The infinitude of primes

Content created by Egbert Rijke, Fredrik Bakke, Jonathan Prieto-Cubides, Julian KG, fernabnor and louismntnu.

Created on 2022-01-31.
Last modified on 2023-06-25.

module elementary-number-theory.infinitude-of-primes where
open import elementary-number-theory.divisibility-natural-numbers
open import elementary-number-theory.equality-natural-numbers
open import elementary-number-theory.factorials
open import elementary-number-theory.lower-bounds-natural-numbers
open import elementary-number-theory.natural-numbers
open import
open import elementary-number-theory.proper-divisors-natural-numbers
open import elementary-number-theory.sieve-of-eratosthenes
open import elementary-number-theory.strict-inequality-natural-numbers
open import elementary-number-theory.well-ordering-principle-natural-numbers

open import foundation.cartesian-product-types
open import foundation.coproduct-types
open import foundation.decidable-types
open import foundation.dependent-pair-types
open import foundation.empty-types
open import foundation.identity-types
open import foundation.iterating-functions
open import foundation.negation
open import foundation.type-arithmetic-empty-type
open import foundation.unit-type
open import foundation.universe-levels


We show, using the sieve of Eratosthenes and the well-ordering principle of , that there are infinitely many primes. Consequently we obtain the function that returns for each n the n-th prime, and we obtain the function that counts the number of primes below a number n.


We begin by stating the infinitude of primes in type theory.

Infinitude-Of-Primes-ℕ : UU lzero
Infinitude-Of-Primes-ℕ = (n : )  Σ   p  is-prime-ℕ p × le-ℕ n p)


The infinitude of primes

minimal-element-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ :
  (n : )  minimal-element-ℕ (in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n)
minimal-element-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n =
    ( in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n)
    ( is-decidable-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n)
    ( pair
      ( succ-ℕ (factorial-ℕ n))
      ( in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-succ-factorial-ℕ n))

larger-prime-ℕ :   
larger-prime-ℕ n = pr1 (minimal-element-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n)

in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n (larger-prime-ℕ n)
in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-larger-prime-ℕ n =
  pr1 (pr2 (minimal-element-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n))

is-one-is-divisor-below-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-one-is-divisor-below-ℕ n (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-one-is-divisor-below-larger-prime-ℕ n =
  pr2 (in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-larger-prime-ℕ n)

le-larger-prime-ℕ : (n : )  le-ℕ n (larger-prime-ℕ n)
le-larger-prime-ℕ n = pr1 (in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-larger-prime-ℕ n)

is-nonzero-larger-prime-ℕ : (n : )  is-nonzero-ℕ (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-nonzero-larger-prime-ℕ n =
  is-nonzero-le-ℕ n (larger-prime-ℕ n) (le-larger-prime-ℕ n)

is-lower-bound-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-lower-bound-ℕ (in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n) (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-lower-bound-larger-prime-ℕ n =
  pr2 (pr2 (minimal-element-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n))

is-not-one-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-nonzero-ℕ n  is-not-one-ℕ (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-not-one-larger-prime-ℕ n H p with is-successor-is-nonzero-ℕ H
... | pair k refl =
  neq-le-ℕ {1} {larger-prime-ℕ n}
    ( concatenate-leq-le-ℕ {1} {succ-ℕ k} {larger-prime-ℕ n} star
      ( le-larger-prime-ℕ (succ-ℕ k)))
    ( inv p)

not-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n x : )  is-proper-divisor-ℕ (larger-prime-ℕ n) x 
  ¬ (in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-ℕ n x)
not-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ n x H K =
    ( contradiction-le-ℕ x (larger-prime-ℕ n)
      ( le-is-proper-divisor-ℕ x (larger-prime-ℕ n)
        ( is-nonzero-larger-prime-ℕ n)
        ( H))
      ( is-lower-bound-larger-prime-ℕ n x K))

is-one-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-nonzero-ℕ n  is-one-is-proper-divisor-ℕ (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-one-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ n H x (pair f K) =
  is-one-is-divisor-below-larger-prime-ℕ n x
    ( leq-not-le-ℕ n x
      ( is-empty-left-factor-is-empty-prod
        ( not-in-sieve-of-eratosthenes-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ n x
          ( pair f K))
        ( λ y l d 
          is-one-is-divisor-below-larger-prime-ℕ n y l
            ( transitive-div-ℕ y x (larger-prime-ℕ n) K d))))
    ( K)

is-prime-larger-prime-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-nonzero-ℕ n  is-prime-ℕ (larger-prime-ℕ n)
is-prime-larger-prime-ℕ n H =
    ( larger-prime-ℕ n)
    ( pair
      ( is-not-one-larger-prime-ℕ n H)
      ( is-one-is-proper-divisor-larger-prime-ℕ n H))

infinitude-of-primes-ℕ : Infinitude-Of-Primes-ℕ
infinitude-of-primes-ℕ n with is-decidable-is-zero-ℕ n
... | inl refl = pair 2 (pair is-prime-two-ℕ star)
... | inr H =
    ( larger-prime-ℕ n)
    ( pair
      ( is-prime-larger-prime-ℕ n H)
      ( le-larger-prime-ℕ n))


The function that returns the n-th prime

The function prime-ℕ is defined to start at prime-ℕ 0 := 2

prime-ℕ :   
prime-ℕ n = iterate (succ-ℕ n)  x  pr1 (infinitude-of-primes-ℕ x)) 0

is-prime-prime-ℕ : (n : )  is-prime-ℕ (prime-ℕ n)
is-prime-prime-ℕ zero-ℕ = pr1 (pr2 (infinitude-of-primes-ℕ 0))
is-prime-prime-ℕ (succ-ℕ n) = pr1 (pr2 (infinitude-of-primes-ℕ (prime-ℕ n)))

The prime counting function

The prime counting function is defined such that prime-counting-ℕ n is the number of primes ≤ n

prime-counting-succ-ℕ :
  (n : )  is-decidable (is-prime-ℕ (succ-ℕ n))    
prime-counting-succ-ℕ n (inl d) x = succ-ℕ x
prime-counting-succ-ℕ n (inr d) x = x

prime-counting-ℕ :   
prime-counting-ℕ zero-ℕ = zero-ℕ
prime-counting-ℕ (succ-ℕ n) =
  prime-counting-succ-ℕ n
    ( is-decidable-is-prime-ℕ (succ-ℕ n))
    ( prime-counting-ℕ n)

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