Universal exponent

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This article defines an arithmetic function or number-theoretic function: a function from the natural numbers to a ring (usually, the ring of integers, rational numbers, real numbers, or complex numbers).
View a complete list of arithmetic functions


Let be a natural number. The universal exponent or Carmichael function of , denoted is defined in the following equivalent ways:

  • It is the exponent of the multiplicative group modulo .
  • It is the least common multiple of the orders, modulo , of all integers relatively prime to .
  • It is the largest possible order, modulo , of an integer relatively prime to .

The symbol is also used for the Liouville lambda-function, which is totally different, while the capital letter is used for the von Mangoldt function, which is totally different too.

Relation with other arithmetic functions