# Noncototient

In mathematics, a noncototient is a positive integer n that cannot be expressed as the difference between a positive integer m and the number of coprime integers below it. That is, m  φ(m) = n, where φ stands for Euler's totient function, has no solution for m. The cototient of n is defined as n  φ(n), so a noncototient is a number that is never a cototient.

It is conjectured that all noncototients are even. This follows from a modified form of the slightly stronger version of the Goldbach conjecture: if the even number n can be represented as a sum of two distinct primes p and q, then

It is expected that every even number larger than 6 is a sum of two distinct primes, so probably no odd number larger than 5 is a noncototient. The remaining odd numbers are covered by the observations and .

For even numbers, it can be shown

Thus, all even numbers n such that n+2 can be written as (p+1)*(q+1) with p, q primes are cototients.

The first few noncototients are

10, 26, 34, 50, 52, 58, 86, 100, 116, 122, 130, 134, 146, 154, 170, 172, 186, 202, 206, 218, 222, 232, 244, 260, 266, 268, 274, 290, 292, 298, 310, 326, 340, 344, 346, 362, 366, 372, 386, 394, 404, 412, 436, 466, 470, 474, 482, 490, ... (sequence A005278 in the OEIS)

0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 1, 4, 1, 4, 3, 6, 1, 8, 1, 8, 7, 8, 1, 12, 1, 12, 9, 12, 1, 16, 5, 14, 9, 16, 1, 22, 1, 16, 13, 18, 11, 24, 1, 20, 15, 24, 1, 30, 1, 24, 21, 24, 1, 32, 7, 30, 19, 28, 1, 36, 15, 32, 21, 30, 1, 44, 1, 32, 27, 32, 17, 46, 1, 36, 25, 46, 1, 48, ... (sequence A051953 in the OEIS)

Least k such that the cototient of k is n are (start with n = 0, 0 if no such k exists)

0, 2, 4, 9, 6, 25, 10, 15, 12, 21, 0, 35, 18, 33, 26, 39, 24, 65, 34, 51, 38, 45, 30, 95, 36, 69, 0, 63, 52, 161, 42, 87, 48, 93, 0, 75, 54, 217, 74, 99, 76, 185, 82, 123, 60, 117, 66, 215, 72, 141, 0, ... (sequence A063507 in the OEIS)

Greatest k such that the cototient of k is n are (start with n = 0, 0 if no such k exists)

1, ∞, 4, 9, 8, 25, 10, 49, 16, 27, 0, 121, 22, 169, 26, 55, 32, 289, 34, 361, 38, 85, 30, 529, 46, 133, 0, 187, 52, 841, 58, 961, 64, 253, 0, 323, 68, 1369, 74, 391, 76, 1681, 82, 1849, 86, 493, 70, 2209, 94, 589, 0, ... (sequence A063748 in the OEIS)

Number of ks such that k-φ(k) is n are (start with n = 0)

2, ∞, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 0, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 4, 4, 3, 0, 4, 1, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 0, 5, 2, 2, 1, 4, 1, 5, 1, 4, 2, 4, 2, 6, 5, 5, 0, 3, 0, 6, 2, 4, 2, 5, 0, 7, 4, 3, 1, 8, 4, 6, 1, 3, 1, 5, 2, 7, 3, ... (sequence A063740 in the OEIS)

Erdős (1913-1996) and Sierpinski (1882-1969) asked whether there exist infinitely many noncototients. This was finally answered in the affirmative by Browkin and Schinzel (1995), who showed every member of the infinite family is an example (See Riesel number). Since then other infinite families, of roughly the same form, have been given by Flammenkamp and Luca (2000).

## References

• Browkin, J.; Schinzel, A. (1995). "On integers not of the form n-φ(n)". Colloq. Math. 68 (1): 55–58. Zbl 0820.11003.
• Flammenkamp, A.; Luca, F. (2000). "Infinite families of noncototients". Colloq. Math. 86 (1): 37–41. Zbl 0965.11003.
• Guy, Richard K. (2004). Unsolved problems in number theory (3rd ed.). Springer-Verlag. pp. 138–142. ISBN 978-0-387-20860-2. Zbl 1058.11001.