Integers Divided by GCD are Coprime

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Let $a, b \in \Z$ be integers which are not both zero.

Let $d$ be a common divisor of $a$ and $b$, that is:

$\dfrac a d, \dfrac b d \in \Z$


$\gcd \set {a, b} = d$

if and only if:

$\gcd \set {\dfrac a d, \dfrac b d} = 1$

that is:

$\dfrac a {\gcd \set {a, b} } \perp \dfrac b {\gcd \set {a, b} }$


$\gcd$ denotes greatest common divisor
$\perp$ denotes coprimality.

Proof 1

Let $d = \gcd \set {a, b}$.

By definition of divisor:

$d \divides a \iff \exists s \in \Z: a = d s$
$d \divides b \iff \exists t \in \Z: b = d t$


\(\ds \exists m, n \in \Z: \, \) \(\ds d\) \(=\) \(\ds m a + n b\) Bézout's Identity
\(\ds \leadstoandfrom \ \ \) \(\ds d\) \(=\) \(\ds m d s + n d t\) Definition of $s$ and $t$
\(\ds \leadstoandfrom \ \ \) \(\ds 1\) \(=\) \(\ds m s + n t\) dividing through by $d$
\(\ds \leadstoandfrom \ \ \) \(\ds \gcd \set {s, t}\) \(=\) \(\ds 1\) Bézout's Identity
\(\ds \leadstoandfrom \ \ \) \(\ds \gcd \set {\frac a d, \frac b d}\) \(=\) \(\ds 1\) Definition of $s$ and $t$


Proof 2

Let $d = \gcd \set {a, b}$.

We have:

$(1): d \divides a \iff \exists s \in \Z: a = d s$
$(2): d \divides b \iff \exists t \in \Z: b = d t$

We have to prove:

$\gcd \set {s, t} = 1$

Aiming for a contradiction, suppose $\gcd \set {s, t} \ne 1$.


$(3): \exists k \in \N \setminus \set 1$ such that $k \divides s \land k \divides t$


$(4): \exists m, n \in \N: s = k m, t = k n$

Substituting from $(4)$ in $(1)$ and $(2)$:

$a = d k m$, $b = d k n$


$ d k \divides a \land d k \divides b$

From $(3)$ we have:

\(\ds \) \(\) \(\ds k \in \N \land k \ne 1\)
\(\ds \leadsto \ \ \) \(\ds \) \(\) \(\ds k > 1\)
\(\ds \leadsto \ \ \) \(\ds \) \(\) \(\ds d k > d\)

As $d k$ is a common divisor of $a$ and $b$ greater than $d$, this contradicts $d = \gcd \set {a, b}$.

So our initial assumption that $\gcd \set {s, t} \ne 1$ is false.

Therefore, from Proof by Contradiction, we have:

$\gcd \set {s, t} = 1 \implies \gcd \set {\dfrac a d, \dfrac b d} = 1$


Proof 3

Because $d$ is a common divisor of $a$ and $b$, we may form the expressions:

$a = d r$
$b = d s$

where $r, s \in \Z$.


\(\ds d\) \(=\) \(\ds \gcd \set {a, b}\) by hypothesis
\(\ds \) \(=\) \(\ds \gcd \set {d r, d s}\)
\(\ds \) \(=\) \(\ds d \gcd \set {r, s}\) GCD of Integers with Common Divisor
\(\ds \leadstoandfrom \ \ \) \(\ds 1\) \(=\) \(\ds \gcd \set {r, s}\) dividing through by $d$
\(\ds \) \(=\) \(\ds \gcd \set {\dfrac a d, \dfrac b d}\) Definition of $r$ and $s$


Also presented as

It can be expressed so as not to include fractions:

$\gcd \set {a, b} = d \iff \exists s, t \in \Z: a = d s \land b = d t \land \gcd \set {s, t} = 1$