2000 IMO Problems/Problem 5

Does there exist a positive integer $n$ such that $n$ has exactly 2000 prime divisors and $n$ divides $2^n + 1$?


Let $N=2^n+1$. We will assume for the sake of contradiction that $n|N$.

$2^n+1 \equiv 0 \pmod{n} \Rightarrow 2^n \equiv -1 \pmod{n}$. So 2 does not divide $n$, and so $n$ is odd.

Select an arbitrary prime factor of $n$ and call it $p$. Let's represent $n$ in the form $p^am$, where $m$ is not divisible by $p$.

Note that $p$ and $m$ are both odd since $n$ is odd. By repeated applications of Fermat's Little Theorem:

$N = 2^n+1 = 2^{p^am} + 1 = (2^{p^{a-1}m})^p + 1 \equiv 2^{p^{a-1}m} + 1$ (mod $p$)

Continuing in this manner, and inducting on k from 1 to $a$,

$2^{p^{a-k}m}+1 \equiv (2^{p^{a-k-1}m})^p + 1$ (mod $p$) $\equiv 2^{p^{a-k-1}m} + 1$ (mod $p$)

So we have $N \equiv 2^m+1$ (mod $p$)

Since $p$ is relatively prime to $m$, $N \equiv 1+1$ (mod $p$) $\equiv 2$ (mod $p$)

Since $p$ is odd, $N$ is not divisible by $p$. Hence $N$ is not divisible by $n$. So we have a contradiction, and our original assumption was false, and therefore $N$ is still not divisible by $n$.

See Also

2000 IMO (Problems) • Resources
Preceded by
Problem 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 Followed by
Problem 6
All IMO Problems and Solutions