- #1

- 14

- 0

## Homework Statement

The question is from Koblitz's "P-adic Numbers, p-adic Analysis, and Zeta Functions". It asks me to prove that

[tex]ord_p(p^N!)= \sum _{i=1}^{N-1}p^i[/tex].

## Homework Equations

Firstly it would be important to define [tex]ord_px[/tex]. This is defined to be the exponent of the highest power of the prime p that divides x. The only additional useful bit of information is that, in general,

[tex]ord_p(ab)=ord_pa+ord_pb[/tex].

## The Attempt at a Solution

So I have an evaluation of the ord function, but I can't show that it equals

[tex]\sum _{i=1}^{N-1}p^i[/tex].

Since we have the logarithmic like property for the order function, I can say that

[tex]ord_p(p^N!)=\sum _{i=1}^{p^N}ord_p(i)[/tex].

My basic approach then is combinatorial. Firstly, I ask how many numbers x in the interval [tex]1\leq x\leq p^N[/tex] have order n. The first such number will be [tex]p^n[/tex], and then all other numbers will be multiples of this number, so the next question is to ask how many multiples we can have of [tex]p^n[/tex] such that the resulting product is still less than or equal to p^N.

There are going to [tex]p^{N-n}[/tex] such coefficients, but out of these, some of them will result in a number whose order is larger than n. These will be precisely those coefficients that are some power of p. There are N-n of these, so in all we have:

[tex](p^{N-n})-(N-n)=p^{N-n}+n-N[/tex] numbers whose order is n.

Now the amount that these numbers contributes to the overall sum will be [tex]n(p^{N-n}+n-N)[/tex], and the possible degrees range from 1 to N, so we have:

[tex]ord_p(p^N!)=\sum _{i=1}^{N}ip^{N-i}+i^2-iN[/tex].

My trouble is that I cannot see how this can be shown to be equal to the answer given in the book, which is the quite simple [tex]\sum _{i=1}^{N-1}p^i[/tex].

Last edited: