Divisibility

Definition. We say $a$ divides $b$ and write $a|b$ if there exists $d\in\mathbb{Z}$ such that $b=ad$. We say that $a$ is a divisor of $b$ and that $b$ is a multiple of $a$. If $a|b$ is false, we write $a\not|b$.

Definition. We say $d$ is the greatest common divisor (gcd in short) of $a$ and $b$ if $d$ is the largest of all integers dividing both $a$ and $b$. We write $d=(a,b)$.

Example. Let $a=4$ and $b=6$. The divisors of $4$ are $1$, $-1$, $2$, $-2$, $4$, $-4$. The divisors of $6$ are $1$, $-1$, $2$, $-2$, $3$, $-3$, $6$, $-6$. So the common divisors of $4$ and $6$ are $1$, $-1$, $2$, $-2$ and $2=(4,6)$.

Definition. We say $m$ is the least common multiple (lcm in short) of $a$ and $b$ if $m$ is the smallest of all the positive integers that are multiples of both $a$ and $b$. We write $m=[a,b]$.

Example. Let $a=4$ and $b=6$. The positive multiples of $4$ are $4$, $8$, $12$, $16$, $20$, $24$, $28$, $\cdots$ and the positive multiples of $6$ are $6$, $12$, $18$, $24$, $30$, $\cdots$. Common positive multiples of $4$ and $6$ are $12$, $24$, $\cdots$ and $[4,6]=12$.

Theorem. Given integers $a$, $b$, and $c$,

1. if $a|b$ then $a|bc$.
2. if $a|b$ and $b|c$ then $a|c$.
3. if $a|b$ and $a|c$ then $a|bx+cy$ for any $x,y\in\mathbb{Z}$.

Proof.

1. If $a|b$ then there exists $d\in\mathbb{Z}$ such that $b=ad$. Now $bc=(ad)c=a(dc)$ and $dc\in\mathbb{Z}$ and hence $a|bc$.
2. Let $a|b$ and $b|c$. Then there exist $d_1,d_2\in\mathbb{Z}$ such that $b=ad_1$ and $c=bd_2$. Now we have
$$c=bd_2=(ad_1)d_2=a(d_1d_2)$$
and $d_1d_2\in\mathbb{Z}$. Hence, $a|c$.
3. Let $a|b$ and $a|c$. Then there exist $d_1,d_2\in\mathbb{Z}$ such that $b=ad_1$ and $c=ad_2$. For any $x,y\in\mathbb{Z}$ \begin{align*} bx+cy&=(ad_1)x+(ad_2)y\\&=a(d_1x+d_2y) \end{align*}
and $d_1x+d_2y\in\mathbb{Z}$. Hence, $a|bx+cy$.