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Euler's totient function
In number theory, the totient φ(n) of a positive integer n is defined to be the number of positive integers less than or equal to n and coprime to n. For example, φ(8) = 4 since the four numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7 are coprime to 8. The function φ so defined is the totient function. The totient is usually called the Euler totient or Euler's totient, after the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, who studied it. The totient function is also called Euler's phi function or simply the phi function, since the letter Phi (φ) is so commonly used for it.
The totient function is important chiefly because it gives the size of the multiplicative group of integers modulo n -- more precisely, φ(n) is the order of the group of units of the ring . This fact, together with Lagrange's theorem, provides a proof for Euler's theorem.
Computing Euler's function
It follows from the definition that φ(1) = 1, and φ(n) is (p-1)pk-1 when n is the kth power of a prime pk. Moreover, φ is a multiplicative function; if m and n are coprime then φ(mn) = φ(m)φ(n). (Sketch of proof: let A, B, C be the sets of residue classes modulo-and-coprime-to m, n, mn respectively; then there is a bijection between AxB and C, via the Chinese remainder theorem.) The value of φ(n) can thus be computed using the fundamental theorem of arithmetic: if
- n = p1k1 ... prkr
where the pj are distinct primes, then
- φ(n) = (p1−1) p1k1−1 ... (pr−1) prkr−1.
This last formula is an Euler product and is often written as
with the product ranging only over the distinct primes pr.
The number φ(n) is also equal to the number of generators of the cyclic group Cn (and therefore also to the degree of the cyclotomic polynomial Φn). Since every element of Cn generates a cyclic subgroup and the subgroups of Cn are of the form Cd where d divides n (written as d|n), we get
where the sum extends over all positive divisors d of n.
We can now use the Möbius inversion formula to "invert" this sum and get another formula for φ(n):
If a is coprime to n, that is, (a,n)=1 then
A Dirichlet series involving φ(n) is
A Lambert series generating function is
which holds for |q|<1.
Growth of the function
The growth of φ(n) as a function of n is an interesting question, since the first impression from small n that φ(n) might be noticeably smaller than n is somewhat misleading. Asymptotically we have
- n1−ε < φ(n) < n
for any given ε > 0 and n > N(ε). In fact if we consider
we can write that, from the formula above, as the product of factors
- 1 −p−1
taken over the prime numbers p dividing n. Therefore the values of n corresponding to particularly small values of the ratio are those n that are the product of an initial segment of the sequence of all primes. From the prime number theorem it can be shown that a constant ε in the formula above can therefore be replaced by
- C loglog n/log n.
This behavior also holds in an average sense:
where the big O is the Landau symbol.
Some values of the function
- Milton Abramowitz and Irene A. Stegun, Handbook of Mathematical Functions, (1964) Dover Publications, New York. ISBN 486-61272-4 . See paragraph 24.3.2.
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