# induction proof of fundamental theorem of arithmetic

Proof.  If $n=1$, it is the empty product of primes, and if $n=2$, it is a prime number.

Let then $n>2$.  Make the induction hypothesis that all positive integers $m$ with  $1  are products of prime numbers.  If $n$ is a prime number, the thing is ready.  Else, $n$ is a product of smaller numbers; these are, by the induction hypothesis, products of prime numbers.  The proof is complete    .

Part 2.  For any positive integer $n$, its representation as product of prime numbers is unique up to the order of the prime factors.

Proof.  The assertion is clear in the case that $n$ is a prime number, especially when  $n=2$.

Let then  $n>2$ and suppose that the assertion is true for all positive integers less than $n$.

If now $n$ is a prime, we are ready.  Therefore let it be a composite number  .  There is a least nontrivial factor $p$ of $n$. This $p$ must be a prime.  Put  $n=pb$  where  b is a positive integer.  By the induction hypothesis, $b$ has a unique prime factor decomposition.  Thus $n$ has a unique prime decomposition containing the prime factor $p$.

Now we will show that $n$ cannot have other prime decompositions.  Make the antithesis that $n$ has a different prime decomposition; let $q$ be the least prime factor in it.  Now we have  $p  and  $n=qc$  where  $c\in\mathbb{Z}_{+}$  and  $c  with  $p\nmid c$.  Then

 $\displaystyle n_{0}\;:=\;n-pc=\begin{cases}pb-pc=p(b-c)\\ qc-pc=(q-p)c\end{cases}$

is a positive integer less than $n$.  Since  $p\mid n_{0}$, the induction hypothesis implies that the prime $p$ is in the prime decomposition of $(q-p)c$ and thus also at least of $q\!-\!p$ or $c$.  But we know that  $p\nmid c$, whence  $p\mid q-p$.  Thus we would get  $p\mid q\!-\!p\!+\!p=q$.  Because both $p$ and $q$ are primes, it would follow that $p=q$.  This contradicts the fact that  $p.  Consequently, our antithesis is wrong.  Accordingly, $n$ has only one prime decomposition, and the induction proof is complete.

## References

• 1 Esa V. Vesalainen: “Zermelo ja aritmetiikan peruslause”. $-$ Solmu 1 (2014).
• 2 Ernst Zermelo: Elementare Betrachtungen zur Theorie der Primzahlen.  $-$ Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft zu Göttingen (1934). English translation in:
• 3 H.-D. Ebbinghaus & A. Kanamori (eds.): , Miscellanea, Springer (2010). Ernst Zermelo: “Elementary considerations concerning the theory of prime numbers” 576$-$581.
Title induction proof of fundamental theorem of arithmetic InductionProofOfFundamentalTheoremOfArithmetic 2015-04-08 7:32:53 2015-04-08 7:32:53 pahio (2872) pahio (2872) 10 pahio (2872) Proof