An asymptotic version of the prime power conjecture

4 February 2020
Sarah Peluse

A subset $D$ of a finite cyclic group $\mathbb{Z}/m\mathbb{Z}$ is called a "perfect difference set" if every nonzero element of $\mathbb{Z}/m\mathbb{Z}$ can be written uniquely as the difference of two elements of $D$. If such a set exists, then a simple counting argument shows that $m=n^2+n+1$ for some nonnegative integer $n$. Singer constructed examples of perfect difference sets in $\mathbb{Z}/(n^2+n+1)\mathbb{Z}$ whenever $n$ is a prime power, and it is an old conjecture that these are the only such $n$ for which $\mathbb{Z}/(n^2+n+1)\mathbb{Z}$ contains a perfect difference set. In this talk, I will discuss a proof of an asymptotic version of this conjecture.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar