Statements and open problems on decidable sets X⊆N that contain informal notions and refer to the current knowledge on X

Journal of Applied Computer Science and Mathematics 16 (2):31-35 (2022)

Abstract

Let f(1)=2, f(2)=4, and let f(n+1)=f(n)! for every integer n≥2. Edmund Landau's conjecture states that the set P(n^2+1) of primes of the form n^2+1 is infinite. Landau's conjecture implies the following unproven statement Φ: card(P(n^2+1))<ω ⇒ P(n^2+1)⊆[2,f(7)]. Let B denote the system of equations: {x_j!=x_k: i,k∈{1,...,9}}∪{x_i⋅x_j=x_k: i,j,k∈{1,...,9}}. The system of equations {x_1!=x_1, x_1 \cdot x_1=x_2, x_2!=x_3, x_3!=x_4, x_4!=x_5, x_5!=x_6, x_6!=x_7, x_7!=x_8, x_8!=x_9} has exactly two solutions in positive integers x_1,...,x_9, namely (1,...,1) and (f(1),...,f(9)). No known system S⊆B with a finite number of solutions in positive integers x_1,...,x_9 has a solution (x_1,...,x_9)∈(N\{0})^9 satisfying max(x_1,...,x_9)>f(9). For every known system S⊆B, if the finiteness/infiniteness of the set {(x_1,...,x_9)∈(N\{0})^9: (x_1,...,x_9) solves S} is unknown, then the statement ∃ x_1,...,x_9∈N\{0} ((x_1,...,x_9) solves S)∧(max(x_1,...,x_9)>f(9)) remains unproven. Let Λ denote the statement: if the system of equations {x_2!=x_3, x_3!=x_4, x_5!=x_6, x_8!=x_9, x_1 \cdot x_1=x_2, x_3 \cdot x_5=x_6, x_4 \cdot x_8=x_9, x_5 \cdot x_7=x_8} has at most finitely many solutions in positive integers x_1,...,x_9, then each such solution (x_1,...,x_9) satisfies x_1,...,x_9≤f(9). The statement Λ is equivalent to the statement Φ. It heuristically justifies the statement Φ . This justification does not yield the finiteness/infiniteness of P(n^2+1). We present a new heuristic argument for the infiniteness of P(n^2+1), which is not based on the statement Φ. Algorithms always terminate. We explain the distinction between existing algorithms (i.e. algorithms whose existence is provable in ZFC) and known algorithms (i.e. algorithms whose definition is constructive and currently known). Assuming that the infiniteness of a set X⊆N is false or unproven, we define which elements of X are classified as known. No known set X⊆N satisfies Conditions (1)-(4) and is widely known in number theory or naturally defined, where this term has only informal meaning. *** (1) A known algorithm with no input returns an integer n satisfying card(X)<ω ⇒ X⊆(-∞,n]. (2) A known algorithm for every k∈N decides whether or not k∈X. (3) No known algorithm with no input returns the logical value of the statement card(X)=ω. (4) There are many elements of X and it is conjectured, though so far unproven, that X is infinite. (5) X is naturally defined. The infiniteness of X is false or unproven. X has the simplest definition among known sets Y⊆N with the same set of known elements. *** Conditions (2)-(5) hold for X=P(n^2+1). The statement Φ implies Condition (1) for X=P(n^2+1). The set X={n∈N: the interval [-1,n] contains more than 29.5+\frac{11!}{3n+1}⋅sin(n) primes of the form k!+1} satisfies Conditions (1)-(5) except the requirement that X is naturally defined. 501893∈X. Condition (1) holds with n=501893. card(X∩[0,501893])=159827. X∩[501894,∞)= {n∈N: the interval [-1,n] contains at least 30 primes of the form k!+1}. We present a table that shows satisfiable conjunctions of the form #(Condition 1) ∧ (Condition 2) ∧ #(Condition 3) ∧ (Condition 4) ∧ #(Condition 5), where # denotes the negation ¬ or the absence of any symbol. No set X⊆N will satisfy Conditions (1)-(4) forever, if for every algorithm with no input, at some future day, a computer will be able to execute this algorithm in 1 second or less. The physical limits of computation disprove this assumption.