 1, 3, 5, 11, 181 corresponding to n = 3 , 4 , 5 , 7 , 15.
When n is even, n = 4 is the only solution since
(2"/2)2  x2 = 7, 2"'2 f Y = 7, 2"/2 T x = 1.
We may now suppose that n is odd, and we write the equation as
x2
 + 7  2y,

4
where y is odd and y 2 3.
We factorize the equation in the field Q ( d r 7 ) , in which the integers have
+
the form (m n d 7 ) / 2 where m = n (mod 2), and in which unique
factorization holds. Since
we have
x + 247 = * (1 * 247 ) ,
since ab = 2, and so
aY a(a2)'Y 1)/2 
= a (mod b2),
a = a  b (mod b2),
which is false.
Hence we have
Since
Similarly bY1 = by + (Y
1  Y ) d7
2y
(mod 7'+').
It is only exceptionally that little detail is required and then the result may
perhaps be found more simply by classical methods. Thus we have the proof
by Skolem3 of
Theorem 7
The only integer solutions of the equation
x4  2y4 = 1
Hence all the terms of equation (14) are = O (mod 2Atl) except the first and
so we must have u = 0.
In the same way, it can be shown that the only integer solutions of
x4  8y4 = I , (19)
are given by y = 0, x = 1. For now we have
(I + e)yi + 82)" = + ye3,
and the result is easily proved.
The most troublesome numerical details arise perhaps when Skolem's
method cannot be applied directly because there are not as many equations
as there are unknowns. It then becomes necessary to introduce relative units
in an extension of the original algebraic number field. An illustration is given
by the equation x3  3xy2  y 3 = 1 noted by Nagell, and mentioned by
Skolem as a possible application of his method. The equation was disposed of
by Ljunggren who proved
Theorem 8
The only integer solutions of the equation
x3  3xy2  y3 = 1
are given by
(&Y) = (1, O), (0,119 ( 1, 11, (1, 31, (3,219 (2, 1).
Here we have
N(x + 6y) = 1,
taken in the cubic field Q(0) where
e3  3e +I = 0.
This equation is well known as an Abelian equation associated with the 9th
roots of unity. Call the roots 5, v, 5. Then 5, r ) may be taken as the funda
mental units and so
x + 5y = 5"r)".
This gives
(.I 5)E"v" + (5  0 v " P + ( E  d5"P = 0.
This is the only equation connecting the padic variables u, v. On writing
x = 5u ~ i z u ~+ w
( a, y = 5'"  21J)/ZvU  u/2,
ya = x3  48.
The theorem shows that the only solutions of the first one are x = 0,  1,
18,  19. A simpler method of proof is obviously desirable.
Skolem has given many other applications. He has proved Thue's theorem
in Chapter 22, on the finiteness of the number of integer solutions of a poly
nomial equation f ( x , y ) = m, except in the case when all the roots off(x, 1 ) = 0
are real. An account of this is given by Borevich and Shafarevich' in their
book on number theory which also contains an excellent account of padic
numbers and also of local methods.
5. Skolem has also shown that results can be obtained for diophantine equa
tions in more than two variables. Thus he has proved
Theorem 9
Let a, 6 , c, be three linearly independent numbers in an algebraic numberfield
K of degreefive whose conjugates include only one realfield. Then the equation
N(ax + by + cz) = n, (21)
where N denotes the norm in K, has only ajinite number of rational integer
solutions f o r x , y , z .
In particular, he proved that the equation
N(x + YVT + z V ~=) 1 ,
i.e. xs + 2 p + 4z6  +1 0 ~ ~ 13 0 ~ ~ 2 ~I,
=~ 2
has at most six solutions in integers s,y , z , and of these three are known,
namely ( s , y , 2) = (1,0,0), (  I , I , 0), (1, I , 2).
210 DlOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 10
Let K be aprimitive algebraic numberfield of degree n, and let r = rl i r2  1
where rl is the number of realjields conjugate to K and r2 is the number ofpairs
of conjugate complex fields. Then if r < n  3 and a , /3, y are three linearly
independent integers in K, the equation
+ + yz) = A ,
N ( ~ x /3y (22)
where A is a given rational integer has only afinite number of rational integer
solutions for x, y , z.
Recently other results have been found for equations typified by (22).
Thus Nagell' has proved the
Theorem 11
Suppose that K is a biquadratic field having as its only quadratic subfield an
imaginary one. Then if@, /3, y are as in Theorem 10, its result for (22) holds.
Though some of the new results are not proved by padic methods, an
account of them may not be out of place here. By combining arithmetic
methods with an application of Thue's theorem, Nagells has proved
Theorem 12
Let p be a primes > 5, and m a rational integer such that m(m  1) Z 0
(modp). Then if5 is a primative pth root of unity, the equation
N(x + 5y + 5"z) = 1
Theorem 15
+
Suppose that us + By + yz is not of the form AR pS where R is a rational
form and S is a real form whose coeficients are in a quadraticjeld. Then if
f(.u, y , z ) is a polynomial of degree < nl4, the equation
ax + FY + y z ) = f ( x , Y , z),
REFERENCES
1. R. Strassmann. uber den Wertevorrat von Potenzreihen im Gebiet der p 
adischen Zahlen. J. reine angew. Math., 159 (1928), 1328
2. T. Skolem. Diophantische Gleichungen. SpringerVerlag, (1938), pp. 114
120. See also the references cited in this book.
3. T. Skolem. The use of padic method in the theory of diophantine equations.
Bull. SOC.Math. Belg., 7 (1959, 8395.
+
4. T. Nagell. The diophantine equation x2 7 = 2. Arkiv matematik, 4
(1960), 185187.
5 . H. Hasse. uber eine diophantische Gleichungen von RamanujanNagell und
ihre Verallgerneinerung. Nag. Math. J., 27 (1966), 77102.
6. W. Ljunggren. Einige Bernerkungen iiber die Darstellung ganzer Zahlen
durch binare kubische Formen mit positiver Diskriminante. Acfa Math., 75
(1942), 121.
212 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Also G =
aH aH
=  (27a2d  9abc + 2b3)x3 . . .. + (4)

aYlIx
The covariants G, H , and f are not algebraically independent.
Theorem 1
G2 + 27Df2 = 4 H 3 . (5)
By a linear substitution of determinant unity with real or complex co
efficients, we can write, say,
f = UX' + dy3, D = 27a2d2,
H = 9adxy, G = 27ad(ax3  dy3).
The identity (5) follows at once.
8+
214 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
The following theorem is included in the general theorems, and has been
known for many years, but an independent proof is worth while.
Theorem 2
The number of classes of binary cubics with given discriminant D # 0 isfinite.
It suffices to prove thatf(x, y ) is equivalent to a binary cubic all of whose
coefficients are bounded in terms of D.
We consider two cases according as D > 0 or D < 0. Suppose first that
D > 0 and so the roots a, /I, y are all real. Then H ( x , y ) is a positive definite
+
form since H > 0 unless 3ax + by = 0, and cx 3dy = 0, bx + cy = 0 have
a solution other than x = y = 0. This requires D = 0. We now reduce
H ( x , y ) by means of a unimodular integral substitution, and so we may
assume that
P=x+
B + 2A
430 y, Q = x +
B  1/70
2A y'
Then
where p , q are rational numbers whose denominators are seen from (6) to be
bounded in terms of D .
Hence a, b, c, d are expressed as polynomials in p , q, A , B, D. Equating
discriminants for the two forms of f ( x , y),
D = 27(p2 + 3q2D)2(4Ad/D)8.
Since p , q have bounded denominators, their numerators are also bounded.
Hence a, b, c, d are bounded in terms of D .
Suppose next that D < 0. Let a be the real root and /3, y the conjugate
complex roots of f ( x , 1) = 0.
Suppose first that a = 0. Write
f(x, y ) = y(bx2 + CXJJ + dy2), A = c2  4bd.
Then D = b2C2  4db3 = b2A,
and so b, A are bounded in terms of D . As we may suppose IcI <b# 0. then
c, d a r e also bounded.
Suppose next that a # 0. Write
f(x,Y ) = k (x  ay)(Px2 + Q x +~ Ry2),
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 215
where the sign is taken so that Px2 Qxy + + Ry2 is positive definite. We
reduce this form and so we may suppose that
1 < p + y < 1, P y 2 1.
We apply the same substitution tof(x, y ) and call the new form reduced. We
show that its coefficients are bounded in terms of D.We show that
IP  YI2 2 3, (a  B)(.  Y) 2 $.
The first follows from
(B  YI2 = (B + YI2  4PY < 3,
and the second from
( a  P)(a  y) =
( a  B
 + Y
2 )2(T)*
B  Y 2
27a2
then ID1 >  P R ,
16
and so R is bounded. This proves that the coefficients off(x, y ) are bounded.
To prove thatf(s, y ) in equation (1) is equivalent to a reduced binary cubic
involves a special case of a general problem in the Geometry of Numbers.
This is to find the minimum value m of a function Ig(x, y)I for integer values
of x, y. For (l), it was shown by Mordell that if D < 0, then ni <  D/23,
and that equality occurs when
f(x,y) N m(x3  xy2  y3).
If D > 0, then m < q/o/49and for equality
f(x,y)  m(x3 + xy2  2xy2  y 3 ) .
2. We can use these results in I to find the solution in integers X , Y, Z of
x2 +~ Y =Z2 3 , (7)
where k is a given integer.
216 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 3
All the integer solutions of
X2 + k Y 2 = Z3, (X,Z)= 1 (7)
are given by the formulae (10) above.
For let ( X , Y , Z ) = (g,J h) be a solution such that
g2 + k f 2 = h3, ( g , h ) = 1. (1 1)
We shall construct a binary cubic f ( x , y ) with integer binomial coefficients
and of discriminant 4k such that g,S, h are values assumed by C(x,y ) ,f ( x , y ) ,
H ( x , y ) for integers x, y. Then all the solutions of equation (7), are given by
24. BJNARY CUBIC FORMS 217
taking for f ( x , y ) a set of nonequivalent binary cubics of discriminant
D = 4k, and letting x, y run through all integer values for which ( X , 2 ) = 1.
Since from equation (1 l),  k is a quadratic residue of h, there exist binary
quadratics of discriminant 4k with first coefficient h, for example, say,
(h, 2B, C ) = hx2 + 2Bxy + Cy2, where B 2  hC = k.
We take for B any solution of the congruence f B =  g (mod h3).
We shall now construct a binary cubic (,L b, c, d ) with discriminant D = 4k
and H in ( 8 ) given by (h, 2B, C).
b2  h
Since It = b2  f c , c = 3
f
we can take b = g / h (modf) and, in particular,
bh = g + Bf, and so b = 0 (mod h2).
Then
On simplifying,
h3d =  k g  3kfB + 3gB2 + fB3.
We show now that c and d a r e integers. We have
h2c =  k f + 2g ( 7 )+ 7
  (mod h2)
 h f 2  8'
 = 0 (mod h2).
 f
Hence c is an integer. Next
h 3 d  kg 3 2 
+ 3kg + 
f'
5 (mod h3)
= ( k f 2 + g 2 ) (mod h3)
f 3
= 0 (mod h3).
Then d is an integer. This completes the proof.
218 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
Theorem 4

The equation (12) for m = 1 has at most three integer solutions except when
f ( x , y ) = (a, b, c, d ) (1,0, 1, 1) or (1,  1, 1, l), when there are exactly four
solutions, or whenf(x, y ) (1, 0,  1, l), when there are exactlyfive solutions.
The proof requires a detailed investigation and so we shall give only a
sketch of the method. We operate in the ring 2 [ 8 ] . In this there is one funda
mental unit v, and this may be taken to satisfy 0 < 9 < 1. From equation (1 3).
+ +
( x ey)(x ey)(x + e y = 1,
and so x + 8y is a unit in the ring. Hence
x + 8y = T*, m = 0, f:l, + 2,... (14)
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 219
and we have to find the integer values of m for which this is possible. The first
stage in the proof is to show that equation (14) can be replaced by
x + 7)Y = Trn, (15)
and that 7 is a root of an equation with d = 1. The next stage is to show that
i n 3 0 except for the excluded case y3 +
q Z = 1 when v W 2= 1 + 7.
We show there is at most one unit for which xy # 0. Suppose that m, is the
least positive integer for which a relation
xo + 7)yo = rlm0 (16)
holds, and that x, y , m in equation (15) is a different set.
Put m = qm, + r, 0 6 r < m,.
It can be shown that 3 < r < m,  2. Put
E=7)'= X+7)Y+7)2Z.
Then Z # 0 since r < m,. From equations (15), (16)
x + 7)y = (x, + 7)yo)"X + 7) Y + q 2 Z ) .
A congruence mod yo shows that Z = 0 (mod yo) and so IZI > yo. From
equation (1 7) and the conjugate equations,
+
 dDz = (7)'  7)")e + (7)"  7))E' + (7)  7)"".
Also 773 2 7)r = & 3 7y02,
does not present too much difficulty. The integer solutions are trivial when d
is a perfect cube. Then if [dl > 1, the only solution is x = 1, y = 0, and when
Id1 = 1, there is another solution x = 0, dy = 1. We may suppose now that
d > 1 and is free from cubed factors since these can be absorbed in y3.
We consider the cubic field K = Q ( a ) . The integers in K of the form
x + y q d + zf@, where x, y, z are rational integers, form a ring Z [ q d ] ,
the units in which are those integers 77 whose norm N ( 7 ) = f 1. Let E be
the fundamental unit in the ring chosen so that 0 < E < 1. Then all the units
in Z [ q d ] are given by
7 = &En,
where n takes all integer values. The + sign must be taken for the positive
units. Then if rational integers x, y satisfy
x3 + dy3 = 1, i.e. N ( x + ym)= 1,
7=x + y q d is a positive unit in the ring. Such a unit will be called a
binomial unit.
Theorem 5
The equation x3 + dy3 = 1 (d > 1) has at most one integer solution with
xy # 0. This is given by the fundamental unit in the ring when it is a binomial
unit, i.e. E takes the form E = x + y q d .
We require four lemmas.
Lemma 1
There cannot exist units
7 =P + Qqd + RVZ, 171 > 1, Q R = 0.
Suppose first that R = 0. Then P Q < 0, and
1/171 = P 2  P Q V d + Q2YZ3 1 + Vd + Vdz > 3,
a contradiction.
So if Q = 0, PR < 0, and
1/171 = P 2  P R Y d + R2VP > 3.
Hence we have to find the positive integers n such that
En =x + yVd.
Lemma 2
No unit of the types
(x + yVd>, n = +2, + 3,...; (.Y + yV/d), n = 51, + 2 ,...
can be a binomial unit.
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 221
We may suppose that the units are positive and so n > 0. Take the first
type. Expand and equate to zero the terms in q/d2,and put t = dy3. This
gives three different cases depending on the residue of n (mod 3). Then for
n = 2 (mod 3),
n = 1 (mod 3),
n = 0 (mod 3),
Since t = dy3, (x, t ) = 1. Suppose first that d > 2 and so 1x1 > 1. Let p be
a prime divisor of x and let p a be the greatest power o f p dividing the binomial
coefficient in the highest power of t in the equation above under discussion.
We shall show that the remaining terms in the equation are divisible byp"+'
thus giving a contradiction.
It will suffice to take the case n = 1 (mod 3). The general term with r > 0 is
given by
3' n.n  1 . . . . .n  3r  1
.
+
t(n3'"/3
X
(3r 2)!
Write this as
n  2.n  3.....n  3r  1
)
X3'
+ 1)(3r + 2)
t(n3r 1)/3
1.2 . . . . .3r ((3r
The first two terms in brackets are integers. Now ifp 2 2, p3' > 3r 2 since +
+
113' > 3r 2, and so the term in the third bracket is divisible byp.
We now take the second type of units, and write t = d2y3.
Three cases arise:
n = 2 (mod 3),
('I) t(n2)13 + s
t(n5)/3 3 (3+ .. ' + (X3)(n2)'3 ('I)
= 0,
n = 1 (mod 3),
n = 0 (mod 3),
Suppose finally that d = 2. Then it is known that the only rational solutions
of,y3 + 2y3 = 1 a r e x = 1,y = 0; x =  I , y = 1 (see Chapter IS), and that
 1 + v2 is the fundamental unit.
Lemma 3
The square of a unit 7 # k 1 cannot be a binomial unit.
Suppose that
+ QVJ + RVZ.
=P
Lemma 4
The cube of a unit 7 # k 1, cannot be a binomial unit.
Let = P + Q V +~RVZ.
Then equating to zero the coefficient of vdz in q3, we have
P2R+ PQ2 + R 2 Q d = 0. (20)
Also P 3 + Q3d + R 3 d 2  3PQRd = 1. (21)
We shall show that the only solutions of these equations are P = 1, Q =
R = O o r P = R = 0, Q = 1 = d , o r P = Q = 0, R = 1, d = 1.
Write ( Q , R ) = 8 and so ( P , dS) = 1.
Then from equation (20)
R = S2r, Q = Sq, (q,r ) = 1,
and so + Pq2 + S3r2qd = 0,
P2r
or r2qS3d = P(Pr + q2).
But (r, Pr + q 2 ) = 1, and so P = pr2,
and qS3d = p(q2 + pr3).
Also ( P , dS) = 1 and so ( p , d8) = 1, and q = ps.
Hence 9Rd(r2d  P Q ) = 0.
Theorem 6
Let a, b, c bepositive integers, a > b > 1, c = I , 3, (ab, c) = 1, b = 1 ifc =
3. Then the equation
ax3 + by3 = c (25)
has at most one integer solution (x, y ) , and for this
c  yxva +yeq3
is either thefundamental unit or its square in the cubicfieldQ (vd)
defined by
,)"ba/Q
v( +
excluding however, the equation 2x3 y 3 = 3 which has the two
solutions ( I , 1) and (4,  5).
Further there is at most one equation (25) with given d which has integer
solutions with xy # 0 except when d = 2, 20.
5. Suppose next that D > 0 in equation (12). There are now two fundamental
units ql, qz and so
x + ey = ?:2m. (26)
It is not often that equations such as (26) are so easily dealt with as in Chapter
27. In general, they prove rather difficult and troublesome as was seen for
the equation
x3  3xy2 + y3 = 1
considered in Chapter 23.
226 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 7
r f D is suficiently great, there are at most eighteen integer solutions of the
equationf(x,y ) = 1.
The proof depends upon ideas similar to those used in the proof of the
ThueSiege1 theorem, but now the approximations to algebraic numbers are
given by hypergeometric series.
6. We give a few results on the rational solutions of the equation
ax3 + bxZy + cxy2 + dy3 = e,
or in the homogeneous form
ax3 + bxZy + cxy2 + dy3 = ez3, (27)
where now x , y , z are integers and (x. Y. z ) = 1.
As seen in Chapter 6, the nonexistence of integer solutions of equations of
this form may be shown by simple congruence considerations, for example,
by taking equation (27) as a congruence mod 9.
Most of the known results about equation (27) deal with special cases of
the equation and equations derived from these, and in particular the equation
Ax3 + By3 + Cz3 = 0, (28)
and the derived equation
x3  3xy2 + y3 = pz3.
The equation (28) is a particular case of the equation
Ax3 + By3 + Cz3 + Dxyz = 0,
already considered in Chapter 10.
Some results have already been given for special cases of equation (28).
Selmer" has written an extensive memoir on this equation. The results are
usually found by algebraic number theory. By a slight change in the variables,
the equation (28) may be written in the form
x3  my3 = nz3. (29)
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 227
The lefthand side is then split into linear factors. If m = If: 1, we can apply
the quadratic field Q(p). If m # ~f:1, the cubic field Q(yh) is required and its
arithmetical properties must be studied. Thus if 6' = $'%, equation (29) leads
to an ideal equation
(x  ey) = ?&3, (30)
where 7 is an ideal taken from a finite set. Then we have an equation
x  y6' = pa3 = (e + f 8 + go2)@ + 06' + w P ) ~ ,
where u, w are rational integers and e , f , g are taken from a finite set of
21,
If any of these equations with 1 < a < b < c are solvable, so is the equation
(32). In fact, from a result due essentially to Euler, we can take
x+ Y = 9abcx3y3z3, x Y = (ax3  by3)(by3  cz3)(cz3  ax3),
2 = 3(abx3y3 + bcy3z3 + ~ a z ~ x ~ ) x y z .
Some such relation might be expected since both the equations (32) and (33),
when a solution is known for a set a , b, c, are birationally equivalent to the
cubic
y2 = 4x3  27A2.
Some of the equations (33) may be of special interest since they may be every
where locally solvable but have no solutions. The simplest such equation is
3x3 + 4y3 + 5z3 = 0.
We now give some equationslz with no rational solutions.
Theorem 8
The equation
(px + 4 ~ + )kz3~ = ( r s + sy)(x2 + xy + 7y2), (34)
228 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 9
The equation
Ax3 + Dy3 + kz3 = 0, k = 2,4,
has no integer solutions except (0, 0,O)if
A =1Ph + P)(4  2P), D = 3d7P + d ( 7 P  2q),
P + q $ 0 (mod 31,
and either
p = 1 (mod 2), q(q  p ) = 0 (mod 4),
or p = 2 (mod 4), q = 1 (mod 2),
and if either t
+
q2  qp 7p2 f 0 (mod Pz) or pq(63p2  34pq 9q2) $ 0 (mod Pz). +
It is shown in due course that an instance is given by the equation
23 + iiy3 + 20x3 = 0.
This is of special interest since it has no integer solutions except (0, 0, 0), but
it is solvable locally everywhere. This is obvious since the congruence is
solvable to moduli 9, 5, 11 since 5 = 11 = 2 (mod 3). This result is given by
Selmer and is proved in an entirely different way.
In equation (34), we may suppose that ( x , y, z ) = 1 and so (x, y ) = 1.
Write f ( x , y ) = x2 xy + +7y2.
We consider the possible prime factors d of f ( x , y ) . Clearly d # 2 since this
requires x = y = 0 (mod 2). Next d # 3, since this requires x = y = 5 1
(mod 3), and so
j ( x , y) = (x  4 ~ =) 0 ~(mod 9).
Then z = 0 (mod 3), p x + qy = 0 (mod 3) contrary to the end of (35). Hence
the only prime divisors of f ( x , y) are the primes P = 1 (mod 3), and the odd
primes P' = 2 (mod 3) and then ,Y = y = 0 (mod P') since ( 3/P') = 1.
t See addendum,
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 229
The only prime divisors of the lefthand side of (34) that need be considered
+
the common divisors of p x qy and z, the primes PI = 1 (mod 3) for
which 2 is a cubic residue; and this is so if and only if
P, = X: + 27Yf
with integers X I , Y,; the primes Pz = I (mod 3) for which 2 is not a cubic
residue and then z E 0 (mod P z ) ,p x + qy F 0 (mod P2);and the primes P'.
Let us consider next the divisor d = Pz.
Thenpx + qy E 0 (mod P z ) , f ( x ,y ) = 0 (mod P2)and sof(q, p) = 0 (mod P2).
+
By (36),f ( s ,  r ) $ 0 (mod P2)and so rx sy $ 0 (mod P2).Hence f(x, y )
= 0 (mod P i ) . Since P2 can be expressed as
P2 = x: + x2y2 + y;,
we have a factorization
f(x, y ) = nP'' n
P' pa
(x: + ~ 2 + y 3 3 n ( X : + 27 Y:).
~ 2
p1
Also f(x,y) =
x + $ ( I + dl27)
= pn n P' n (x2 + $
P' P2
(1 + d 3 ) 3 n p1
(XI + Ylz/=z), (35)
x + 22 (1 + d 3 7 ) = pa n pP'(X + YdT7).
Suppose first that CI = 0. Then y = 0 (mod 2) and this is impossible. Suppose
next that CI = & 1. Then
3y= * x  3Y.
Then X = 0 (mod 3), andf(x, y ) = 0 (mod 9 ) and this is also impossible.
This completes the proof.
To prove Theorem 9, write equation (28) in the form
Ax3 + Bx2y + C,yy2 + Dy3 = kz3,
where
A = r  p3, B = r + s  3p2q, C = 7r + s  3pq2, D = 7s  q3.
Suppose now that B = C = 0. Then
7r + s = 3pq2, r + s = 3p2q,
and so r = t P d 4  PI, s = 3Pd7P  4).
Hence A = t P d 9  P>  P 3 = + PN4  2P),
tP(4
D = 2Pd7P  4)  q3 = t d 7 P + d ( 7 P  2q).
We still have the condition p +q f 0 (mod 3). The condition p  r =
1 (mod 2) becomes
P  *P4(4  PI = 1 (mod 2).
This gives either
p = 1 (mod 2), q(q  p) = 0 (mod 4),
or p = 2 (mod 4 ) , q = 1 (mod 2).
The condition f(s,  r ) $ 0 (mod P,) becomes
pq(63p2  34pq + 9q2) f 0 (mod P2).
Takep = 1,q = 4 , r = 6 , s = 6 , A = 5 , D = 22.Thenf(q,  p ) = 19 = P ,
and f(s,  r ) = 9 , 62 $ 0 (mod P2).On writing 2x for x etc., we get the
equation
z3 + iiY3 + 20.~3= o
previously noted.
24. BINARY CUBIC FORMS 23 I
Addendum to Theorem 9
Prof. Schinzel points out that the condition, either q2  qp p 2 f 0 +
+
(mod P2)or pq(63p2  34qp 9q2) f 0 (mod P2)can be replaced by the con
dition q f 0 (mod 7). For if neither statement is true, the identity
63p2  34pq + 9q2 = 9(q2qp+7p2)  25pq
shows that p q E 0 (mod P2),and then i f p = 0 (mod P2), also q = 0 (mod P z ) ;
and if q = 0 (mod PJ, then 7p = 0 (mod P2).These are impossible if
( q , 7 p ) f 0 (mod P J . Since a common divisor of p , q can be absorbed in x
and y , we may suppose that ( p , q ) = 1 and so we require that q f 0 (mod 7).
H e also notes that the equation is locally solvable everywhere it either
q = 4p (mod 9) or the cube freekernel of pq = k 3 (mod 9). Thus if p = 2,
+
q = 3, we have the equation lox3 51y3 z3 = 0. +
REFERENCES
I . L. J. Mordell. The minimum of a binary cubic form I, 11. J. Lond. Math Soc.,
18 (1943), 201219 and 210217.
2. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y 2  k = x3. Pror. Lond. Math.
Soc., (2) 13 (1913), 6080.
3. A. Baker. On the representation of integers by binary forms. Phil. Trans. R .
Soc. Lond., 263 (1968), 173208.
4. B. Delaunay. Uber die Darstellung der Zahlen durch die binare kubische
Formen mit negativer Discriminante. Math. Z . , 31 (1930), 126.
5. T. Nagell. Darstellungen ganzer Zahlen durch binare kubische Formen mit
negativer Diskriminante. Muth. Z . , 28 (1928), 1029.
6. W. Ljunggren. Einige Bemerkungen uber die Darstellung ganzer Zahlen durch
binare kubische Formen mit positiver Diskriminante. Actu Math., 75 (1942),
121.
7. V. I. Baulin. On an indeterminate equation of the third degree with least
positive discriminant (Russian). Tiil'sk Gos. Ped. Znst. U'ten. Zap Fiz Mat.
Nalrk Vyp., 7 (1960), 138170.
8. T . Nagell. Solution complete de quelques Cquations cubiques a deux indeter
minees. J . lie Math., (9) 4 (1925), 209270.
9. W. Ljunggren. On an improvement of a theorem of T. Nagell concerning the
diophantine equation Ax3 + B y 3 = C. Math. Scan., 1 (1953), 297309.
10. C. L. Siegel. Uber einige Anwendungen diophantischei Approximationen.
Abh. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Phys. Math., KI (1929), Nr 1.
11. E. S. Selmer. The diophantine equation ax3 + by3 + c z 3 = 0. Actn Math.,
85 (1951), 203362.
+
12. L. J. Mordell. Equations ax3 + bx2y cxy2 + d y 3 = e with no rational
solutions. J . Lond. Math. SOC.,43 (1968), 433438.
CHAPTER 25
1. Let
There are quartic and sextic covariants, H ( x , y), G(x, y), defined by
I a2F a2F I
aF aF I
1
G = G(x,y) = 
8
Theorem 1
G2 =  g2HF2  g3F3
4H3
= 4(H  e,F)(H  e2F)(H  e3F), (4)
where e l , e2, e3 are roots of the equation
4t3  g,t  g, = 0.
It suffices to prove the result for the canonical form of the quartic. The e are
roots of the equation
4 t 3  (1 + 3m')t  nz + m3 = 0,
or (t + m)(4t2  4mt + m2  1) = 0,
m + l in  1
and so el = m, e2 =  e3=.
2
9
2
We verify at once that
H  e,F = (9m2  l)x2y2,
H  e2F = #(3m + I)(x' + y2)',
H  e3F = 3(3m  1)(2  y')',
and the theorem follows.
We have already proved in Chapter 18 the
Theorem 2
The class nirnzber for binary quartics with given inoariants is finite.
The conditions for a reduced form cannot be expressed in very simple
terms. Birch and SwinnertonDyer in their exhaustive study of rational
points on elliptic curves, found it convenient to develop a theory of reduction
which is independent of Julia's geometric presentation but is more suitable
for computational purposes.
2. We can now find' the integer solutions of the equation
2' = X 3  G 2 X Y 2  G3Y3, (5)
where G2, G, are given integers and the righthand side has no squared linear
factor.
234 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
We shall construct a quartic (a, b, c, d, e)(x,y)4 with invariants 4G2, 4G3 with
leading coefficients h, g for the quartic and sextic covariants respectively. Then
if the quartic is equivalent to F(x, y ) , we have
a = F(p, d , h = H(P,d , 2g = G(p, 41,
The equation
2z2 = s3 + 13
Theorem 3
The equation
ey2 = a s 3 + h.r2 + C.Y + cl, a # 0,
(7)
where the constants are integers and the righthand side has no squared linear
factor in s,has only afinite number of integer solutions.
The proof will be given in Chapter 27 and depends on Thues theorem that
the equation
.f(s,y) = a s 4 + hs3j>+ cx2y2 + d,vy3 + ey4 = m,
(8)
where f ( s ,y ) is not a square i n x, y , has only a finite number of integer
solutions. In general, it is not too easy to find them, but thepadic methods of
Chapter 23 are sometimes useful.
236 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 4
The number N of solutioris of equation (10) is always even and N < 8.
Also N = 8 ifand only if
25. BINARY QUARTIC FORMS 237
F(X, Y )  ( 1 , 0 ,  1 , 0 , 1 ) o r ( l ,  I ,  1 , 1 , 1 ) ; a n d N = 6 i f a n d o n l y i f
F ( X , Y) (l,O, r2, 2r, 1) or (1,2r, r 2 + s, rs, 1) or (1, 1, 1, 1, 1) where r is
N
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. Indeterminate equations of the third and fourth degrees. Q.J.
Pure appl. Maths., 45 (1914), 170186.
2. B. J. Birch and H. P. F. SwinnertonDyer. Notes on elliptic curves, I. J. reine
angew. Math., 212 (1963), 725.
+
3. F. E. G. Rodeja. On the diophantine equation x3 y 3 = 2z2. Riuista Mat.
Hisp. Am. (1953), 413, 229240.
4. C. Georgikopoulous. Rational solutions of the equations x3 4y3 = za, +
+
x3 2y3 = z2. Bull. SOC.Math. Grkce., 24 (1948), 1319.
5 . T. Nagell. Sur les representations de l'unitk par les formes binaires biquadra
tiques du premier rang. Arkivfor Mat., 5 (1965), 477521.
CHAPTER 26
The Equationf = x3 +k
1. The Diophantine equation
y 2 = x3 + k.
This has played a fundamental role in the development of number theory.
The earliest recorded result was given in 1621 by Bachet who noted that when
k = 2, and so x = 3 is a solution, other solutions can be found by the usual
tangent method. Then Fermat posed a problem for the English mathema
ticians to show that the only integer solutions of y 2 = x3  2 are given by
s = 3. He asserted that, at first sight, this seemed to be a difficult question,
although an infinity of fractional solutions can be deduced by the method of
Bachet. He stated that he had discovered an exceedingly beautiful and subtle
method which enabled him to solve such questions in integers and which was
not known to Bachet. His proof was never published. A faulty proof was
given many years later by Eu1er.t
It may be remarked that the first proof of the existence of an infinity of
rational solutions was given by Fueter in 1930, and will be considered further
on.
We consider first various methods for discussing integer solutions of the
equation (I).
Congruence considerations
It has been known2 for nearly a century that many equations can be proved
to have no integer solutions when they can be written in the form
y2 + lm2 = x3 + n3, (2)
This is considered as a congruence mod 2l. Simple congruence considera
tions may eliminate some of the residues of x mod 4 or mod 8, or mod I , and
the other residues may often be eliminated by considering the quadratic
characters of x + I?, x2  x n + n2 mod 8 or mod 1.
Some illustrations are now given.
The equation
y2 + 4a2 = x3 + (4b  1)3, (3)
where a has no prime factors = 3 (mod 4).
Clearly
x f 0 (mod 2), x $  I (mod 4), and so x = 1 (mod 4).
t For the early history, see Dicksons History of the Theory of Numbers 11.
26. THE EQUATIONy 2 = x3 +k 239
Then
.P  s(4b  I ) + (4b  I)2 = 3 (mod 4),
and is > O and so cannot divide y 2 + 4u2. Hence there are no solutions.
The equation
y2 + (2a + = x3 + (46 + 2)3,
where 2a +
1 has no prime factors = 3 (mod 4).
Here x $ 0 (mod 2), x f  1 (mod 4) and so x = 1 (mod 4).
Then
x2  x(4b + 2 ) + (46 + 2)2 = 3 (mod 4),
and so cannot divide y 2 (2a ++
We give instances of equation (2) when I = ? 2.
The equation
y2  2b2 = x3  a3,
where a = 2, 4 (mod 8), b = 1 (mod 2), and b has no prime factor
= k 3 (mod 8).
Here x f O(mod 2), x $ 1 (mod4) and so x =  1 (mod4), i.e. x =
 1 , 3 (mod 8). When .Y =  1 (mod S), x  a = t 3 (mod 8) and since
x  a > 0, it cannot divide y 2  2b2. When x = 3 (mod 8),
x2 + a x + a2 = 1 + 3a + u2 = k 3 (mod 8),
and so cannot divide y 2  2h2.
The equation
y2 + 2b2 = x3  a3,
where a = 4 (mod 8), b = 1 (mod 2) and b contains no prime divisors
= 5, 7 (mod 8).
Here also x =  1, 3 (mod 8). When x =  1 (mod S), y 2 = 5 (mod S),
When s = 3 (mod 8), x  a = 7 (mod 8) and cannot divide y 2 2b2. +
Results may also be found if k can be written in several forms.
The equation
y2 = x3 + 45. (7)
Clearly x f 0 (mod 2), x f 1 (mod 4) and so x = 3, 7 (mod 8).
Write y'  2.6' = x3  27.
Here x $ 0 (mod 3) since if x = 3X, y = 3 Y , Y 2 = 3 X 3 + 5.
240 DIOPH ANTINE EQUATIONS
The equation
y 2  3b2 = .'c3  a3,
where a = 1 (mod 4), h = L2 (mod 6) and b has no prime .factors
= & 5 (mod 12).
Here x $ 0 (mod 2), ,Y $  1 (mod 4) and so x = 1 (mod 4). Also x =
+
a, a 1 (mod 3). We reject x = a since then x3 = a3 (mod 9) and so
y 2 = 3 (mod 9). Hence
x2 + a s t a2 = 1 (mod 3), =3 (mod 4), = 7 (mod 12).
Then x2 + ax + u2 contains a prime factor p = f 5 (mod 12) and since
(3/p) =  1, it cannot divide y2  3b2.
We have the more general2
Theorem 1
The equation
y2  kb2 = x3  k3a3
has no integer solutions when
a =  1 (mod 4), b = 0 (mod 2),
k is squarefree, k = 3 (mod 4), ( k , 6 ) = 1 , and b $ 0 (mod 3) i f k = 2 (mod 3);
and lastly a and b hatie no common prime factor p i f the quadratic character
(k/p) =  1.
+
Since y2 3 x3  1 (mod 4), x 0, 2, 3 (mod 4), and so x 3 1 (mod 4).
Write y 2  kb2 = (x  ka)(x2 + kax + k2u2),
and F = x2 + kax + k2u2 > 0.
Now (x, k ) = 1 for if q I ( x , k), where q is a prime, then q I y 2 but q2 t kb2
since ( k , b) = 1. Hence (F, k ) = 1.
Then since F = 3 (mod 4),
namely
f l , f ( 1 + "3)
, f(  1 2d")
We begin with the case when h , the number of classes of ideals in the field
Q ( d k )is not divisible by 3, and this of course is so when unique factorization
holds in the field, for example, when k =  1,  2 ,  3 , 7, . . ., k =
2 , 3 , 6, . . . .
Suppose now that k = 2 , 3 (mod 4 ) or 5 (mod 8).
This means that x f 0 (mod 2) in
y2  k = x3.

k U 2 = 1 . There will be as many sets of equations of this kind as there are
classes of ideals & whose cubes give the principal class. When & 1 , we take
n = 1. If it is convenient to take b to be a prime ideal, then n will be a prime.
The resulting cubic equation in X , Y takes the form
AX3 + 3BX2Y + 3 C X Y 2 + D Y 3 = m3,
and can sometimes be shown to be impossible by simple congruence con
siderations.
Let us now consider the equation
y2  k = x 3
If I = 3, the condition i s
r2 + 243s2 = 4p.
We now prove3 the
Theorem 2
The equation
y 2 = x3 + k , k = 2a3  3b2, (15)
has no integer solutions if a, b are integers, ab # 0, a $ 1 (mod 3), b $
0 (mod 3), and if when h = 0 (mod 2), then a = 1 (mod 2 ) ; and i f 2 is a cubic
residue of every odd prime p = 1 (mod 3) dividing a.
Write x3 + 2a3 = y 2 3b2. + (16)
The possible primes dividing the lefthand side are the common prime factors
of x and a, 2,3, primes q = 2 (mod 3), and primes p = 1 (mod 3) for which
@/PI3 = 1.
26. THE EQUATIONy 2 = .x3 +k 245
We show first that the lefthand side, say L, is prime to 6 . For if .Y = 2s,,
then y = h (mod 2 ) , and so eithery = h E 0 (mod 2 ) or y = b = 1 (mod 2).
The first case is impossible since a = I (mod 2). The second case gives
x3 + 2a3 = 4 (mod 8) and this is also impossible.
+
Next if .x3 2a3 = 0 (mod 3), y = 0 (mod 3), and so x3 2a3 E +
3 (mod 9). This is impossible since a3 = 0,  1 (mod 9). Suppose now that a
prime q = 2 (mod 3) divides L. Then y = b = 0 (modq). Hence we can
write y = Qy,, b = Qb,, where Q is the product of factorsq dividingL. Then
Q2 must divide out in both sides of equation (16) and the only other prime
factors of L are primesp = A 2 + 27B2.
Since factorization in the quadratic field Q ( Y ' I 3 ) is unique, we have
(y1 + b,d3)pa = n
P
(A + Bd27) = C +DdZ7,
+
where p = f( 1 d z 3 ) , a: = 0, f. 1. I f a: = 0, then b, = 0 (mod 3)
contrary to hypothesis. If a = t 1, y, + b, E 0 (mod 2), and then L =
0 (mod 2), and this has been excluded.
Instances are given by k = 51, with a = 3, h = 1 , and k = 13, with a = 2,
b = 1.
A similar result is
Theorem 3
The equation
s3 + 4a3 = y2 + 3b2, ab # 0, (17)
has no integer solution if b = rf: 1 (mod 6), a e 0 , 2 (mod 6), and a has no
prime factors p = 1 (mod 3).
A variant using the cubic character of 3 is given by
Theorem 4
The equation
x3 + 3a3 = y 2 + 3b2, (18)
has no integer solutions if k / 3 = a3  b2 $ 0 (mod 3) unless that one of
h, h & ( 1  k ) \t,hich is dirisihle by 3 is also diiisible by 9.
The lefthand side is not divisible by 3, for this would require y = 0 (mod 3),
x = 0 (mod 31, a3  b2 = 0 (mod 3). Hence
y = k 1 (mod 3), x3 = 1 (mod 3), .x3 = 1 (mod 9),
and then
y2 = 1 + k (mod 9), y = f (1  k ) (mod 9).
Hence the only possible divisors of the lefthand side are the common
divisors of s and a, the primes p = 1 (mod 3) of which 3 is a cubic residue
9+
246 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Ljunggren6 solves this completely in the manner indicated above, and some
details are given in Chapter 23.
It is sometimes desirable to use the binary quartic equations which have
been seen to arise. Now there are two fundamental units and two relations
connecting them and so the padic method can be applied directly. In this
way, Ljunggren7 has shown that when k = 7, the only solutions are
(s,y ) = (2, I), (32, 181); and that when k =  15, the only solution is
(  Y , Y ) = (1, 2).
+
When solutions exist for y 2 = x3 k , and we have no criterion for this, a
computer may be very useful unless the solutions are exceedingly large numbers.
Thus tables6av6bhave been compiled for Ikl < 9999 and 0 < y < lolo.
This makes the range for s, 21 < .Y < 4, 641, 589.
5. Rational solutions
+
When one rational solution of the equation y 2 = x3 k is known, it has
been shown that in general a new solution can be found, and so an infinity of
rational solutions can be expected. The first result, however, is due to Fueter*
who proved the
Theorem 5
Let k befreefrom sixth power primefactors. Then if the equation y 2 = x3 + k
has a rational solution (x,y ) = ( p , q ) with p q # 0, there are an infnity of
rational solutions unless k = 432 when there is only the solution x = 12,
y = k 36, and k = 1 n,hen there are only the solutions x = 0,  1,2.
248 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
u = 9P4
2
p, I =
8q4 36q2p3 + 27p6
 492 8q3
We have to investigate when this solution is different from ( p , 4). The
numerator of y shows that y # 0, and x = 0 can arise only from 9p3 = 8q2,
i.e. q = 3t3, p = 2t2, k = t s , and so effectively from k = 1. On putting
p = P/D2,q = Q / D 3 ,
Q2 = P3 + kD6,
where(P, Q , D ) = I, (P, D ) = I, ( Q , D ) = 1.
9P4
Also Dx =   2P.
4Q2
Hence we certainly have a new solution if 3P2/2Qis not an integer, and so we
may suppose that 3P2/2Q is an integer. Then the special cases must be con
sidered when P = 0 (mod 2) or Q = 0 (mod 3 ) or (P, Q ) > 1. It can be
shown that a similar procedure with the special cases leads to a solution which
is not a special case. In this way, we find a solution which either has a greater
denominator than D , or, if the denominator is D , the numerator is greater
than P.
Lemma
ZfQ(Z/k) and Q(dk) are two quadraticfields, and ifthe class number for
the imaginary field is prime to 3, then the class number for the real field is also
prime to 3.
We need not use this lemma if we postulate the nondivisibility by 3 for
both class numbers.
26. THE EQUATION y 2 = x3 + k 249
The first general result is due to Fueter8 who proved the
Theorem 6
The equation y 2 = 53 + k has no rational solutions i f k is a negative integer
free from sixth power factors, and contains all odd prime factors to an odd
power, and if also
k = 2 (mod 9), k f 1 (mod 4), k f 4 (mod 16),
and the class number h of Q(dk)is not diiisible by 3.
It suffices to consider the equation
y 2 = .y3 + kt6,
and to show that there are no integer solutions in ( x ,y , r ) with t # 0 and
(s,y , t ) = 1. With such a solution, we could associate a cubic equation
u3  3xu  2y = 0
of discriminant d =  108kt6.
The solution of the cubic is given by
u =(y + t31/k)1'3 + ( y  t 3 d k p 3 .
Two cases arise since either the equation is irreducible in the field Q(z/),
or is reducible and so splits into a linear factor and a quadratic factor which is
then reducible in Q(d\/).
In the first case, it is shown that
(y + t3dk) = a3,
Here again two cases arise according as the cubic is reducible or irreducible
in the field Q(d\/k).
In the first case the method of infinite descent applies and
so no solution is possible. In the second case, it is shown by results on the
relative discriminants of algebraic number fields that h = 0 (mod 3), a contra
diction.
The second general method lo*11*12is illustrated by the following Theorems
7, 8, and 9.
Theorem 7
+
The equation y 2 = x3 k has no rational solutions ifall the following con
ditions are satisfied.
I. k is positive and square free and k 3 2 or 3 (mod 4) and k =  2 or
 4 (mod 9).
11. The number h of classes of ideals in the quadraticfield Q(d) is not
divisible by 3.
111. Thefundamentalsolution (X,Y ) = ( U , T ) of the equation Y 2  k X 2 = 1
satisfies the conditions
111'. i f k = 2 (mod 9), then U = f 3 (mod 9), andso T = & 1 (mod 9),
111". i f k =  4 (mod 9), then either U = f 3 (mod 9) and so T =
f 1 (mod 9), or U = + 4 (mod 9) and T 3 5 3 (mod 9).
Instances are k = 7 since h = 4, and U = 3 , and k = 14 since h = 4,
U = 4, T = 15.
Theorem 8
+
The equation y2 = x3 k has no rational solutions i f the following con
ditions are satisfied.
I. k is negative and square free, k = 2 or 3 (mod 4), and k = 2 , 4 (mod 9).
11. The number of classes of ideals in the quadraticfield Q ( d k ) is not divisible
by 3.
+
111. Thefundamentalsolution ( X , Y ) = ( U , T ) of theequation Y 2 3kX2 = 1
satisfies the condition U f 0 (mod 3).
Instances are given by k =  5 , 14, 34, 41 with U = 1,2, 10, 11,
respectively.
Theorem 9
The equation
y a = x3 + k
has no rational solutions if the following conditions are satisfied.
I. k is negative, k is square free, k = 2, 3 (mod 4), k 5 3 (mod 9).
11. The number h of classes of ideals in thequadraticfield Q ( d z ) i snot divisible
by 3.
+
111. Thefundamentalsolution ( X , Y ) = ( U , T ) of the equation Y 2 +kX2 = 1
satisfies the condition, either U = & 3 (mod 9) or T = f 3 (mod 9).
26. THE EQUATIONya = x3 +k 25 1
Instances are given by k = 33, 42, 69, 78,  105,  144 corre
sponding to U = 3, T = 15, T = 24, T = 51, T = 6, U = 6, respectively.
The method will be sufficiently illustrated if we prove Theorem 8.
It suffices to consider the integer solutions of
y2 = x3 + kZ6, z # 0, (x, y , Z ) = 1,
and suppose that z has its least positive value.
Then with integers A , B and ( A , B ) = 1,
Write this as
(A + 3B:d)(A  3B7d3k)
~~
= 2:.
Hence D = D:, C 2  kDy = B;, and this is the same as the original
equation for z .
Also D , = <ID < 3'B: < g B / 9 < zIV9, and so this contradicts the defini
tion.
252 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
x, =
X?  108k
Y, =
yl(x? + 216k)
x? x::
This gives a solution of equation (21) if (xl,y,) is any solution of (22) even
though this is not derived from (21) by (23).
Denote by G the additive group of the rational solutions of equation (21)
and by H that of (22). Then if P , is derived from P by (23) and (24), it follows
that P , = 3P,, and so we have an inclusion relation
G 3 H 3 3G.
An equivalence relation for solutions of equation (21) now arises. It can be
shown that ( x , y ) is a point 3P if and only if
y + dk = a3, (25)
where a is a number in the field Q(d/k). Further, let P,(x,, yl), P2(xz.y,) be
any rational solutions of (21), and denote by P12the point P , + P,. Then
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. A Chapter in the Theory of Numbers. (1947). Cambridge
University Press.
2. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y2  k = x3. Proc. Lond. Math. SOC.,
(2) 13 (1 913), 6080.
9*
2 54 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem 1
The equation
ey2 = ax3 + bx2 + cx + d, a # 0, (1)
where the constants are integers and the righthand side has no squared linear
fuctor in x,has only afinite number of integer solutions.
Multiply by 81e, and put y , = 9ey and x1 = 3x. The equation takes the
form
y ; = als: + 3b,xf + 3ClXl + d , ,
Put t = 2u,y1, s = a,xl + b,. The equation becomes, say,
t2 = 4s3  g,s  g , (2)
or (4t)2 = ( 4 ~ ) 4gZ(4s)
~  16g3.
There are only a finite number of integer solutions for s, t . For in Chapter 25,
we have seen that all the integer solutions of
2 2 = x 3  G J Y 2  G3Y3 ( X , Y ) = 1,
where the righthand side has no squared linear factors, are given by
X = H ( p , q), y = F(P, 91,
where F ( p , q) is a representative of the finite number of binary quartics with
invariants
g2 = 4Gz, g3 = 4G3.
Then by Thues theorem, there are only a finite number of integer solutions of
F ( p , q ) = 1.
We can show more directly that the equation
t 2 = 4 3  g2.Y  g3, gi + 27& # 0,
has only a finite number of integer solutions.
256 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
With the solution (s, t ) , we associate the binary quartic written with binomial
coefficients,
f(X>Y ) = ( 4 0 , s, t, e>(x,Y)', (3)
where e = g,  3s2. Its invariants are actually g,, g, since
g, = e + 3s2,
1 0 s
s t e
Theorem 2
The equation
y(y + 1) = x(s + l)(x + 2) (5)
has only the integer solutions x =  1,  2 , 0 , I , 5 .
Hence 0, 6 and 210 are the only integers which can be expressed as both a
product of two and three consecutive integers.
+
On replacing 2x 2 by x and 2y +
1 by y , the equation becomes
2y2 = x3  4x f 2, (6)
and we have to prove that its integer solutions are given by
x = 0,  2 , 2 , 4 , 12.
The equation requires the study of the cubic field Q(8) where
83  40 + 2 = 0.
We require the following arithmetical properties of the field Q(0).
1. The integers are of the form x = a + +
b8 cd2, where a, b, care integers.
11. There are two fundamental units E = 6'  I , 7 = 28  1.
111. Unique factorization exists in Q ( 0 ) since the number of ideal classes is
one.
We note that 2 = where 5 is a unit and it easily follows that 8 is a prime
in Q(0).
Write equation (6) in the form
(x  e)(x2 + ex + 82  4) = 103y2.
258 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
Then 0 is a common divisor of the two factors. Also the prime 48  3 with
norm 37 is a possible common divisor since
382  4 = (383  4eye = (se  6 ) p = 2(4e  3ye.
Hence x e = 5 q4e  3 y 4 y a + be + ce2)2,
Theorem 3
The only positive integer solutions of the equation
$y(y + 1) = &x(x + l)(x + 2) = n
are given by n = 1, 10, 120, 1540,7140.
The first interesting equation to be completely solved is given in
Theorem 4
The only integer solutions of the equation
6y2 = X(X + 1 ) ( 2 ~+ 1)
are x = 0, 1, 1, 24.
This is Lucas' problem of the square pyramid. Watson5 gave a very compli
cated solution depending upon elliptic functions.
A proof based upon arithmetical considerations has been given by
Ljunggren8. It depends upon a Pel1 equation in a quadratic field. A quartic
27. THE EQUATION y 2 = ax3 + bx2 + cx + d 259
field arises all of whose conjugate fields are imaginary. There is one funda
mental unit and its properties must be investigated in detail.
Problern
Are the only integer solutions of the equation
6y2 = x3 + 5~ + 6 = ( X + 1 ) ( 2 x + 6)
given by
x =  1,0,2, 7 , 15, 74?
The equation arises from
y2=1+x+
x..x  1
2!
+ x . x 3!1.x  2
3. Congruence considerations7 enable us to construct many classes of
equations
y 2 = ax3 + bx2 + cx + d
for which bounds can be given for the magnitude of the solutions. Equations
can also be given with only one or two integer values for x.
Theorem 5
Let a > 0, 6, c be arbitrary integers and let d be odd and hare no prime
factors = 3 (mod 4). Then the equation
y2 = 2ax3 + (6  2a  2c + 8b)x2 + 2cx  d2 (7)
can only hare integer solutions for uihich x < 0, x = 3 (mod 4), and so these
are bounded in ternis of a, b, c, d.
In particular, the equation
y 2 = 2ax3 + (4 + 4b)x2 + 2(1  a + 26)x  I (8)
has only the solutions ( x , y ) = (1, & 1 ) $ a > 0, 3a > 1 + b; and the equation
y 2 = 2ax3 + (12a + 8)s2 + (10a + 6)x  1, (9)
has only the solutions (.Y, y ) = ( 1, rf: l ) , ( 5, t 13) $ a > 0.
Clearly in equation (7), x is not even since y 2 $  1 (mod 4). Also x $
1 (mod 4 ) since then
y 2 = 2a + 6  2a  2c + 86 + 2c  1 = 5 (mod 8).
Hence s = 3 (mod 4) and since x I y 2 + d2, x must be negative.
If in equation (7) we take .Y = 1, y = 1, d = 1, then c = 1  a + 2b,
then c = 1  a + 26, and we have with a > 0,
y2= 2ax3 + ( 4 + 4b)x2 + 2(1 a + 2blx  1.

260 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Any further solutions must satisfy x < 5. We show then that y2 < 0.
The condition for this can be written as
(X + 1)(2ax2+ (4  2~ + 2b)x  2) < 1.
This holds if
IOU  (4  2a + 26) > 0, i.e. 3a > 1 + 6.
Another solution x =  5 of equation (8) arises if b = 3a + 1 , and then
with a > 0,
y 2 = 2ax3 + (12a + 8)x2 + (IOU + 6)x  1.
Any further solution of this must satisfy x 6 9.
Write y2 1 = (x + 1)(2ax2 + (10a + 8)x  2).
+
Then y 2 < 0 i f ax2 (5a + 4)x  1 > 0. This is true if 9a > 5a + 4 or if
a > 1. If a = 1 , the equation becomes
yz = 2x3 + 20x2 + 1 6
~ 1.
Then x # 9, since y 2 $  I (mod 3). Another solution would satisfy
x 6  13. This is impossible since then
y2 = 2x(x2 + lox + 8 )  1
+
and x2 lox + 8 > 0.
The method is capable of considerable generalization8. Suppose that the
cubic equation ( I ) can be written in the form
y2 = ax3 + bX2 + cx + d = g(x)h(x) k f 2 ( x ) (10)
wheref(x), g(x), h(x) are polynomials with integer coefficients and k is a
squarefree integer. Simple results arise if the factors of k are taken from the
product 2.3.5.7. Then conditions are imposed upon the coefficients of f ( x ) ,
g(x), h(x) so that h(x) cannot be a divisor of y 2 t kf2(x),unless h(x) < 0. If
h(x) = x2" + hlxZnl+ . . an upper bound is easily found for the magni
+ ,
REFERENCES
1. L. J. Mordell. Note on the integer solutions of the equations Ey2 = Ax3 +
Ex2 + Cx + D.Messenger Maths., 51 (1922), 169171.
2 . L. J. Mordell. On the integer solutions of the equation ey2 = ax3 bx2 + +
cx+ d. Proc. Lond. Ma/h. SOC.( 2 ) , 21 (1923), 415419.
3. L. J. Mordell. On the integer solutions of y ( y + +
1) = x(x l)(x + 2).
Pacific J . Maths., 13 (1963), 13471351.
4. E. T. Avanesov. Solution of a problem on polygonal numbers (Russian).
Ac/a Arith., 12 (1967), 409419.
5. G . N. Watson. The problem of the square pyramid. Messenger Maths., 48
(1919), 122.
6. W. Ljunggren. New solution of a problem proposed by E. Lucas. Norsk Mat.
Tidsskrift, 34 (1952), 6572.
+
7 . L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y 2 = a x 3 6 . 2 cx+ + d or fifty
years after. J . Lnnd. Mu/h. Soc., 38 (1963), 454458.
+
8. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y 2 = ax3 6x2 c x + + d. R . Circ.
Mat. Palermo (II), 13 (1964), 18.
CHAPTER 28
1. We show now that some general classes of equations of degree > 3 have
only a finite number of integer solutions. We commence with a result * due to
Runge l.
Theorem 1
Let f ( x , y ) be a polynomial of degree n with integer coeficients which is
irreducible in the rational field Q, and suppose that the homogeneous part
fn(x, y ) of degree n of f ( x , y ) is reducible in Q but is not a constant multiple of a
power of an irreducible polynomial. Then the equation
f(x, Y ) = 0 (1)
has only afinite number of integer solutions.
For simplicity, we shall deal only with the case when the linear factors of
fn(x,y ) are all different. We may suppose that at least one linear factor has real
coefficients as otherwise the theorem is trivially proved. Let a! be a root of the
equation f(1, t ) = 0, and so a! is of degree n , c n if f ( x , y ) is of degree n in y.
2 2
P nl1
* See Addendum 1 .
28. SOME EQUATIONS OF DEGREE >3 263
where we have at our disposal the integer P and the n,(P 1) integer con +
stants cP,*.On substituting from equation (2) in (3), we have an expansion
2
03
h(x,y) = drY.
rSP+nl
Theorem 2
There are only a j n i t e number of solutions i f the equation f ( x , y ) = 0 is not
identically satisjed by a parametric representation,
x = AIL", y = B/L", or x = C/Qn, y = Die",
where A , B, C , D are polynomials in t with integer coeflcients and L is a linear
polynomial and Q is an indefinite quadratic polynomial.
The proof is of a very advanced character.
2. We now consider some equations of the form
y 2 = aox" + alx"l + . . + a,,
(4)
+
say, where a, > 0, which have only a finite number of integer solutions and
for which an estimate in terms of the coefficients can be found for the magni
tude of the solutions. Suppose for simplicity that k is a prime = 7 (mod 8) and
that a,, $ 0 (mod k), a,, # i1 . Clearly x f 0 (mod k). Denote by r the
quadratic residues rlr rz, . . . , r(k1),2 of k and by n the quadratic nonresidues
n l , n29 . . ., n(k  I)/,*
264 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
This contradiction shows that x < 0. Then obviously from (9,x must be
bounded and so can be easily found.
Results can also be found for equation (4)when n is even. Suppose for
example that
ya + ka = (axz + b)(aoxan+ . . . + a 2 n  1+~ aZn)= flf,,
say, where k has no prime factors = 3 (mod 4), and
a = 1 (mod 4), = 2 (mod 8), 2azn1+ a,, = 3 (mod 4).
b
Then if x = 1 (mod 2), fl =  1 (mod 4); if x = 0 (mod 4), 3fi =  1 (mod
4); if x = 2 (mod 4), fa 3 3 (mod 4). Hence the only possible solutions must
satisfy fl < 0, f, < 0 and so are finite in number,
We now prove an earlier Siegel's4 result given by
Theorem 3
The equation
y 2 = aoxn + a1xn' + . . + an a
(5)
has only ajinite number of integer solutions * if the righthand side has at least
three direrent linear factors.
Write y2 = ao(xa,) ( x  a 2 ) . ( x  a,),
where we suppose the a define a field K and that al,a2, a3 are all different.
The general theory of Chapter 15 gives
x  a1 = 1.161, x  a2 = 1.,t:, x  a3 = 1.36&
where the 5 are integers in K and the p are a finite set of numbers in K .
Hence pz5%  p362 = a3  a2 # 0,
p35:  1.16: = a1  a3 # 0,
PI61  pzt; = az  a1 # 0.
* See Addendum 2.
28. SOME EQUATIONS OF DEGREE >3 265
tZdE  t 3 G = B1.L
534iG  E I G = 132&
t,dZ  t 2 4 G = s34,
where I is an arbitrary large integer, el, cZ, e3 are units in K' and PI,p2, P3 are
numbers in K' belonging to a finite set. Then
PI.: +sz4+ s3.5 = 0,
Theorem 4
Ifa, b, c, d a r e integers, and ad # 0, b2  4ac # 0, n B 3, the equation
ay2 + by + c = dx",
has only afinite number of integer solutions.
+
On writing y for 2uy b, the equation takes the form
y2  k = Ix", kl # 0.
Suppose first that k is a perfect square, say k = m2.
Then (y + m)(y  rn) = Ix".
Since y + m, y  m have only a finite number of common factors, we have
with integers Y , 2,
y +m =fly", y  m = fzZ", x = fYZ,
wheref,,,f,,f belong to a finite set of integers, and f l f2 = If". Then
fly"  fiZn = 2m.
By Thue's theorem, there are only a finite number of integer values for Y, Z.
Suppose next that k is not a perfect square.
Then (y + d E ) ( y  a)= Ix".
Then the results in Chapter 15 give at once
f(y + d k ) = ( g i
hl/k)(u + d/k)",
wheref, g, h are integers taken from a finite set, and u, t' are integer variables.
266 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
From this
2fdk = (g + hdE)(u + vdEy  ( g  hdk)(u  UdE)".
This reduces to a binary equation in u, v, say f(u, u) = m, where f(u, u) is
clearly not a power of another form. Again by Thue's theorem in Chapter 22,
there are only a finite number of integer values for u, u.
We give another proof, essentially Thue's, which is really independent of
algebraic number theory. We may suppose that k is not a perfect square
and so x # 0.
We require the
Lemma
Integers (q, r ) # (0,O)exist such that
A proof for m = 2 was found by Erdos," and for all m,by Erdos and Sel
fridge, but this has not been published. Previously many special results had
been proved by several authors, for example, Obldth'O, Rigge12, Erdos 13,
Johnson 14. These in general require too much numerical detail for any account
to be given here.
3. A few words may be said about the integer solutions of the quartic equa
tion
ky2 = ax4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + e. (9)
By Siegel's Theorem 3, there are only a finite number of integer solutions
when the righthand side has no squared linear factors. Apart from this result,
very little is known about the equation, and it is surprising what a variety of
methods, some very complicated, have been employed in dealing with it. It
had seemed impossible to find all the solutions except in particular cases.
Recently Baker has formed an estimate (very large) for the magnitude of the
solutions.
A simple instance 14a of equation (9) is the equation
y2 + k2 = ( p x 2  p  1  4q)(rx2  s),
where k has no factors = 3 (mod 4), p > 0, q > 0, s > r > 0. When the
two factors in x are positive, the first excludes x = 1 (mod 2), and the second,
x = 0 (mod 2) if s = 1 (mod 4), and so solutions can arise only when these
factors are negative. It is easy to construct equations with two values for x2,
but not with three values. In particular, the equation
y2 + 1 = ( 4 2  17)(60x2  1025)
has only the integer solutions x = 0, & 1, f 2.
An interesting example is given by
Theorem 7
The only positive integer solutions of the equation
are (x, y ) = (1, I), (2,2), (4, 9). The others are x = 0, 1, y = 0, 1 and
( x , ~ )= (1,  1 ) (3, 8).
This means that the only triangular numbers which are squares of triangular
numbers are 0, 1, 36.
A complicated proof was given by Ljunggren l5 depending upon the padic
methods of Chapter 23 applied to a quartic field. On putting 2x  1 = X ,
2y  1 = Y , we have
Y2=
xz1
2() + 1.
28. SOME EQUATIONS OF DEGREE >3 269
He uses the unit 1 + d? to construct integers in Q(V'z)with relative norm 9
over Q(d/.,. He then deduces an exponential equation in only one variable
and shows that the only positive solutions are (A', Y ) = (I, 1) and (7, 17).
A simple proof was given by Cassels"j depending upon the properties of
the quartic field Q ( v  2 ) .
Special cases of equation (9) when h = d = 0 have been considered in
Chapter 8, and also when b = c = d = 0. Then the equation becomes
ky2 = ax' +e (10)
which is of special interest. Results of various degrees of generality have been
found by many authors, for example, Ljunggren Mordel121,Cohn22,
17918*19*20,
Theorem 8
The equation
y2 = Dx' +1
has no integer solutions except x = 0 if
I. D f 0,  I , 3, 8 (mod 16).
11. D has no factorization D = pq, ( p , q ) = 1 wherep is an odd number > 1
such that either
p = 21, or p E 4 f 1, or p = 49 f l(mod 16).
We may suppose s > 0. Clearly equation (1 1) cannot be satisfied by odd
values of .Y since D +
1 $ 0, 1, 4, 9 (mod 16), and so x is even. We now
consider that solution of (1 1) for which x has its least positive value. Then
y f I = 2pa4, y T 1 = 8qb4, x = 2ab, (12)
and ( p , q ) = I , a = p = I (mod 2 ) for some decomposition D = pq.
Suppose first that p = 1, and so from equation (12)
a4  4Db' = f 1. (13)
The negative sign can be rejected and so
0'  1= 4Db'.
Then with D = rs, b = cd,
a2 + 1 = 2rc4, a2  1 = 2sd4,
and so c = r = I (mod 2).
Also rc4  sd4 = 1.
270 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
either y + x 2 d o= E, or by y + x2dD= E, E ~ ,
it has been known for two centuries that solutions are given by (x, y ) = (1, 1)
and (13, 239). It was proved by LjunggrenZ3that these are the only positive
integer solutions. The proof is exceedingly complicated. It is a particular case
of his more general
Theorem 10
If the fundamental unit of the quadratic field Q(dd)is not also the funda
mental unit of the ring Z[d/d],then the equation
y 2 = dx4  1
has at most two possible solutions, and these can be found by a finite algorithm.
We assume of course that the Pel1 equation
y2  dX2 = 1
is solvable, and so we write
Then
say. Since E  e' = 0 (mod I ) , it follows that r 3 0 (mod I ) , say r = Is. Write
To find the integer values of xois a particular case of the problem in Chapter 8
of finding the square numbers in a sequence defined by a recurrence formula.
Ljunggren shows that the padic considerations of Chapter 23 can be
applied if we use an extension field of Q(Y'2). Thus from
(&  &I)X: = ES  E'S,
+ 1 = F 1 ( & 2+ l)x;,
2 s
The equation
axm  by" = c.
Theorem 11
The inequality
lax"  by"/ < c,
where a, 6 , c are positive integers and n 3, has at most one solution in
positive coprime integers (x, y ) if
Theorem 12
The equation
ax"  by" = f 1, (21)
where a, b are positive integers and n 2 5, has at most two solutions in positive
integers.
Theorem 13
The equation
X"  Dy" = f 1, (22)
where D > 0 and n 2 5, has at most one solution in positive integers x , y
except possibly when D = 2, and when n = 5 or 6 and D = 2" & 1.
Theorems 11 and 13 have been used by af Ekenstama7 to prove a result
given without proof by Tartakowski, namely, are
Theorem 14
If the equation
x2"  Dy2" = 1, (23)
where D is a positive nonsquare integer and n > 3, has a solution (xl, y l ) in
positive integers, then i f E is the fundamental unit of the ring Z[do]and
N ( E ) = 1,
x; + ~ $ 0= e or 82,
the E~ occurring in only a finite number of cases. If N(e) =  1 there are only
solutions with y = 0.
Some results for equation (19) may be noted when m,n have small values,
for example 2,4, 6 and c also has special values, for example, 1,2,4, 8,. . ,.
Thus Ljunggren 1 7 * 1 5 has proved
Theorem 15
The equation
where a, b, c are positive integers, has at most one solution in positive integers
x, y when
n = 2, c = 1,2,4, 8;
n = 3, c = 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.
28. SOME EQUATIONS OF DEGREE >3 275
Further, among all the equations (24) corresponding to a given field
Theorem 16
Among all the equations
lax"  by"] = 1, n 2 5
~~
Theorem 17
Let d 3 2, n 3 5 be given integers. Then the equation
Ix"  dsy"l = 1,
Theorem 18
The equation
x4  Dy4 = 1, (25)
where D is apositive nonsquare integer has at most one integer solution. Ifthis
is ( x l ,y,) and E is the fundamental unit in Q(z/o> and N ( e ) = 1, then
x: + y:z/Z = E or e2,
Theorem 19
The equations
X*  Dy4 = f 1 (26)
have at most one solution in positice integers. This will be given by .IC= A,
y = B fi the fundamental unit of the ring Z [ q x ] takes the form
= AZ + ABKXD+ B W /  .
The impossibility of nontrivial solutions of the equations
y2=xmf1, m > 3
y3=xmf1, m > 2
will be noted in Chapter 30.
Finally we give a result by S k ~ l e m ~ ~ .
Theorem 20
The equation
x5 + Dy5 = 1
has no solution in nonzero integers when D = 4, 8, 16, and only the solution
(1, 1) when D = 2.
The proof depends upon the padic methods of Chapter 23.
From Siegel's theorem, it follows that there is at most one nontrivial
solution if D > 1250VB. It has been shown by Haggmark3' that there are at
most two solutions, a result contained in Theorem 12.
Addendum 1
Theorem 1 has been improved very recently by Schinzel 32 who following a
suggestion by Davenport and Lewis, proved as follows,
Theorem 21
Let f ( x , y ) be a polynomial of degree n with integer coeficients which is
irreducible in the rationa1,field Q and let fn(x, y ) be its homogeneous part of
degree n. If f ( x , y ) = 0 has infinitely many integer solutions, then except for a
constantfactor,f n ( x ,y ) is apower of a linearform or of an irreducible quadratic
form.
Suppose that f ( x , y ) = 0 has infinitely many integer solutions. Then by
theorem 1, fn(x,y ) is, except for a constant factor, a power of an irreducible
form, and so either
fn(x,y ) = ax" or by",
38. SOME kQUA'IIONS O F DFGREE >3 277
in accordance with the theorem, or
/"(.Y, y) = 00s'' + . + any,
' ' (aoa, # 0). (27)
By Siegel's theorem 2, we have identically in t ,
f ( W )W))
, = 0, (28)
where either
f i ( x , y ) = c(sx  ry)".
For 11, let t o be the zero of L(t). Multiplying (27) by L(t)mnand then
putting t = to, we see thatfn(A(to), B(to))= 0. Hencef,(x, y ) is divisible by
B(to)x  A(to)y and so from theorem 1,
For 111, let t,, t2 be the zeros of Q ( t ) . We cannot have C(t,) = 0, D(tJ = 0,
(i 1, 2) say, D(tJ # 0. Multiplying (28) by Q(t)"'" and then putting
=
r = t l , we obtainfn(C(tl), D(tl)) = 0, and sofn(x,y ) is divisible by D(rl)x 
C(tl)y. Then either C(t,)/D(t,) is rational, and
f,,(.v. I.) = c
t
n
= 1.2
(D(t ,)x C(/,)r)'''Z,
Theorem 22
The equation f ( x , y ) = g(x, y ) where f and g are polynomials of degrees n, m
with integer coefficients, has only afinite number of integer solutions f n > 2 ,
t n < n, and f is an irreducible form.
Addendum 2
Siegel's theorem 3 does not enable one to find all the integer solutions
of the equation
y2 = aoxn + alx"l + . . . + a , = J'(x),
say.
These can now be found from the following result just proved by Baker.33
Theorem 23
r f f ( x ) has at least three simple zeros, then all the integer solutions satisfy
the inequality
max (1x1, Iyl) < exp exp exp (n10f13An2),
where A = max / a , [ ,(r = 0, 1,. . .n).
REFERENCES
I . C. Runge. Uber ganzzahlige Losungen von Gleichungen zwischen zwei
Veranderlichen. J . reine angew. Math., 100 (1887), 425435.
2. C. L. Siegel. Uber einige Anwendungen diophantischer Approximationen.
Abh. preuss. Akad. Wiss.PhysMath. KI. (1929), Nr. 1.
3. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y 2 = ax" bx2 cx+ + + d or fifty
years after. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,38 (1963), 454458.
4. C. L. Siegel. The integer solutions of the equation y 2 = ax" + bx"l +
+
. . . k . J. Lond. Math. Soc., 1 (1920), 6668.
5 . C. L. Siegel. Approximation algebraischer Zahlen. Math. Z., 10 (1961),
173213 (205).
6. E. Landau and A. Ostrowski. On the diophantine equation ay2 + by + c =
dx". Proc. Lond. Math. SOC.,(2), 19 (1920), 276280.
+
7. A. Thue. Uber die Unlosbarkeit der Gleichungax2 bx + c = dy" in grossen
ganzen Zahlen x und y . Arch. Math. Naturv. Kristiania Nr. 16, 34(1917).
8. 0. Rigge. uber ein diophantisches Problem. ZX.Skan. Math. Kongr. Helsing
fors (1938).
9. P. Erdos. Note on products of consecutive integers. J . Lond. Math. SOC.,
14 (1939), 194198.
10. R. Oblith. Uber Produkte aufeinander folgender Zahlen. T6hoku Math. J . ,
38 (1933), 7392. See also Berichtigung.
1 I . P. Erdos. Note on the product of consecutive integers. 11. J. Lond. Math. SOC.,
14 (1939)) 245249.
12. 0. Rigge. On a diophantine problem. Ark. Math. Astr. Fys., 27A, 3 (1940).
13. P. Erdos. On the product of consecutive integers, 111. KoninkI. Nederl. Akad.
van Wetenschappen (1955), 8590.
28, SOME EQUATIONS OF DEGREE >3 279
+ +
14. L. Louis Johnson. On the diophantine equation y k = x(x 1). . . (x n  I).
Am. Math. Mon., 47 (1940), 280289.
+ +
14a. L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation dy2 = ax4 by2 c. Acfa Arith.
15 ( I 969).
15. W. Ljunggren. Solution complete de quelques Cquations du sixiime degre a
deux indeterminkes. Arch. Math. Naturv., 48 (1946), Nr. 7, 2629.
16. J. W. S. Cassels. Integral points on certain elliptic curves. Proc. Lond. Math.
SOC.(3), 14 A (1965), 5557.
17. W. Ljunggren. Einige Eigenschaften der Einheiten reeller quadratischer und
rein biquadratischer Zahlkorper. Oslo VidAkad Skrifter, 1 (1936), NO. 12.
18. W. Ljunggren. Uber die unbestimmte Gleichung Ax2  By4 = C. Arch.
Math. Naturv., 41 (1938), Nr. 10.
19. W. Ljunggren. Uber die Gleichung x4  Dy2 = I . Arch. Math. Naturv., 45
(1942), Nr. 5.
20. W. Ljunggren. Some remarks on the diophantine equations x2  Dy4 = 1
and x4  dy2 = I . J . Lond. Math. Soc., 41 (1966), 542544.
2 I . L. J. Mordell. The diophantine equation y2 = Dx4 + I . J . Lond. Math. SOC.,
39 (1964), 161164.
22. J . H. E. Cohn. Eight diophantine equations. Proc. Lotid. Math. SOC.(3), 16
(1966), 153166. Addendum Ibid. (3) 17 (1967), 381.
22a. V. D. Podsypanin, On an indeterminate equation (Russian). Izv. Akad. Nauk
SSSR Mat., 5 (1941) 305324.
23. W. Ljunggren. Zur Theorie der Gleichung x2 + 1 = Dy4. Auh. Norske
Vid. Akad. Oslo, No. 5 1 (1942).
24. A. Thue, Berechnung aller Losungen gewisser Gleichungen von der Form
axT  by' = J: Vid. selskap Skrifter Kristiania mat. natur. Kl. (1918), No. 4.
25. C. L. Siegel. Die Gleichung ax"  by" = c . Math. Ann., 144 (1937), 5768.
Also Gesanimelte Abhandlungen, I1 (1966).
26. Y . Doniar. On the diophantine equation 1A.P  By"I = I , II > 5. Math.
SCUII2 ~ .(1, 954), 2932.
17. A. af Ekenstam. Contributions to the theory of the diophantine equation
A s "  By" = C. Dissertation (1959) Uppsala, Alnrqvist and Wiksells.
27a. S. Hyyro. Uber die Gleichung ax"  by" = z und das Catalansche Problem.
Anti. Acaci. Sci. Fennicae, Series A.1.355 (1964) 32.
28. V. A . Tartakowski. Auflosung der Gleichung x4  py4 = 1. Izv. Akad. Nauk
SSSR, 20 (1926), 301324.
29. B. N. Delone and D. K. Faddeev. "The Theory of Irrationalities of the Third
Degree. Tran.slationofMath. monographs, Am. Math. Soc., 10 (1964), 370380.
30. T. Skolem. En metode ti1 behandling av ubestenite ligninger. Chr. Michelsens
Itist. Beretti, 1V (1934), Nr. 6, Bergen.
3 1. P. Hgggmark. On a class of quintic diophantine equations. Dis.srrtatioti
Uppsala (1952).
32. A. Schinzel. An improvement of Runge's theorem on diophantine equations.
Conimentarii Acaci. PontiJjciae Scientiarirtn, 2 (1969). (A generalization will
appear in the same journal.)
33. A. Baker. Bounds for the solutions of the hyperelliptic equation. Proc. Camb.
Phil. Soc.. 65 (I 949). 439444.
CHAPTER 29
Theorem 1
I f n is an integer > 2, the equation
y + y" = Zn (1)
has no integer solutions except those given by xyz = 0.
Fermat stated that he had a proof of this, but it seems unlikely that this is
so. The proof given when n = 4 in Chapter 4 is in principle due to him. The
proof given when n = 3 in Chapter 16 goes back to Euler, but his proof was
incomplete. Kummer made the greatest contributions to the subject. He
introduced the algebraic numbers arising from the pth roots of unity, and this
was the beginning of algebraic number theory which was later generalized by
Dedekind and Kronecker.
It is obviously sufficient to prove the theorem when n is an odd prime p .
The proof is comparatively easy when p is a prime < 19 since then unique
factorization holds in the field Q(5) where 5" = 1. Kummer was at first under
the impression that this held for all p .
No proof is known for general p but, as shown later, the theorem has been
proved for many special values for p . We may suppose that p > 3 and write
Let 5 = ezniiPbe a complex pth root of unity. Then the equation (2) can be
written as
r=l
then /J = n
P  1
r=l
(I  c') = n (H)
P 1
1 5 
(1  [)pl
VI. Every unit E can be expressed in the form E = P.1 where 0 < s < p and
is a real unit.
Write E = E~ = f(t),wheref(5) is a polynomial with integer coefficients,
and el = f(r;l). Then
say. We show that the negative sign does not hold, i.e. t', + 4'. ~, =. 0
is impossible.
For if this holds, we have identically i n I\'.
(I,, + (/,\I' k ' .. + n,, 2 1 1 J  ?!
+ lI,'fP(l7,, + f I , l I ' ' ! ' ' ' f (/,, . , n ~  "  " ' )
= I,,(( 1 + 11' + ... + \\J'  l<?(ll,)
282 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
for some integer t and a polynomial g(w) with integer coefficients. Put
w = 1, then
a,+ a, + . . . + = O(modp).
Hence E = a, + a,{ + + ap25p2
9 . .
= a,(5  1) + . . . + a p  2 ( 5 p  2 1) (mod A)
= 0 (mod A),
and this is impossible.
VII. If p is a regular prime and e is a unit in Q(5) for which E = a (mod Ap),
where a is a rational integer, then e = E; where E, is a unit in Q({).
The proof requires too much detail to be given here.
The primes p are called regular or irregular according as the ideal class
number h is not divisible byp. Kummer has shown that h f 0 (modp), if p
does not divide the numerator of the first $(p  3) Bernoulli numbers.
These are defined by
 t
et  1
Iz+c t
n=1
(l)n1Bnf2n
(24!
All the primes < 100 exceptp = 37, 59,67 are regular. It has been proved that
there are an infinity of irregular primes but it is not known if there are an
infinity of regular primes. We shall prove Fermat's theorem for the regular
primes. Kummer has proved the theorem for some classes of irregular primes.
2. We come back to equation (3). The common factors of x + Cy, x Py, +
s > r, are divisors of (lr P)y, and since (x, y ) = 1, of Cr(l  P'), and
these can only be 1 or A. In the first case, all the factors x {'y are relatively +
prime. In the second, all the factors are divisible by A, and so z is divisible by h
and hence by p. The cases z $ 0 (mod p ) , z = 0 (mod p) are called the first
and second cases respectively.
Theorem 2
I f p is regular, theJirst case is impossible.
Each of the factors in equation (3) is a pth power except for a unit. Hence
s + 5y = &UP, (4)
where E is a unit in Q ( { ) .We may take E = P.1 where 0 < s < p, and TI is a real
unit. Since c8' = a (mod p ) , where a is a rational integer,
s + 5y = 5"( (mod p),
and 5 is a real integer in Q(5). Hence also
.Y + {'J? = ['[(mod p).
Theorem 3
I f p is regular, the second case is impossible.
It proves convenient now to consider solutions not in Z , but integer solu
tions in Q ( [ ) .We also consider the more general equation
S + 4 = EhnpZP,
where E is a unit and n > 1 . We shall show that n must be greater than 1 and
that if the equation is solvable for n, it is also solvable for n  1 . This leads
to a contradiction. We have
n
P1
r=O
(.Y + cry)= EhnPZP.
(5)
One of the factors on the lefthand side, and so all of them, must be divisible
by X since x + try  (x + Py) = (5  P)y. This also shows that X is the
greatest common divisor of any two of the factors. Hence one of these must be
divisible by X n P  p By a slight change in the variables, we may suppose this
+
284 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
occurs when r = 0. We now replace ex, Cby in the equation by x, y and show
that we can choose a, b so that x = x,, y = yo (mod A2) where xo, yo are
rational integers.
In I1 we replace 5 by 1  A, and so with rational integers xo, . . . , x p  z ,
+ s,h + . . . +
.Y = s o SP2hP2.
Theorem 4
Denote by t the quotient of any two of s,y , z , where xyz $ 0 (mod p ) . Write
+,(t) = t  p  l t 2 + 3nlt3  .. . + (1)~2(
~ 1)nlypl.
Then soli1nbility of equation (1) itiiplies
= 0 (modp), n
+n(t)B(pn)12 = 3, 5, . . . ,p  2. (6)
From this, polynomial congruences can be found for the t if some or all of
the B ( p  n ) ,are
2 not divisible byp.
The congruence (6) can be replaced by
302 primes less than 2,000, only 118 are regular. The work of Vandiver and
the Lehmers has settled the insolvability for p < 2000. Selfridge, Nicol
~ this for p < 4002. It now holds12 for p < 25,000.
and V a n d i ~ e r do
REFERENCES
1. D. Hilbert. Die Theorie der algebraischen Zahlkorper. Jahresbericht der
Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, 4 (1 897), 175546. Also Gesammelte
Abhandlungen, I (1932), Springer, Berlin. Also ThCorie des Corps de
nombres algkbriques (1913), A. Hermann et fils. (Translation by A. Levy
and Th. Got.)
2. P. Bachmann. Das Fermatproblem in seiner bisherigen Entwicklung
(1919). Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin und Leipzig.
3. L. E. Dickson. History of the Theory of Numbers, TI. Carnegie Inst.
Washington Pub. 256 Roman Cap, 1920. (Reprint: Stechert, New York, 1934).
4. L. J. Mordell. Three Lectures on Fermats Last Theorem (1921) Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
5 . E. Landau. Vorlesungen iiber Zahlentheorie, 111 (1927), S. Hirzel, Leipzig.
6. W. J. Le Veque. Topics in Number Theory, I1 (1956), AddisonWesley,
Reading, Massachusetts.
7. Z. I. Borevich and I. R. Shafarevich. Number Theory (1966), Academic
Press, New York & London. (Translation from the Russian.)
8. H. Vandiver. Fermats last theorem; its history and the nature of the results
concerning it. Am. Math. Monrh., 53 (1946), 555578. See also A supple
mentary note to a 1946 article on Fermats Last Theorem. Amer. Math.
Monthly, 60 (1953), 164167.
9. K. L. Jensen. Om talteoretiske Egenskaber ved de Bernoulliske Tal. Nyt.
Tidskr. Math., 26B (1915) 7383.
10. K. E. Kloss. Some number theoretic calculations. J. Res. Nut. Bur. Standards
Sect. B, 693 (1965), 335336.
11. D. H. Lehmer, E. Lehmer, H. S. Vandiver. An application of high speed
computing to Fermats Last Theorem. Proc. Nut. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 40
(1954), 2533.
12. J. L. Selfridge and B. W. Pollock. Notices Amer. Marh. SOC.,11 (1967), 97.
(Abstract 608138).
13. J. L. Selfridge, C. A. Nicol, H. S. Vandiver. Proof of Fermats last theorem
for all prime exponents less than 4002. Proc. Nut. Acad. U.S.A., 41 (1959,
970973.
CHAPTER 30
Miscellaneous Results
  +  + , xyz $ O(modp),
 1 1
P P X Y Z
=++, xf:O(modp).
P x PY P Z
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 289
We now prove a result due to Rosati3" who also verified the conjecture for
n < 171,649.
Theorem 1
A representation ( 5 ) exists if and only if for positive integers a, b, c, d,
( x ,y , z ) = (bed, acd, abd),
where (a, 6 ) = (b, c ) = (c, a ) = I , p j abed, and
a + bp + cp = 4abcd. (7)
A representation (6) exists ifand only if'.for positizie integers a, b, c, d,
(x, y , z ) = (bed, abd, acd),
where (a, b) = (b, c ) = (c, a ) = 1, p j bed, and
pa + b + c = 4abcd.
To prove representation (9, write ( y , z ) = 6, y = 6b, z = Sc and so
(bcS,p) = 1. Then
6bc + p(b + C)X = 4Sbcx.
Since ( b + c, be) = 1, x = bed, say, and so
6 + pd(b + = 46110~. C)
Suppose next that ab is even, say ab = 2"k, k odd, q = 1 (mod 8). Then
(2) = 1.
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 29 1
2. The equation y z + +
zx xy = d
The problem here is to find explicit expressions for nonnegative integer
solutions of the equation
yz + z x + XY = d, (17)
and what is more important, their number. The problem is connected with the
class number for binary quadratic forms. Let
[x, y , z ] = X X 2 + 2yXY + z Y2 (18)
be a binary quadratic form with negative determinant  d and so
x z  y2 = d > 0. (19)
The results will be simpler if weights are attached to special forms, thus
[x, 0, ,x] and [s,x, x ] are reckoned as +
and 3 respectively. Call a form
[s,y , z ] odd or even according as x, z are not both even, or are both even.
Denote by F ( d ) the class number of odd forms, and by G(d) the class number
of all forms. Then G(d)  F ( d ) is the number of even forms.
If the binary quadratic form had been written as
[x, y , z] = .xX2 + y X Y + zY2 (20)
of discriminant d, and so
4xz  yz = d,
we write H ( d ) for the class number. Then [2s,y , 2z] is an even form of
determinant  d, and so
H(d) G(d)  F(d).
While there is no difficulty in finding a few obvious solutions of equation (17)
for special forms of d, the association with the class number suggests that it
may be difficult to find others.
A famous difficult problem is: when does the quadratic field Q ( 4  d ) have
class number one, i.e. when is H ( d ) = 1 ? This requires that d should satisfy
various congruences, e.g. d = 3 (mod 8). It is easy to see that d must be 1 or
a prime, and the nine values
C/ = 1,2, 3,7, 11, 19,43,67, 163
are known. It was known that there was at most one other value of d. It has
recently been shown by H. M. Stark by analytic methods that this does not
exist. I n fact, a proof had been given by Heegner which seemed to depend
upon an unproved assertion. However, it has been shown by Birch, Siege1
and Dering that Heegners method of proof is essentially sound.
292 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Theorem4 2
The number of solutions of
yz+zx+xy=d, x>O,y>,O,z>O, (22)
is 3G(d) i f a weight 3 is attached to a solution with xyz = 0.
To prove Theorem 2, we establish a 11 correspondence5 between the
reduced quadratic forms [ A , B, C ] of determinant d, and the solutions
x, y, z of equation (20) given by
A = x + ~ , IBI = x , C=X+Z.
The reduced forms are given by
B=O, A < C, (23)
B = 0, A = C , weight 3, (24)
B > 0, [ A , +_ B, C ] , B < A < C , (25)
B > 0, [A,A, C ] , C > A, (26)
B > 0, [2A, A , 2 4 , weight 3. (27)
For (23) x = 0, z > y . By permuting, we have six solutions, each of weight 4.
For (24) x = 0, z = y. By permuting, we have three solutions, each of
weight 3.
For (25) we have six solutions for x, y , z.
For (26) we have y = 0, and so six solutions each of weight 4.
For (27) we have x = y = z = A , one solution.
In each of these cases, the number of solutions is three times the number
of the corresponding reduced forms. Hence the theorem follows.
It may be remarked that results such as Theorem 2 had their origin in the
researches of Hermite and Liouville who also found the number of solutions
+
for some assigned residues r of x y (mod 4). We note4 that N the number
of solutions of equation (17) is 3G(d)  3F(d) when r = 0, and that N =
F(d) when r = 1,2, 3 , provided that d is not a perfect square when r is odd.
3. We now come back to the equation
z =f(x, r) = f d x , Y)/fa(X,Y ) , (28)
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 293
where,f,(x, y),.f2(s, y) are polynomials with integer coefficients which have no
polynomial as a common factor.
When h ( x , y ) and f2(x,y ) are homogeneous polynomials of the same
degree, there is no loss of generality i n supposing that (x, y ) = 1. Since the
possible common divisors d of fl(x, y ) , fi(x, y ) divide their resultant, the
finding of the integer solutions of equation (28) reduces to solvingf,(x, y ) = d
in integers. By Thue's Theorem, Chapter 22, there will be only a finite
number of integer solutions except possibly when f2(x, y ) is a power of a
linear or quadratic form.
We may suppose now that f , ( x , y), f2(x, y), are not both homogeneous
forms. In general, it is difficult to prove the existence of solutions of equation
(28). In some cases, an infinity of solutions can be found, e.g. whenf,(x, y ) =
xy. Then by division if need be, we may suppose without loss of generality
that
fl(X,Y) = g(x) + h(y) + c = zxy, (29)
where g(x), h ( y ) are polynomials in x, y respectively, without a constant term.
We may suppose that (x, y ) = 1, for if (x, y ) = d, then d I c, and so we have a
finite number of equations similar to (29) with (x, y) = 1.
The equation (29) is equivalent to the congruence
g(x) + h(y) + c = 0 (mod xy), (30)
or to the pair
g(x) + c = 0 (mod y), h(y) + c = 0 (mod x). (31)
The conditions (31) are necessary, but they are also sufficient. For suppose
g(x) + c = uy, h(y) + c = ox. (32)
Then a solution of (29) is given by
zxy = uy + ux  c, (x,y) = 1,
for z is an integer since (x, y ) = 1 and uy  cis divisible by x etc. The method
of solution of equation (29) will be sufficiently illustrated if we consider a
congruence arising in the discussion6 of integer solutions of a ternary cubic
equation, namely,
ax: + bxz + c = O(modx,x,), (33)
where (a, b, c) = 1. We have supposed (xl, x2) = 1 and we now also suppose
that (xl, c) = 1, (.'i2,c) = 1. These conditions involve no loss of generality.
Thus if (xl, c) = d, x1 = dX,, c = dc, and
ad3X: + bx; + dc, = 0 (mod dXlx,),
or ad2X: + bxjl/d + c1 = 0 (mod X,x,).
Since (XI, s2)= 1, we have d i x2 and so d I b.
11*
294 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
f1(x,y) = ax2
f 2 k Y)
z =
= PXY
flk Y)/fZ(X,Y ) ,
+ bxy + cy2 + Clx + e . +f,
+ qx + r.Y + s,
~ } (45)
+
This defines the quadratic character of qx s (mod e2  4fc), and the
solution presents no difficulty.
Let now (x, y, z) = (uo, ul,u) be a solution, and so
flk u1) = uf2(x, u1) (47)
is a quadratic in x with roots x = uo, u2 where u2 is given by
U(U~ + 242) =PU~O + qu  bu,  d. (48)
From (46), u2 is an integer. Hence (x, y, z) = (u2, u l , u) is also an integral
solution of (47). Continuing in this way, we obtain a sequence. . . uo, ul, u2,
. . ., extending infinitely in both directions, and defined by
a(u2n + u2n+ 2) =~ u 2 +n1~ + qu  bu2n + 1  d, (49)
C(U~,,~ + u ~ , , , ~=)puanu + ru  buzn  e. (50)
Also (x, y, z) = (u2,,, u2,,* 1, u) are solutions of (45) for all integers n.
Lemma
If lu21 2 IuoI, then either
PUzn + r = 0, quzn + s # 0.
IV. These are sequences not of the comparatively trivial classes I, 11, 111.
We now prove
Theorem 3
There exist sequences of type IV for onIy afinite number of values of v.
On interchanging x and y if need be, we may suppose without loss of
generality that u1 is an element of the sequence with least absolute value, and
also that luol ,< Iuzl. Since the sequence (u,) is not of types I or II,pul q # +
0, and so from the lemma,
+
lull 6 luol 6 I ~ / a l l / ~ l u ~k.
l
Two cases arise. First,
IPOUlI + r u 1 + SI,
6 21PO
and so IPuoU1I 6 2(lql Ic/all/z + + 21qlk + 21sI.
1~1)1~11
The equatiotz
x2 + y2 + 1 = xyz.
We suppose the u, in the sequence uo, ulr u2, . . . to be positive, u1 minimal
and u2 3 uo. Now (u0u2,u,) = 1. We cannot have u1 > 1, for then
uou2 3 (u, + 1)2 > u: + 1 = uou2.
Hence u1 = 1, u0u2 = 2, uo = 1, u2 = 2. The u sequence becomes 5, 2, 1, 1,
2, 5 , 13, . . . with z = 3. Hence x,y are consecutive terms in the sequence of
alternate terms of the Fibonacci sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21.. . .
The equation
x2 + y 2 + x + y + 1 = xyz, x > 0, y > 0,
Here XIY2+Y+ 1, y J x 2 + x + 1,
300 DlOPHANTlNE EQUATIONS
The equation
x2 + y2  x  y + 1 = x y z , x > 0, y > 0,
Now xIyay+ 1, ylx2x+ 1, and x = y = 1.
We conclude by noting that when the divisibility conditions (46) are not
satisfied, the problem becomes a very difficult one. Thus for z(l + xy) =
+
x2 2ya, the only procedure seems to be to try if there is a solution for
various values of z, e.g.,7 when z = 43, x = 30905, y = 663738.
5. The equation xm  y" = 1
This equation seems to have been first noticed by Catalan who proposed in
1842 the
Conjecture
The only solution in integers m > 1, n > 1, x > 1, y > 1 of the equation
xm  y" = 1 (61)
is m=3, n=2, x=2, y=3. (62)
This still remains unproved. An alternative form of the conjecture is
I f p and q are prime numbers and x > 1, y > 1, a similar result holds for
xp  y* = 1. (63)
Very few really general results are known, and even when they are simple,
their proofs are usually rather complicated and often out of place here. Some
of the results give estimates for possible values of m, n,p , q.
Perhaps the most general result is Cassels' la
Theorem 4
I f in equation (63), p > q > 2 or q > p > 2, then q I x, p I y.
Another proof has been given by Hyyro 13. The result when p = 2 is due to
Nagell 14.
Most of the other results deal with the cases when some of the variables
p , q, x , y are given. Thus Le Veque l5 established a result proved later by
Cassels l6 as the
Theorem 5
Suppose that (x,y) are given in (61), and (62) is excluded, Let p, v be the
least positiue solution of
x' = 1 (mod Y), yv = 1 (mod X ) ,
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 30 1
where X , Y are the products of the odd primes dividing x , y respectively. Then
m=p,n=v,exceptthatm=2,n= Imayoccurifp=v= landx+ lis
apower of 2.
When m, n are given in equation (61), the equation has only a finite number
of solutions but these are not easily found. This is a particular case of Siegels
Theorem in Chapter 25. The result also follows from Mahlers16a result.
Theorem 6
The greatest prime factor ofa?cm+ byn, ab # 0, ( x , y ) = 1, m 3 2, n 3 3
tends to injinity as max (/XI), ( I y l ) tends to infinity.
Proofs for equation (61) when m, n are primes satisfying various conditions
have been given by LeVeque by using the methods for dealing with Fermats
last theorem.
Suppose next in equation (63) that p and q are given odd primes. Then
Hyyro l 7 has shown that all the solutions can be given explicitly in terms of the
convergents to the simple continued fraction for qllppl liS.
There are many results for special values of m, n and some are now given.
+
The equation y 2 1 = x p , p an odd prime.
This was proved impossible for x > 1 in 1850 by Lebesgue18. A slightly
dissimilar proof was given by Cassels 16. Clearly y = 0 (mod 2), x = 1 (mod 2).
Then from
(1+ iy)(l  iy) = s,
1 + iy = ir(u + iv) r = 0, 1, 2, 3.
x = u2 + v2.
The factor i r can be absorbed in the pth power, and so we need only
consider r = 0. Then
divisible by a higher power of 2 than f o r k = 1. The first two parts of (65) are
integers. Also 2 cannot occur in the reduced denominator of the third part
since, for k > 1,
2'"' > 1 + 2k  2 > k.
The equation y 2  1 = xp
The special case p = 3 of the equation
ya  l = x P
(66)
was considered by Euler. The only solutions are x = 0,  1,2.
We may suppose now thatp is a prime > 3. The first general results are due to
Nagel114*1g.He proved very simply that p must be = 1 (mod 8) and y =
0 (mod p ) . He showed that equation (66) leads to
y f 1 = 2xp, y T 1 = 2p1x;,
+ 1 =py:, 
xp +1
x
x + l = PYi,
where y = p y , ~ ,is odd.
Suppose first that p = 5 , 7 (mod 8), and s o p = 8n + a , a = $ 7 . Then from
(67), x = a  1 (mod 8). Write (66) as
y2 = (x2  1 +1 ) 4 +~ 1
= x a + 1 (mod x2  1).
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 303
Hence the quadratic character
1=
x2
(m)
=
+1
r+) = = ()
x  1
(m)
x2 +1
=
2
(3 )
= 1.
From (70),
REFERENCES
1. Leon Bernstein. Zur Losung der diophantischen Gleichung m / n = l / x +
l/y +l/z insbesondere irn Fall m = 4.5. reineangew. Math., 211 (1962), 110.
2. R. Oblhth. Sur l'kquation diophantienne 4/n = l/xl 1/ x z+ +
1/x3.Mathesis.
59 (1949), 308316.
30. MISCELLANEOUS RESULTS 305
3. K. Yamamoto. On the diophantine equation 4/n = l/x + l/y +
l/z. Mem.
Fac. Sci. Kyushu University. Ser. A, 19 (1965), 3747.
3a. L. A. Rosati. Sull'equazione diofantea 4/n = l/xl + +
l/xz l/xg. Boll.
Union Mat. Ztal., (3) 9 (1954), 5963.
4. L. J. Mordell. On the number of solutions in positive integers of the equation
y z + zx + xy = I?. Am. J . Marh., 45 (1923), 1 4 .
5 . R. F. Whitehead. On the number of solutions in positive integers of the
equation yz + zx + xy = n. Proc. Lond. Math. SOC.,(2), 21 (1923), xx.
+ +
6. L. J. Mordell. The congruence ax3 by3 c = O(modxy), and integer
solutions of cubic equations in three variables. Acra Math., 88 (1952), 7783.
+ +
7. E. S. Barnes. On the diophantine equation x2 y 2 c = xyz. J . Lond.
Math. SOC.,28 (1953), 242244.
8. K. Goldberg, M. Newman, E. G. Straus, and J. D. Swift. The representations
of integers by binary quadratic rational forms. Archiv Math., 5 (1954), 1218.
9. W. H. Mills. A system of quadratic diophantine equations. Pacijc J . Math., 3
(1 953), 209220.
10. W. H. Mills. A method for solving certain diophantine equations. Proc. Am.
Math. SOC.,5 (1954), 473475.
11. W. H. Mills. Certain diophantine equations linear in one unknown. Can. J.
Math., 8 (1956), 512.
12. J. W. S. Cassels. On the equation ax  b y = 1,II. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 56
(1960), 97103. This contains a history of the conjecture and many references.
13. S. Hyyro. uber die Gleichung axm  by" = z und das Catalansche Problem.
Ann. Acad. Sci. Fennicae, Series A. 1, 355 (1964), 3 9 4 8 .
14. T. Nagell. Sur l'irnpossibilite de l'equation indeterminee zp +
1 = y2. Norsk
Mat. Forenings Skrifter., 1 (1921), Nr. 4.
15. W. J. Le Veque. On the equation ax  by = 1. Am. J. Math., 74 (1952),
32533 1.
16. J. W. S. Cassels. On the equation ax  b y = 1. Am. J. Math., 75 (1953),
1591 62.
+
16a. K. Mahler. On the greatest prime factor of axm by". Nieuw Arch. Wisk.,
(3) 1 (1953), 113122.
17. S. Hyyro. Uber das Catalansche Problem. Ann. Univer. Turku, Series A, 79
(1964), 39.
18. V. A. Lebesgue. Sur I'impossibilite, en nombres entiers, de l'equation xm =
y2+ 1. N o w . Ann., Math., (1) 9 (1850), 178181.
19. T. Nagell. Sur une equation a deux indCterminCes. Norsk Vid. Selsk Forh.,
7 (1934), 136139.
20. R. Oblath. Sobre ecuaciones diofinticas imposibles de la forma xm 1 = y". +
Riu. Mat. HispanoAm., 14 (l), (1941), 122140. This contains many references.
21. C. L. Siegel. Die Gleichung ax"  by" = c. Math. Ann., 114 (1937), 5768.
22. R. Oblith. Uber die Zahl x2  1. Muthematica Zutphen. B8 (1939), 161172.
23. K. Inkeri and S. Hyyro. On the congruence 3P' = 1 (mod$) and the dio
phantine equation x2  1 = y p . Ann. Univer. Turku, Series A, 50 (1961),
34.
24. Chao KO. On the diophantine equation x2 = y" + 1, xy # 0. Scientia
Sinica (Notes), 14 (1964), 457460.
25. T. Nagell. Des Cquations indeterminkes x2 + x + 1 = y" et x2 x + + 1=
3y". Norsk. Mat. Forenings Skr. Series 1, 2 (1921), 1214.
26. S. Selberg. Sur I'impossibilitk de Yequation indeterminke zp 1 = y2. +
Norsk. Mat. Tidskrift, 14 (1932), 7980.
Bibliography
References to books on Diophantine equations and to books on number theory
containing important sections on Diophantine equations.
1. P. Bachmann. Niedere Zahlentheorie, 11. B. G. Teubner (1910).
2. P. Bachmann. Das Fermatproblem in seiner bisherigen Entwicklung.
Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin und Leipzig (1919).
3. S. I. Borevich and I. R. Shafarevich. Number Theory. Academic Press,
New York and London (1966).
4. R. D. Carmichael. Diophantine Analysis. Mathematical Monographs
No. 13, Wiley, New York (1913). Reprint by Dover Corporation.
R. D. Carmichael. Analyse Indeterminee. Les Presses Universitaires, Paris
(1929).
5. B. N. Delone and D. K. Faddeev. The Theory of Irrationalities of the Third
Degree, Vol. 10. Translations of Mathematical Monographs, American
Math. SOC.,Providence, Rhode Island (1964).
6. L. E. Dickson. History of the Theory of Numbers, Vol. 2, Diophantine
Analysis. Carnegie Institution of Washington (1920). Reprint Chelsea.
7. L. E. Dickson. Introduction to the Theory of Numbers. Univ. Chicago
Press, Chicago (1929).
8. L. E. Dickson. Modern Elementary Theory of Numbers. Univ. Chicago
Press, Chicago (1 939).
9. A. 0. Gelfond. The Solution of Equations in Integers. Freeman & Co.,
San Francisco and London (1961).
10. G. H. Hardy and E. M. Wright. The Theory of Numbers. Clarendon Press,
Oxford (1 945).
10a. M. Kraitchik, Thdorie des nombres 111, Analyse diophantienne et applications
aux cuboides rationnels, Gauthier Villars et Cie, Paris (1947).
11. E. Landau. Vorlesungen iiber Zahlentheorie (I) und (111). S. Hirzel,
Leipzig (1927).
12. E. Landau. Diophantische Gleichungen mit endlich vielen Losungenneu
herausgegeben von Arnold Walfisz. VEB. Deutscher Verlag der Wissen
schaften Berlin (1 959).
13. S. Lang. Diophantine Geometry. Interscience, New York (1962).
14. W. J. LeVeque. Topics in Number Theory, (11). AddisonWesley Pub
lishing Co. Inc., Reading, Massachusetts (1956).
15. L. J. Mordell. Three Lectures on Fermats Last Theorem. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge (1921).
L. J. Mordell. Le Dernier T h e o r h e de Fermat. Les Presses Universitaires
de France, Paris (1929).
16. L. J. Mordell. A Chapter in the Theory of Numbers. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge (1947).
17. T. Nagell. Lanalyse indeterminee de degrd supkrieur . Gauthier Villars
et Cie, Paris (1929).
18. T. Nagell. Introduction to Number Theory. Almqvist and Wiksell,
Stockholm; John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York (1959).
19. W. Sierpinski. Elementary Theory of Numbers. Panstwowe Wydawnictwo
Naukowe. Warsaw (1964).
20. T. Skolem. Diophantische Gleichungen. Springer, Berlin (1938).
21. J. V. Uspensky and M. A. Heaslet. Elementary Number Theory. McGraw
Hill Book Co. Inc., New York (1939).
List of Equations and Congruences
Degree 1
+
alxl ~ 2 x 2+. . . U,X, = o + 30
L,(x) = a, (r = 1 , 2 , . . . , n ) 31
L,(x) = 0 (v = 1,. . ., m), (m < n) 32
Degree 2
Homogeneous
+
ax2 by2 + C Z ~+ 2 f y ~+ 2gzx + 2 h ~ y= 0 47
+ + = 0 5,4348
by2 C Z ~
= O(modM) 36
x: + x2" = (4a + 3)x: 4
x2 + y 2 = 2z2 13
x2 + y 2 = p z 2 14
alx: + azxf + ~ 3 x 3+ a4x; = 0 4951
x2 + y2 = + 22 w2 15
x: + xf  p(x: + xi) = 0 9
.y2+ = 2y2, 2Z7 = +
Z2 y2 21
1212
2arsxrys
r.s
= 0 42
alx: + +
~ 2 x 2+ . * * U ~ X ; = 0 51
x:+x;+...+x;=x2 12
Inhomogeneous
+ + +
ax2 bxy cy2 dx ey f = 0 + + 5758
ax2 bxy+ + cy2 = m 159
+
ax2 by2 = m 7, 118120, 164169
y2  Dx2 = 51, t4 5357
+
x2 y 2 = m 179
X: = u + bxz 3, 8
+
x2 ay2 + 6z2 = m 175178
+ +
x2 y 2 z2 = m 4, 175, 179
X: ? X: f X: = n 181
YZ +zx + ~y = d 291292
X; + ~f = 4x3+ 3 3, 8
+ +
xf 2x2" = 8x3 5 or 8x3 7 + 4
+
x:  2xz = 8x3 3 or 8x3 5 + 4
+ + + +
U X ~ ~ x ~ x Z C X ~= d, U ~ X ? blx1~2 C ~ X ; = d1z2 59
308 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
Degree 3
Homogeneous
+
ax3 bxZy + cxy2 + dy3 = ez3 226228
+
ax3 bx2y + cxy2 + dy3 = z3 7
= z 3 ( m o d 9 ) 37
+
Ax3 By3 + Cz3 = 0 226,230
UX: + bpx; + cp2x; = 0 9
+
x3 y 3 = az3 124130
+
x3 dy3 = 3z3 136
+
ax3 by3 + cz3 + ~ X Y Z= 0 8,7880, 130, 226
u =b = 1 131134
x3 + y3 + 2 3  xyz = 0 80
UX' + by3 + cz3 + dw3 = 0 88
5x3 + 9y3 + 10z3 + 12w3 = 0 88
x: + 2x; + 4x; = 9x: 7
x: + 2x; = 7(x; + 2 x 3 8
fi(x1, ~ 1 ~ , 1 +
) ~ f 2 ( ~ ~2 , 2 ~ , 2 +) ~ 2 f 3 ( ~ 3~ 9 3 ~ , 3 +
) p3 2 almnxiyrnzn = 0 9
Inhomogeneous
ax3 + bx2y + cxy2 + dy3 = m 218
m =1 218219, 226
+
ax3 + bx2y cxy2 + dy3 = 1 (mod 9 ) 38
x3  3xy2  y 3 = 1 208209
ax3 + by3 = c 219, 225
x3 + dy3 = 1 203205, 219225
+ + +
ax3 bx2y cxy2 dy3 = ex2 + f x y + gy2 67
y 3 = a3 + bx + ex2 + dx3 69
+
y 3 = a bx + cx2 + d3x3 69
ey2 = ax3 + bx2 + cx + d 235, 255
y2 = ax3 bx2 cx + + + d 199, 255261
y2 = x3  h2x  h3 143146
py2 = x3 27 + 74
y ( +~ 1) = X ( X + +
l ) ( x 2) 257
3y(y +1 ) = +x(x l)(x 2) + + 258
6y2 = X ( X +1)(2x 1 ) + 258
6y2 = x3 5~ + 6 + 259
y 2 = x3 + k 135, 218, 238254
y 2 = x3 + k (mod a) 41,48
LIST OF EQUAIIONS AND CONGRUENCES 309
+
y 2 = x3 k continued
k = n3  lm2 238241
k = 2 8  3h3 244245
k = 4u3  3h3 245
k = 3n3  3h3 245246
k = 432 247
144 251
105 251
78 251
69 251
48 247
42 251
33 251
31 244
24 246
15 247
7 247
4 123
2 124
I 247
7 242
17 246
34 242
45 239
58 242
70 242
+
X: = u bx2 34,9
+ +
ax3 by3 + cz3 dxyz = e 110
+
ux3 + uy3 bz3 = bc3 102
+ +
.x3 y3 z3  U X ~ Z= b 106110
+
ax3 + by3 + cz3 d=0 101103
+ +
ax2 by2 cz2 = 2dxyz 6
+ +
u(x3 + y3) b(z3 c3) = 0 59
+
.x3 + y 3 z3 = KI 83, 100101
n = l 84
(x + y + z )  ~ dxyz = m 83
z2 = f ( x , y ) , fcubic 8587, 103106
+ + + + + + +
z2 = p 2 Ix my ax2 bxy cy2 Ax3 Bx2y Cxy2 + Dy3+ 104
+
z2 = p2 + 1.u + my ax3 + bxZy + cxy2 + dy3 103
+
= ax3 + bs2y r.ty2 + dy3 112
z2 = u s 3 + h ~ 3 + ~c 104106, 1 151 16
? = X 3  G X Y 2  G3Y3 233
z2 = .y3 +
1j3 235
310 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
2z2 = x3 + y3 235
y 2  ax2 = z3 bz + c 113+
z3 = p 3 + Ix my + ax2 bxy + cy2+ + 103
+
z3 = ax2 by2 + c 106, 113114
z3 = x2 + ky2 215217
+ + +
x3 y3 z3 w3 = n 58, 182
x i + xi + .xi = 9x4 & 4 7
x: x3, + x," = n 181
+ +
+ . a * +
x2 y 2 1 = XYZ 299
+ +
x2 y 2 & x f y 1 = XYZ 299300
Degree 4
Homogeneous
+ +
kl(ax2 by2 CZ2)(aiX2 blY2 + C1z2) = +
k2(px2 + qy2 + rz2)2 25
( v ) 3 7 ) " y . + (?)aq  bp z4 = 0 27
~ +4 (
( U ~ X : + ~ 2 x 2+ agxf + a&)(bixf + b 2 4 + bgxf + b 4 ~ 3
= 2k(cix; + C ~ X ;+ C ~ X ;+ c,x;)(dlxf + d 2 ~ :+ d 3 ~ :+ d 4 ~ 3 6
a,x: + uzx; + agx: + a4x: = 0 5, 9094
U(X'  y4) + C(Z'  w4) = 0 91
x4 + y 4 = z4 + w4 90
x4 + y4 + 2 4 = w4 94
xy(mx2 + ny2) = zw(mz2 + nw2) 91
+
f ( z )+ f(y) fk) 4(f(cl) f(u) + +
f ( ~ )=) 0 where
f ( s )= x: + +
x; x:  xgx;  x:x;  x f x f  x1xzxg(x1 x2 x g ) + + 10
Inhomogeneous
+
Ax4 Bx3y + Cx2y2 + Dxy3 + Ey4 = 1 236237
ax4  by4 = c 274
x4  Dy' = & 1 275276
x4 + y 4 = 1 116117
x4  2y4 = 1 207
x4  8y4 = 1 208
+
ky2 = ax4 bx3 + cx2 + dx + e 268272
y2 = ax4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + e 6970, 74, 77, 268
dy2 = ax4 bX2 + c + 6364,236,268272
py2 = 2x4 + I 74
py2 = 4x4  1 74
py2 = 8  x4 74
y2 = Dx4 & 1 269271
Y 2 = X4+ 1 17
+ + + +
y2(ax2 bx C) y(alx2 blx ~ 1 ) a2x2 b2x c2 = 0 + + + + 70
LIST OF EQUATIONS AND CONGRUENCES 31 1
268
ax4 + b 2 y + cx2y2 + dxy3 + cy4 = z2 138
ax4 + bx2y2 + dy4 = cz2 1625
b =0 2325
c = l 22
+
(ax2 by2j2  2k(cx2 +
dy'))" = z2 5
x4  py4 = 2z2 25
x4  2y4 = + z 2 7274
.r4  y 4 = z 2 17
x4 + .v4 = 2z2 18
x4 + kX2y2 + y4 = z 2 19
k=O 16
= +6 18
= 1 19
= 1 20
= 14 21
arsxrys= dz2 97
r,s=O
z2 = k2 + .x2(ax2 by2) + 97
ax4 + by4 + c = z 2 95
z 2 = U: +
U2U3,where Ur = arx2 h,xy + + b,y2 + f r x + g,y 96
s 4 + y4 + 424 = 1 94
+
.r4 + y 4 2 4 = 2 95
.r4 + ay4 + bz4 = z 2 95
+ +
( x ~ a)(y2 a) = (UZ' +
b2)2 95
Degree > 4
Homogeneous
XI + y' = Z' 137,280286
Inhomogeneous
f ( x ) = m,f homogeneous of degree ci in n variables 174180
+ +
aox" a l x n  l y + . . . anyn = m 157163, 186199, 218
ax"  by" = c 273275
c= +I 274275
X"  Dy" = & 1 274276
n=5 275
f (x,y ) = 0 262263, 276277
y 2 = f ( ~ ) 263265
+ +
ay2 by c = dx" 265
y m = x(x + 1). . .(x n)+ 267268
in = 2 267
ax"'  by" = c 272276, 300
312 DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS
y2 +
I = x"' 276, 301
y 2  1 = x"' 276, 302
y3=x  + 1 276, 304
y4 = X P +
1 304
X; = a +
bx2 34
P(x, Y ) = Q<x,Y ) 188, 198,278
Zrn = AX2 + +
B X Y CZ2 111
UX' +
by2 = CZ" 111
x2 +
y2 = 21 122
+ +
N(CLX p~ Y Z ) = n 20921 1
+ +
N(ax py y z ) = f ( x , y , 2 ) 21 I
+ + +
z2 = (alx2 b,y2)(a2x2 b2y2)(u3x2 b3y2) 154
Miscellaneous equations
2 atb: =0 203
+ 7 = 2"
t=1
x2 205206
Pure and Applied Mathematics
,4 Series of Monographs and Textbooks
Edited by PAUL A. SMITH and SAMUEL EILENBERG,
Columbia University, New York