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 2021-01-28, 11:34 #1 RedGolpe     Aug 2006 Monza, Italy 73 Posts Number of points on elliptic curves over finite fields Hi all, I noticed that for elliptic curves of the form y2 ≡ x3 + a (mod p) sometimes the number of points is always p+1 for any choice of a. This seems to be the case for all p ≡ 5 (mod 6). Moreover, when this does not happen, i.e., for p ≡ 1 (mod 6), it looks like there are exactly zero curves of such form where the number of points is p+1. Can someone point me towards the right direction as to why this happens? Last fiddled with by RedGolpe on 2021-01-28 at 11:46 Reason: more info
2021-01-28, 11:58   #2
Nick

Dec 2012
The Netherlands

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by RedGolpe Can someone point me towards the right direction as to why this happens?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasse%...lliptic_curves

 2021-01-28, 12:06 #3 RedGolpe     Aug 2006 Monza, Italy 73 Posts I am familiar with Hasse's theorem, but it says nothing about the specific number of points: it only gives a bound.
 2021-01-28, 13:04 #4 RedGolpe     Aug 2006 Monza, Italy 73 Posts This looks like a good answer.
 2021-01-28, 13:33 #5 Dr Sardonicus     Feb 2017 Nowhere 2·7·421 Posts If p == 5 (mod 6) then gcd(3, p-1) = 1, so x -> x^3 (mod p) is invertible. In fact, x -> x^((2p-1)/3) (mod p) is the inverse map. Thus if p == 5 (mod 6), x^3 is "any residue mod p" and x^3 + a is "any residue mod p." If x^3 + a is one of the (p-1)/2 quadratic non-residues (mod p) there are no points (x, y) on the curve y^2 = x^3 + a. If x^3 + a is one of the (p-1)/2 nonzero squares (mod p) there are two points (x,y) and (x, -y) on the curve. If x^3 + a = 0 (mod p) there is one point (x, 0) on the curve. That makes p points in all. I seem to be missing one point. Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-01-28 at 13:44 Reason: xifnig posty
 2021-01-28, 14:03 #6 RedGolpe     Aug 2006 Monza, Italy 10010012 Posts You are just missing the identity point, or the point at infinity.
 2021-01-29, 22:29 #7 Robert Holmes     Oct 2007 2·53 Posts The key term here is supersingular elliptic curves. For p = 2 mod 3, any curve of the form y^2 = x^3 + B is supersingular, p > 3. Another common case is p = 3 mod 4, in which case y^2 = x^3 + x is also known to be supersingular.

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