OPEN

Let $C\geq 0$. Is there an infinite sequence of $n_i$ such that
\[\lim_{i\to \infty}\frac{p_{n_i+1}-p_{n_i}}{\log n_i}=C?\]

Let $S$ be the set of limit points of $(p_{n+1}-p_n)/\log n$. This problem asks whether $S=[0,\infty]$. Although this conjecture remains unproven, a lot is known about $S$. Some highlights:

- $\infty\in S$ by Westzynthius' result [We31] on large prime gaps,
- $0\in S$ by the work of Goldston, Pintz, and Yildirim [GPY09] on small prime gaps,
- Erdős [Er55] and Ricci [Ri56] independently showed that $S$ has positive Lebesgue measure,
- Hildebrand and Maier [HiMa88] showed that $S$ contains arbitrarily large (finite) numbers,
- Pintz [Pi16] showed that there exists some small constant $c>0$ such that $[0,c]\subset S$,
- Banks, Freiberg, and Maynard [BFM16] showed that at least $12.5\%$ of $[0,\infty)$ belongs to $S$,
- Merikoski [Me20] showed that at least $1/3$ of $[0,\infty)$ belongs to $S$, and that $S$ has bounded gaps.

OPEN

Is there a covering system all of whose moduli are odd?

Asked by Erdős and Selfridge (sometimes also with Schinzel). They also asked whether there can be a covering system such that all the moduli are odd and squarefree. The answer to this stronger question is no, proved by Balister, Bollobás, Morris, Sahasrabudhe, and Tiba [BBMST22].

Hough and Nielsen [HoNi19] proved that at least one modulus must be divisible by either $2$ or $3$. A simpler proof of this fact was provided by Balister, Bollobás, Morris, Sahasrabudhe, and Tiba [BBMST22].

Selfridge has shown (as reported in [Sc67]) that such a covering system exists if a covering system exists with moduli $n_1,\ldots,n_k$ such that no $n_i$ divides any other $n_j$ (but the latter has been shown not to exist, see [586]).

SOLVED

For any finite colouring of the integers is there a covering system all of whose moduli are monochromatic?

Conjectured by Erdős and Graham, who also ask about a density-type version: for example, is
\[\sum_{\substack{a\in A\\ a>N}}\frac{1}{a}\gg \log N\]
a sufficient condition for $A$ to contain the moduli of a covering system?
The answer (to both colouring and density versions) is no, due to the result of Hough [Ho15] on the minimum size of a modulus in a covering system - in particular one could colour all integers $<10^{18}$ different colours and all other integers a new colour.

OPEN

Let $A$ be the set of all integers not of the form $p+2^{k}+2^l$ (where $k,l\geq 0$ and $p$ is prime). Is the upper density of $A$ positive?

Crocker [Cr71] has proved there are are $\gg\log\log N$ such integers in $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ (any number of the form $2^{2^m}-1$ with $m\geq 3$ suffices). Pan [Pa11] improved this to $\gg_\epsilon N^{1-\epsilon}$ for any $\epsilon>0$. Erdős believes this cannot be proved by covering systems, i.e. integers of the form $p+2^k+2^l$ exist in every infinite arithmetic progression.

OPEN

Is there some $k$ such that every integer is the sum of a prime and at most $k$ powers of 2?

Erdős described this as 'probably unattackable'. In [ErGr80] Erdős and Graham suggest that no such $k$ exists. Gallagher [Ga75] has shown that for any $\epsilon>0$ there exists $k(\epsilon)$ such that the set of integers which are the sum of a prime and at most $k(\epsilon)$ many powers of 2 has lower density at least $1-\epsilon$.

Granville and Soundararajan [GrSo98] have conjectured that at most $3$ powers of 2 suffice for all odd integers, and hence at most $4$ powers of $2$ suffice for all even integers. (The restriction to odd integers is important here - for example, Bogdan Grechuk has observed that $1117175146$ is not the sum of a prime and at most $3$ powers of $2$, and pointed out that parity considerations, coupled with the fact that there are many integers not the sum of a prime and $2$ powers of $2$ (see [9]) suggest that there exist infinitely many even integers which are not the sum of a prime and at most $3$ powers of $2$).

OPEN

Is every odd $n$ the sum of a squarefree number and a power of 2?

Odlyzko has checked this up to $10^7$. Granville and Soundararajan [GrSo98] have proved that this is very related to the problem of finding primes $p$ for which $2^p\equiv 2\pmod{p^2}$ (for example this conjecture implies there are infinitely many such $p$).

This is equivalent to asking whether every $n$ not divisible by $4$ is the sum of a squarefree number and a power of two. Erdős thought that proving this with two powers of 2 is perhaps easy, and could prove that it is true (with a single power of two) for almost all $n$.

OPEN

Let $A$ be an infinite set such that there are no distinct $a,b,c\in A$ such that $a\mid (b+c)$ and $b,c>a$. Is there such an $A$ with
\[\liminf \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N^{1/2}}>0?\]
Does there exist some absolute constant $c>0$ such that there are always infinitely many $N$ with
\[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert<N^{1-c}?\]

Is it true that \[\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}<\infty?\]

Asked by Erdős and Sárközy [ErSa70], who proved that $A$ must have density $0$. They also prove that this is essentially best possible, in that given any function $f(x)\to \infty$ as $x\to \infty$ there exists a set $A$ with this property and infinitely many $N$ such that
\[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert>\frac{N}{f(N)}.\]
(Their example is given by all integers in $(y_i,\frac{3}{2}y_i)$ congruent to $1$ modulo $(2y_{i-1})!$, where $y_i$ is some sufficiently quickly growing sequence.)

An example of an $A$ with this property where \[\liminf \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N^{1/2}}\log N>0\] is given by the set of $p^2$, where $p\equiv 3\pmod{4}$ is prime.

For the finite version see [13].

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$. Let $B\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be the set of integers which are representable in exactly one way as the sum of two elements from $A$. Is it true that for all $\epsilon>0$ and large $N$
\[\lvert \{1,\ldots,N\}\backslash B\rvert \gg_\epsilon N^{1/2-\epsilon}.\]

Asked by Erdős, Sárközy, and Szemerédi, who constructed an $A$ such that for all $\epsilon>0$ and all large $N$
\[\lvert \{1,\ldots,N\}\backslash B\rvert \ll_\epsilon N^{1/2+\epsilon},\]
and yet there for all $\epsilon>0$ there exist infinitely many $N$ where
\[\lvert \{1,\ldots,N\}\backslash B\rvert \gg_\epsilon N^{1/3-\epsilon}.\]

Erdös and Freud investigated the finite analogue in 'a recent Hungarian paper', proving that there exists $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that the number of integers not representable in exactly one way as the sum of two elements from $A$ is $<2^{3/2}N^{1/2}$, and suggest the constant $2^{3/2}$ is perhaps best possible.

OPEN

Is it true that
\[\sum_{n=1}^\infty(-1)^n\frac{n}{p_n}\]
converges, where $p_n$ is the sequence of primes?

Erdős suggested that a computer could be used to explore this, and did not see any other method to attack this.

Tao [Ta23] has proved that this series does converge assuming a strong form of the Hardy-Littlewood prime tuples conjecture.

SOLVED

Is the set of odd integers not of the form $2^k+p$ the union of an infinite arithmetic progression and a set of density $0$?

OPEN

We call $m$ practical if every integer $n<m$ is the sum of distinct divisors of $m$. If $m$ is practical then let $h(m)$ be such that $h(m)$ many divisors always suffice.

Are there infinitely many practical $m$ such that \[h(m) < (\log\log m)^{O(1)}?\] Is it true that $h(n!)<n^{o(1)}$? Or perhaps even $h(n!)<(\log n)^{O(1)}$?

SOLVED

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $n$ be sufficiently large depending on $\epsilon$. Is there a graph on $n$ vertices with $\geq n^2/8$ many edges which contains no $K_4$ such that the largest independent set has size at most $\epsilon n$?

In other words, if $\mathrm{rt}(n;k,\ell)$ is the Ramsey-Turán number then is it true that (for sufficiently large $n$)
\[\mathrm{rt}(n; 4,\epsilon n)\geq n^2/8?\]

Conjectured by Bollobás and Erdős [BoEr76], who proved the existence of such a graph with $(1/8+o(1))n^2$ many edges. Solved by Fox, Loh, and Zhao [FLZ15], who proved that for every $n\geq 1$ there exists a graph on $n$ vertices with $\geq n^2/8$ many edges, containing no $K_4$, whose largest independent set has size at most \[ \ll \frac{(\log\log n)^{3/2}}{(\log n)^{1/2}}n.\]

See also [615].

OPEN

Can every triangle-free graph on $5n$ vertices be made bipartite by deleting at most $n^2$ edges?

The blow-up of $C_5$ shows that this would be the best possible. The best known bound is due to Balogh, Clemen, and Lidicky [BCL21], who proved that deleting at most $1.064n^2$ edges suffices.

SOLVED

Does every triangle-free graph on $5n$ vertices contain at most $n^5$ copies of $C_5$?

Győri proved this with $1.03n^5$, which has been improved by Füredi. The answer is yes, as proved independently by Grzesik [Gr12] and Hatami, Hladky, Král, Norine, and Razborov [HHKNR13].

In [Er97f] Erdős asks more generally: if $r\geq 5$ is odd and a graph has $rn$ vertices and the smallest odd cycle has size $r$ then is the number of cycles of size $r$ at most $n^{r}$?

SOLVED

Let $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ be infinite. Must there exist some $k\geq 1$ such that almost all integers have a divisor of the form $a+k$ for some $a\in A$?

Asked by Erdős and Tenenbaum. Ruzsa gave the following simple counterexample: let $A=\{n_1<n_2<\cdots \}$ where $n_l \equiv -(k-1)\pmod{p_k}$ for all $k\leq l$, where $p_k$ denotes the $k$th prime.

Tenenbaum asked the weaker variant (still open) where for every $\epsilon>0$ there is some $k=k(\epsilon)$ such that at least $1-\epsilon$ density of all integers have a divisor of the form $a+k$ for some $a\in A$.

OPEN

Is there a set $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ such that
\[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert = o((\log N)^2)\]
and such that every large integer can be written as $p+a$ for some prime $p$ and $a\in A$?

Can the bound $O(\log N)$ be achieved? Must such an $A$ satisfy \[\liminf \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{\log N}> 1?\]

Such a set is called an additive complement to the primes.

Erdős [Er54] proved that such a set $A$ exists with $\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\ll (\log N)^2$ (improving a previous result of Lorentz [Lo54] who achieved $\ll (\log N)^3$). Wolke [Wo96] has shown that such a bound is almost true, in that we can achieve $\ll (\log N)^{1+o(1)}$ if we only ask for almost all integers to be representable.

The answer to the third question is yes: Ruzsa [Ru98c] has shown that we must have \[\liminf \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{\log N}\geq e^\gamma\approx 1.781.\]

OPEN

Let $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ be such that every large integer can be written as $n^2+a$ for some $a\in A$ and $n\geq 0$. What is the smallest possible value of
\[\limsup \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N^{1/2}}?\]

Erdős observed that this value is finite and $>1$.

SOLVED

For any permutation $\pi\in S_n$ of $\{1,\ldots,n\}$ let $S(\pi)$ count the number of distinct consecutive sums, that is, sums of the shape $\sum_{u\leq i\leq v}\pi(i)$. Is it true that
\[S(\pi) = o(n^2)\]
for all $\pi\in S_n$?

It is easy to see that $S(\iota)=o(n^2)$ if $\iota$ denotes the identity permutation, as studied by Erdős and Harzheim [Er77]. Motivated by this, Erdős asked if this remains true for all permutations.

This is extremely false, as shown by Konieczny [Ko15], who both constructs an explicit permutation with $S(\pi) \geq n^2/4$, and also shows that for a random permutation we have \[S(\pi)\sim \frac{1+e^{-2}}{4}n^2.\]

SOLVED

Let $B\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ be an additive basis of order $k$ with $0\in B$. Is it true that for every $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ we have
\[d_s(A+B)\geq \alpha+\frac{\alpha(1-\alpha)}{k},\]
where $\alpha=d_s(A)$ and
\[d_s(A) = \inf \frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N}\]
is the Schnirelmann density?

Erdős [Er36c] proved this is true with $k$ replaced by $2k$ in the denominator (in a stronger form that only considers $A\cup (A+b)$ for some $b\in B$, see [38]).

Ruzsa has observed that this follows immediately from the stronger fact proved by Plünnecke [Pl70] that (under the same assumptions) \[d_S(A+B)\geq \alpha^{1-1/k}.\]

OPEN

Find the optimal constant $c>0$ such that the following holds.

For all sufficiently large $N$, if $A\sqcup B=\{1,\ldots,2N\}$ is a partition into two equal parts, so that $\lvert A\rvert=\lvert B\rvert=N$, then there is some $x$ such that the number of solutions to $a-b=x$ with $a\in A$ and $b\in B$ is at least $cN$.

The minimum overlap problem. The example (with $N$ even) $A=\{N/2+1,\ldots,3N/2\}$ shows that $c\leq 1/2$ (indeed, Erdős initially conjectured that $c=1/2$). The lower bound of $c\geq 1/4$ is trivial, and Scherk improved this to $1-1/\sqrt{2}=0.29\cdots$. The current records are
\[0.379005 < c < 0.380926\cdots,\]
the lower bound due to White [Wh22] and the upper bound due to Haugland [Ha16].

SOLVED

We say that $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ is an essential component if $d_s(A+B)>d_s(B)$ for every $B\subset \mathbb{N}$ with $0<d_s(B)<1$ where $d_s$ is the Schnirelmann density.

Can a lacunary set $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ be an essential component?

The answer is no by Ruzsa [Ru87], who proved that if $A$ is an essential component then there exists some constant $c>0$ such that $\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \geq (\log N)^{1+c}$ for all large $N$.

OPEN

Does there exist $B\subset\mathbb{N}$ which is not an additive basis, but is such that for every set $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ of Schnirelmann density $\alpha$ and every $N$ there exists $b\in B$ such that
\[\lvert (A\cup (A+b))\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\geq (\alpha+f(\alpha))N\]
where $f(\alpha)>0$ for $0<\alpha <1 $?

The Schnirelmann density is defined by \[d_s(A) = \inf_{N\geq 1}\frac{\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N}.\]

Erdős [Er36c] proved that if $B$ is an additive basis of order $k$ then, for any set $A$ of Schnirelmann density $\alpha$, for every $N$ there exists some integer $b\in B$ such that
\[\lvert (A\cup (A+b))\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\geq \left(\alpha+\frac{\alpha(1-\alpha)}{2k}\right)N.\]
It seems an interesting question (not one that Erdős appears to have asked directly, although see [35]) to improve the lower bound here, even in the case $B=\mathbb{N}$. Erdős observed that a random set of density $\alpha$ shows that the factor of $\frac{\alpha(1-\alpha)}{2}$ in this case cannot be improved past $\alpha(1-\alpha)$.

This is a stronger propery than $B$ being an essential component (see [37]). Linnik [Li42] gave the first construction of an essential component which is not an additive basis.

SOLVED

Let $k\geq 2$. Is there an integer $n_k$ such that, if $D=\{ 1<d<n_k : d\mid n_k\}$, then for any $k$-colouring of $D$ there is a monochromatic subset $D'\subseteq D$ such that $\sum_{d\in D'}\frac{1}{d}=1$?

This follows from the colouring result of Croot [Cr03]. Croot's result allows for $n_k \leq e^{C^k}$ for some constant $C>1$ (simply taking $n_k$ to be the lowest common multiple of some interval $[1,C^k]$). Sawhney has observed that there is also a doubly exponential lower bound, and hence this bound is essentially sharp.

Indeed, we must trivially have $\sum_{d|n_k}1/d \geq k$, or else there is a greedy colouring as a counterexample. Since $\prod_{p}(1+1/p^2)$ is finite we must have $\prod_{p|n_k}(1+1/p)\gg k$. To achieve the minimal $\prod_{p|n_k}p$ we take the product of primes up to $T$ where $\prod_{p\leq T}(1+1/p)\gg k$; by Mertens theorems this implies $T\geq C^{k}$ for some constant $C>1$, and hence $n_k\geq \prod_{p\mid n_k}p\geq \exp(cC^k)$ for some $c>0$.

SOLVED

Let $A=\{a_1<\cdots<a_t\}\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ be such that $\phi(a_1)<\cdots<\phi(a_t)$. The primes are such an example. Are they the largest possible? Can one show that $\lvert A\rvert<(1+o(1))\pi(N)$ or even $\lvert A\rvert=o(N)$?

Erdős remarks that the last conjecture is probably easy, and that similar questions can be asked about $\sigma(n)$.

Solved by Tao [Ta23b], who proved that \[ \lvert A\rvert \leq \left(1+O\left(\frac{(\log\log x)^5}{\log x}\right)\right)\pi(x).\]

In [Er95c] Erdős further asks about the situation when $\phi(a_1)\leq \cdots \leq \phi(a_t)$.

OPEN

Is there an infinite set $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ such that for every $a\in A$ there is an integer $n$ such that $\phi(n)=a$, and yet if $n_a$ is the smallest such integer then $n_a/a\to \infty$ as $a\to\infty$?

Carmichael has asked whether there is an integer $t$ for which $\phi(n)=t$ has exactly one solution. Erdős has proved that if such a $t$ exists then there must be infinitely many such $t$.

See also [694].

SOLVED

Let $A$ be a finite set of integers. Is it true that, for every $k$, if $\lvert A\rvert$ is sufficiently large depending on $k$, then there are least $\lvert A\rvert^k$ many integers which are either the sum or product of distinct elements of $A$?

SOLVED

Suppose $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ is such that there are no $k+1$ elements of $A$ which are relatively prime. An example is the set of all multiples of the first $k$ primes. Is this the largest such set?

This was disproved for $k=212$ by Ahlswede and Khachatrian [AhKh94], who suggest that their methods can disprove this for arbitrarily large $k$.

Erdős later asked [Er95] if the conjecture remains true provided $N\geq (1+o(1))p_k^2$ (or, in a weaker form, whether it is true for $N$ sufficiently large depending on $k$).

SOLVED

If $G$ is a graph with infinite chromatic number and $a_1<a_2<\cdots $ are lengths of the odd cycles of $G$ then $\sum \frac{1}{a_i}=\infty$.

SOLVED

If $G$ is a graph which contains odd cycles of $\leq k$ different lengths then $\chi(G)\leq 2k+2$, with equality if and only if $G$ contains $K_{2k+2}$.

Conjectured by Bollobás and Erdős. Bollobás and Shelah have confirmed this for $k=1$. Proved by Gyárfás [Gy92], who proved the stronger result that, if $G$ is 2-connected, then $G$ is either $K_{2k+2}$ or contains a vertex of degree at most $2k$.

A stronger form was established by Gao, Huo, and Ma [GaHuMa21], who proved that if a graph $G$ has chromatic number $\chi(G)\geq 2k+3$ then $G$ contains cycles of $k+1$ consecutive odd lengths.

SOLVED

Is it true that the number of graphs on $n$ vertices which do not contain $G$ is
\[\leq 2^{(1+o(1))\mathrm{ex}(n;G)}?\]

If $G$ is not bipartite the answer is yes, proved by Erdős, Frankl, and Rödl [ErFrRo86]. The answer is no for $G=C_6$, the cycle on 6 vertices. Morris and Saxton [MoSa16] have proved there are at least
\[2^{(1+c)\mathrm{ex}(n;C_6)}\]
such graphs for infinitely many $n$, for some constant $c>0$. It is still possible (and conjectured by Morris and Saxton) that the weaker bound of
\[2^{O(\mathrm{ex}(n;G))}\]
holds for all $G$.

OPEN

Does every graph on $n$ vertices with $>\mathrm{ex}(n;C_4)$ edges contain $\gg n^{1/2}$ many copies of $C_4$?

Conjectured by Erdős and Simonovits, who could not even prove that at least $2$ copies of $C_4$ are guaranteed.

He, Ma, and Yang [HeMaYa21] have proved this conjecture when $n=q^2+q+1$ for some even integer $q$.

OPEN

For any graph $H$ is there some $c=c(H)>0$ such that every graph $G$ on $n$ vertices that does not contain $H$ as an induced subgraph contains either a complete graph or independent set on $\geq n^c$ vertices?

OPEN

If $G_1,G_2$ are two graphs with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ then must there exist a graph $G$ whose chromatic number is $4$ (or even $\aleph_0$) which is a subgraph of both $G_1$ and $G_2$?

Erdős, Hajnal, and Shelah have shown that $G_1$ and $G_2$ must both contain all sufficiently large cycles.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph with $n$ vertices and $kn$ edges, and $a_1<a_2<\cdots $ be the lengths of cycles in $G$. Is it true that
\[\sum\frac{1}{a_i}\gg \log k?\]
Is the sum $\sum\frac{1}{a_i}$ minimised when $G$ is a complete bipartite graph?

A problem of Erdős and Hajnal. Gyárfás, Komlós, and Szemerédi [GyKoSz84] have proved that this sum is $\gg \log k$. Liu and Montgomery [LiMo20] have proved the asymptotically sharp lower bound of $\geq (\tfrac{1}{2}-o(1))\log k$.

See also the entry in the graphs problem collection.

See also [57].

SOLVED

Is it true that for every infinite arithmetic progression $P$ which contains even numbers there is some constant $c=c(P)$ such that every graph with average degree at least $c$ contains a cycle whose length is in $P$?

SOLVED

Let $k\geq 0$. Let $G$ be a graph on $n$ vertices such that every subgraph $H\subseteq G$ contains an independent set of size $\geq \frac{1}{2}\lvert H\rvert-k$. Must $G$ be the union of a bipartite graph and $O_k(1)$ many vertices?

Proved by Reed [Re99]. (Thanks also to Reed for pointing out that the case $k=0$ is trivial, since if $G$ is not bipartite then $G$ contains an odd cycle.)

OPEN

Is there a graph of chromatic number $\aleph_1$ such that for all $\epsilon>0$ if $n$ is sufficiently large and $H$ is a subgraph on $n$ vertices then $H$ contains an independent set of size $>n^{1-\epsilon}$?

SOLVED

Is it true that in any $2$-colouring of the edges of $K_n$ there must exist at least
\[(1+o(1))\frac{n^2}{12}\]
many edge-disjoint monochromatic triangles?

Conjectured by Erdős, Faudreee, and Ordman. This would be best possible, as witnessed by dividing the vertices of $K_n$ into two equal parts and colouring all edges between the parts red and all edges inside the parts blue.

The answer is yes, proved by Gruslys and Letzter [GrLe20].

In [Er97d] Erdős also asks for a lower bound for the count of edge-disjoint monochromatic triangles in single colour (the colour chosen to maximise this quantity), and speculates that the answer is $\geq cn^2$ for some constant $c?1/24$.

OPEN

We say $G$ is Ramsey size linear if $R(G,H)\ll m$ for all graphs $H$ with $m$ edges and no isolated vertices.

Are there infinitely many graphs $G$ which are not Ramsey size linear but such that all of its subgraphs are?

Asked by Erdős, Faudree, Rousseau, and Schelp [EFRS93]. $K_4$ is the only known example of such a graph.

OPEN

Let $c>0$ and let $f_c(n)$ be the maximal $m$ such that every graph $G$ with $n$ vertices and at least $cn^2$ edges, where each edge is contained in at least one triangle, must contain an edge in at least $m$ different triangles. Estimate $f_c(n)$. In particular, is it true that $f_c(n)>n^{\epsilon}$ for some $\epsilon>0$? Or even $f_c(n)\gg \log n$?

A problem of Erdős and Rothschild. Alon and Trotter showed that $f_c(n)\ll_c n^{1/2}$. Szemerédi observed that his regularity lemma implies that $f_c(n)\to \infty$.

See also [600] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a chordal graph on $n$ vertices - that is, $G$ has no induced cycles of length greater than $3$. Can the edges of $G$ be partitioned into $n^2/6+O(n)$ many cliques?

Asked by Erdős, Ordman, and Zalcstein [EOZ93], who proved an upper bound of $(1/4-\epsilon)n^2$ many cliques (for some very small $\epsilon>0$). The example of all edges between a complete graph on $n/3$ vertices and an empty graph on $2n/3$ vertices show that $n^2/6+O(n)$ is sometimes necessary.

A split graph is one where the vertices can be split into a clique and an independent set. Every split graph is chordal. Chen, Erdős, and Ordman [CEO94] have shown that any split graph can be partitioned into $\frac{3}{16}n^2+O(n)$ many cliques.

OPEN

Let $F(n)$ be maximal such that every graph on $n$ vertices contains a regular induced subgraph on at least $F(n)$ vertices. Prove that $F(n)/\log n\to \infty$.

Conjectured by Erdős, Fajtlowicz, and Stanton. It is known that $F(5)=3$ and $F(7)=4$. Ramsey's theorem implies that $F(n)\gg \log n$. Bollobás observed that $F(n)\ll n^{1/2+o(1)}$. Alon, Krivelevich, and Sudakov [AKS07] have improved this to $n^{1/2}(\log n)^{O(1)}$.

OPEN

The cycle set of a graph $G$ on $n$ vertices is a set $A\subseteq \{3,\ldots,n\}$ such that there is a cycle in $G$ of length $\ell$ if and only if $\ell \in A$. Let $f(n)$ count the number of possible such $A$.

Prove that $f(n)=o(2^n)$.

Prove that $f(n)/2^{n/2}\to \infty$.

Conjectured by Erdős and Faudree, who showed that $2^{n/2}<f(n) \leq 2^{n-2}$. The first problem was solved by Verstraëte [Ve04], who proved
\[f(n)\ll 2^{n-n^c}\]
for some constant $c>0$.

One can also ask about the existence and value of $\lim f(n)^{1/n}$.

OPEN

Let $f(n)$ be such that every graph on $n$ vertices with minimal degree $\geq f(n)$ contains a $C_4$. Is it true that $f(n+1)\geq f(n)$?

A weaker version of the conjecture asks for some constant $c$ such that $f(m)>f(n)-c$ for all $m>n$. This question can be asked for other graphs than $C_4$.

OPEN

Let $\epsilon >0$. Is it true that, if $k$ is sufficiently large, then
\[R(G)>(1-\epsilon)^kR(k)\]
for every graph $G$ with chromatic number $\chi(G)=k$?

Even stronger, is there some $c>0$ such that, for all large $k$, $R(G)>cR(k)$ for every graph $G$ with chromatic number $\chi(G)=k$?

Erdős originally conjectured that $R(G)\geq R(k)$, which is trivial for $k=3$, but fails already for $k=4$, as Faudree and McKay [FaMc93] showed that $R(W)=17$ for the pentagonal wheel $W$.

Since $R(k)\leq 4^k$ this is trivial for $\epsilon\geq 3/4$. Yuval Wigderson points out that $R(G)\gg 2^{k/2}$ for any $G$ with chromatic number $k$ (via a random colouring), which asymptotically matches the best-known lower bounds for $R(k)$.

This problem is #12 and #13 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Suppose $A\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ has $\lvert A\rvert=n$ and minimises the number of distinct distances between points in $A$. Prove that for large $n$ there are at least two (and probably many) such $A$ which are non-similar.

For $n=5$ the regular pentagon is the unique such set (Erdős mysteriously remarks this was proved by 'a colleague').

SOLVED

If $n$ distinct points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ form a convex polygon then they determine at least $\lfloor \frac{n+1}{2}\rfloor$ distinct distances.

Solved by Altman [Al63]. The stronger variant that says there is one point which determines at least $\lfloor \frac{n+1}{2}\rfloor$ distinct distances is still open. Fishburn in fact conjectures that if $R(x)$ counts the number of distinct distances from $x$ then
\[\sum_{x\in A}R(x) \geq \binom{n}{2}.\]

Szemerédi conjectured (see [Er97e]) that this stronger variant remains true if we only assume that no three points are on a line, and proved this with the weaker bound of $n/3$.

See also [660].

SOLVED

Suppose $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ determine a convex polygon and the set of distances between them is $\{u_1,\ldots,u_t\}$. Suppose $u_i$ appears as the distance between $f(u_i)$ many pairs of points. Then
\[\sum_i f(u_i)^2 \ll n^3.\]

OPEN

If $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ form a convex polygon then there are $O(n)$ many pairs which are distance $1$ apart.

Conjectured by Erdős and Moser. Füredi [Fu90] proved an upper bound of $O(n\log n)$. A short proof of this bound was given by Brass and Pach [BrPa01]. The best known upper bound is
\[\leq n\log_2n+4n,\]
due to Aggarwal [Ag15].

Edelsbrunner and Hajnal [EdHa91] have constructed $n$ such points with $2n-7$ pairs distance $1$ apart. (This disproved an early stronger conjecture of Erdős and Moser, that the true answer was $\frac{5}{3}n+O(1)$.)

OPEN

Let $h(n)$ be such that any $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$, with no three on a line and no four on a circle, determine at least $h(n)$ distinct distances. Does $h(n)/n\to \infty$?

Erdős could not even prove $h(n)\geq n$. Pach has shown $h(n)<n^{\log_23}$. Erdős, Füredi, and Pach have improved this to
\[h(n) < n\exp(c\sqrt{\log n})\]
for some constant $c>0$.

OPEN

Let $A$ be a set of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that all pairwise distances are at least $1$ and if two distinct distances differ then they differ by at least $1$. Is the diameter of $A$ $\gg n$?

Perhaps the diameter is even $\geq n-1$ for sufficiently large $n$. Piepmeyer has an example of $9$ such points with diameter $<5$. Kanold proved the diameter is $\geq n^{3/4}$. The bounds on the distinct distance problem [89] proved by Guth and Katz [GuKa15] imply a lower bound of $\gg n/\log n$.

OPEN

Let $c>0$ and $h_c(n)$ be such that for any $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that there are $\geq cn^2$ lines each containing more than three points, there must be some line containing $h_c(n)$ many points. Estimate $h_c(n)$. Is it true that, for fixed $c>0$, we have $h_c(n)\to \infty$?

A problem of Erdős and Purdy. It is not even known if $h_c(n)\geq 5$ (see [101]).

It is easy to see that $h_c(n) \ll_c n^{1/2}$, and Erdős originally suggested that perhaps a similar lower bound $h_c(n)\gg_c n^{1/2}$ holds. Zach Hunter has pointed out that this is false, even replacing $>3$ points on each line with $>k$ points: consider the set of points in $\{1,\ldots,m\}^d$ where $n\approx m^d$. These intersect any line in $\ll_d n^{1/d}$ points, and have $\gg_d n^2$ many pairs of points each of which determine a line with at least $k$ points. This is a construction in $\mathbb{R}^d$, but a random projection into $\mathbb{R}^2$ preserves the relevant properties.

This construction shows that $h_c(n) \ll n^{1/\log(1/c)}$.

OPEN

Let $h(n)$ count the number of incongruent sets of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ which minimise the diameter subject to the constraint that $d(x,y)\geq 1$ for all points $x\neq y$. Is it true that $h(n)\to \infty$?

It is not even known whether $h(n)\geq 2$ for all large $n$.

See also [99].

OPEN

Given $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ the number of distinct unit circles containing at least three points is $o(n^2)$.

OPEN

Draw $n$ squares inside the unit square with no common interior point. Let $f(n)$ be the maximum possible total perimeter of the squares. Is $f(k^2+1)=4k$?

In [Er94b] Erdős dates this conjecture to 'more than 60 years ago'.

It is trivial from the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality that $f(k^2)=4k$. Erdős also asks for which $n$ is it true that $f(n+1)=f(n)$.

OPEN

For every $r\geq 4$ and $k\geq 2$ is there some finite $f(k,r)$ such that every graph of chromatic number $\geq f(k,r)$ contains a subgraph of girth $\geq r$ and chromatic number $\geq k$?

Conjectured by Erdős and Hajnal. Rödl [Ro77] has proved the $r=4$ case. The infinite version (whether every graph of infinite chromatic number contains a subgraph of infinite chromatic number whose girth is $>k$) is also open.

In [Er79b] Erdős also asks whether \[\lim_{k\to \infty}\frac{f(k,r+1)}{f(k,r)}=\infty.\]

SOLVED

Any $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ of positive upper density contains a sumset $B+C$ where both $B$ and $C$ are infinite.

The Erdős sumset conjecture. Proved by Moreira, Richter, and Robertson [MRR19].

OPEN

Is there some $F(n)$ such that every graph with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ has, for all large $n$, a subgraph with chromatic number $n$ on at most $F(n)$ vertices?

Conjectured by Erdős, Hajnal, and Szemerédi [EHS82]. This fails if the graph has chromatic number $\aleph_0$.

OPEN

If $G$ is a graph let $h_G(n)$ be defined such that any subgraph of $G$ on $n$ vertices can be made bipartite after deleting at most $h_G(n)$ edges.

What is the behaviour of $h_G(n)$? Is it true that $h_G(n)/n\to \infty$ for every graph $G$ with chromatic number $\aleph_1$?

A problem of Erdős, Hajnal, and Szemerédi [EHS82]. Every $G$ with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ must have $h_G(n)\gg n$ since $G$ must contain, for some $r$, $\aleph_1$ many vertex disjoint odd cycles of length $2r+1$.

On the other hand, Erdős, Hajnal, and Szemerédi proved that there is a $G$ with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ such that $h_G(n)\ll n^{3/2}$. In [Er81] Erdős conjectures that this can be improved to $\ll n^{1+\epsilon}$ for every $\epsilon>0$.

See also [74].

OPEN

Let $k=k(n,m)$ be minimal such that any directed graph on $k$ vertices must contain either an independent set of size $n$ or a directed path of size $m$. Determine $k(n,m)$.

SOLVED

If $p(z)$ is a polynomial of degree $n$ such that $\{z : \lvert p(z)\rvert\leq 1\}$ is connected then is it true that
\[\max_{\substack{z\in\mathbb{C}\\ \lvert p(z)\rvert\leq 1}} \lvert p'(z)\rvert \leq (\tfrac{1}{2}+o(1))n^2?\]

The lower bound is easy: this is $\geq n$ and equality holds if and only if $p(z)=z^n$. The assumption that the set is connected is necessary, as witnessed for example by $p(z)=z^2+10z+1$.

The Chebyshev polynomials show that $n^2/2$ is best possible here. Erdős originally conjectured this without the $o(1)$ term but Szabados observed that was too strong. Pommerenke [Po59a] proved an upper bound of $\frac{e}{2}n^2$.

Eremenko and Lempert [ErLe94] have shown this is true, and in fact Chebyshev polynomials are the extreme examples.

SOLVED

Let $p(z)=\prod_{i=1}^n (z-z_i)$ for $\lvert z_i\rvert \leq 1$. Then the area of the set where \[A=\{ z: \lvert p(z)\rvert <1\}\]
is $>n^{-O(1)}$ (or perhaps even $>(\log n)^{-O(1)}$).

Conjectured by Erdős, Herzog, and Piranian [ErHePi58]. The lower bound $\mu(A) \gg n^{-4}$ follows from a result of Pommerenke [Po61]. The stronger lower bound $\gg (\log n)^{-O(1)}$ is still open.

Wagner [Wa88] proves, for $n\geq 3$, the existence of such polynomials with \[\mu(A) \ll_\epsilon (\log\log n)^{-1/2+\epsilon}\] for all $\epsilon>0$.

OPEN

Let $h(n)$ be minimal such that any group $G$ with the property that any subset of $>n$ elements contains some $x\neq y$ such that $xy=yx$ can be covered by at most $h(n)$ many Abelian subgroups.

Estimate $h(n)$ as well as possible.

SOLVED

Let $\alpha$ be a cardinal or ordinal number or an order type such that every two-colouring of $K_\alpha$ contains either a red $K_\alpha$ or a blue $K_3$. For every $n\geq 3$ must every two-colouring of $K_\alpha$ contain either a red $K_\alpha$ or a blue $K_n$?

Conjectured by Erdős and Hajnal. In arrow notation, this is asking where $\alpha \to (\alpha,3)^2$ implies $\alpha \to (\alpha, n)^2$ for every finite $n$.

The answer is no, as independently shown by Schipperus [Sc99] (published in [Sc10]) and Darby [Da99].

For example, Larson [La00] has shown that this is false when $\alpha=\omega^{\omega^2}$ and $n=5$. There is more background and proof sketches in Chapter 2.9 of [HST10], by Hajnal and Larson.

SOLVED

Let $F_{k}(N)$ be the size of the largest $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that the product of no $k$ many distinct elements of $A$ is a square. Is $F_5(N)=(1-o(1))N$? More generally, is $F_{2k+1}(N)=(1-o(1))N$?

Conjectured by Erdős, Sós, and Sárkzözy [ESS95], who proved
\[F_2(N)=\left(\frac{6}{\pi^2}+o(1)\right)N,\]
\[F_3(N) = (1-o(1))N,\]
and also established asymptotics for $F_k(N)$ for all even $k\geq 4$ (for which $F_k(N)\asymp N/\log N$ for all even $k\geq 4$. Erdős [Er38] earlier proved that $F_4(N)=o(N)$ (indeed, if $\lvert A\rvert \gg N$ and $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ then there is a non-trivial solution to $ab=cd$ with $a,b,c,d\in A$.)

Erdős (and independently Hall [Ha96] and Montgomery) also asked about $F(N)$, the size of the largest $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that the product of no odd number of $a\in A$ is a square. Ruzsa [Ru77] observed that $1/2<\lim F(N)/N <1$. Granville and Soundararajan [GrSo01] proved an asymptotic \[F(N)=(1-c+o(1))N\] where $c=0.1715\ldots$ is an explicit constant.

This problem was answered in the negative by Tao [Ta24], who proved that for any $k\geq 4$ there is some constant $c_k>0$ such that $F_k(N) \leq (1-c_k+o(1))N$.

OPEN

Let $f(n)$ be a number theoretic function which grows slowly (e.g. slower than $(\log n)^{1-c}$) and $F(n)$ be such that for almost all $n$ we have $f(n)/F(n)\to 0$. When are there infinitely many $x$ such that
\[\frac{\#\{ n\in \mathbb{N} : n+f(n)\in (x,x+F(x))\}}{F(x)}\to \infty?\]

Conjectured by Erdős, Pomerance, and Sárközy [ErPoSa97] who prove this when $f$ is the divisor function or the number of distinct prime divisors of $n$, but Erdős believed it is false when $f(n)=\phi(n)$ or $\sigma(n)$.

OPEN

Let $3\leq d_1<d_2<\cdots <d_k$ be integers such that
\[\sum_{1\leq i\leq k}\frac{1}{d_i-1}\geq 1.\]
Can all sufficiently large integers be written as a sum of the shape $\sum_i c_ia_i$ where $c_i\in \{0,1\}$ and $a_i$ has only the digits $0,1$ when written in base $d_i$?

Conjectured by Burr, Erdős, Graham, and Li [BEGL96]. Pomerance observed that the condition $\sum 1/(d_i-1)\geq 1$ is necessary. In [BEGL96] they prove the property holds for $\{3,4,7\}$.

See also [125].

OPEN

Let $A = \{ \sum\epsilon_k3^k : \epsilon_k\in \{0,1\}\}$ be the set of integers which have only the digits $0,1$ when written base $3$, and $B=\{ \sum\epsilon_k4^k : \epsilon_k\in \{0,1\}\}$ be the set of integers which have only the digits $0,1$ when written base $4$.

Does $A+B$ have positive density?

SOLVED

Let $f(m)$ be maximal such that every graph with $m$ edges must contain a bipartite graph with
\[\geq \frac{m}{2}+\frac{\sqrt{8m+1}-1}{8}+f(m)\]
edges. Is there an infinite sequence of $m_i$ such that $f(m_i)\to \infty$?

Conjectured by Erdős, Kohayakava, and Gyárfás. Edwards [Ed73] proved that $f(m)\geq 0$ always. Note that $f(\binom{n}{2})= 0$, taking $K_n$. Solved by Alon [Al96], who showed $f(n^2/2)\gg n^{1/2}$, and also showed that $f(m)\ll m^{1/4}$ for all $m$. The best possible constant in $f(m)\leq Cm^{1/4}$ is unknown.

OPEN

Let $R(n;k,r)$ be the smallest $N$ such that if the edges of $K_N$ are $r$-coloured then there is a set of $n$ vertices which does not contain a copy of $K_k$ in at least one of the $r$ colours. Prove that there is a constant $C=C(r)>1$ such that
\[R(n;3,r) < C^{\sqrt{n}}.\]

Conjectured by Erdős and Gyárfás, who proved the existence of some $C>1$ such that $R(n;3,r)>C^{\sqrt{n}}$. Note that when $r=k=2$ we recover the classic Ramsey numbers. Erdős thought it likely that for all $r,k\geq 2$ there exists some $C_1,C_2>1$ (depending only on $r$) such that
\[ C_1^{n^{1/k-1}}< R(n;k,r) < C_2^{n^{1/k-1}}.\]
Antonio Girao has pointed out that this problem as written is easily disproved, and indeed $R(n;3,2) \geq C^{n}$:

The obvious probabilistic construction (randomly colour the edges red/blue independently uniformly at random) yields a 2-colouring of the edges of $K_N$ such every set on $n$ vertices contains a red triangle and a blue triangle (using that every set of $n$ vertices contains $\gg n^2$ edge-disjoint triangles), provided $N \leq C^n$ for some absolute constant $C>1$. This implies $R(n;3,2) \geq C^{n}$, contradicting the conjecture.

Perhaps Erdős had a different problem in mind, but it is not clear what that might be. It would presumably be one where the natural probabilistic argument would deliver a bound like $C^{\sqrt{n}}$ as Erdős and Gyárfás claim to have achieved via the probabilistic method.

OPEN

Let $A\subset\mathbb{R}^2$ be an infinite set which contains no three points on a line and no four points on a circle. Consider the graph with vertices the points in $A$, where two vertices are joined by an edge if and only if they are an integer distance apart.

How large can the chromatic number and clique number of this graph be? In particular, can the chromatic number be infinite?

Asked by Andrásfai and Erdős. Erdős [Er97b] also asked where such a graph could contain an infinite complete graph, but this is impossible by an earlier result of Anning and Erdős [AnEr45].

See also [213].

OPEN

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $N$ be sufficiently large depending on $\epsilon$. Is there $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that no $a\in A$ divides the sum of any distinct elements of $A\backslash\{a\}$ and $\lvert A\rvert\gg N^{1/2-\epsilon}$?

It is easy to see that we must have $\lvert A\rvert \ll N^{1/2}$. Csaba has constructed such an $A$ with $\lvert A\rvert \gg N^{1/5}$.

SOLVED

Let $f(n)$ be minimal such that every triangle-free graph $G$ with $n$ vertices and diameter $2$ contains a vertex with degree $\geq f(n)$.

What is the order of growth of $f(n)$? Does $f(n)/\sqrt{n}\to \infty$?

Asked by Erdős and Pach. The lower bound $f(n)\geq (1-o(1))\sqrt{n}$ follows from the fact that a graph with maximum degree $d$ and diameter $2$ has at most $1+d+d(d-1)=d^2+1$ many vertices.

Simonovits observed that the subsets of $[3m-1]$ of size $m$, two sets joined by edge if and only if they are disjoint, forms a triangle-free graph of diameter $2$ which is regular of degree $\binom{2m-1}{m}$. This construction proves that \[f(n) \leq n^{(1+o(1))\frac{2}{3H(1/3)}}=n^{0.7182\cdots},\] where $H(x)$ is the binary entropy function. In [Er97b] Erdős encouraged the reader to try and find a better construction.

In this note Alon provides a simple construction that proves $f(n) \ll \sqrt{n\log n}$: take a triangle-free graph with independence number $\ll \sqrt{n\log n}$ (the existence of which is the lower bound in [165]) and add edges until it has diameter $2$; the neighbourhood of any set is an independent set and hence the maximum degree is still $\ll \sqrt{n\log n}$.

Hanson and Seyffarth [HaSe84] proved that $f(n)\leq (\sqrt{2}+o(1))\sqrt{n}$ using a Cayley graph on $\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$, with the generating set given by some symmetric complete sum-free set of size $\sim \sqrt{n}$. An alternative construction of such a complete sum-free set was given by Haviv and Levy [HaLe18].

Füredi and Seress [FuSe94] proved that $f(n)\leq (\frac{2}{\sqrt{3}}+o(1))\sqrt{n}$.

The precise asymptotics of $f(n)$ are unknown; Alon believes that the truth is $f(n)\sim \sqrt{n}$.

SOLVED

Let $\epsilon,\delta>0$ and $n$ be sufficiently large in terms of $\epsilon$ and $\delta$. Let $G$ be a triangle-free graph on $n$ vertices with maximum degree $<n^{1/2-\epsilon}$.

Can $G$ be made into a triangle-free graph with diameter $2$ by adding at most $\delta n^2$ edges?

Asked by Erdős and Gyárfás, who proved that this is the case when $G$ has maximum degree $\ll \log n/\log\log n$. A construction of Simonovits shows that this conjecture is false if we just have maximum degree $\leq Cn^{1/2}$, for some large enough $C$.

In this note Alon solves this problem in a strong form, in particular proving that a triangle-free graph on $n$ vertices with maximum degree $<n^{1/2-\epsilon}$ can be made into a triangle-free graph with diameter $2$ by adding at most $O(n^{2-\epsilon})$ edges.

See also [618].

SOLVED

Let $f(n)$ be the smallest number of colours required to colour the edges of $K_n$ such that every $K_4$ contains at least 5 colours. Determine the size of $f(n)$.

Asked by Erdős and Gyárfás, who proved that
\[\frac{5}{6}(n-1) < f(n)<n,\]
and that $f(9)=8$. Erdős believed the upper bound is closer to the truth. In fact the lower bound is: Bennett, Cushman, Dudek,and Pralat [BCDP22] have shown that
\[f(n) \sim \frac{5}{6}n.\]
Joos and Mubayi [JoMu22] have found a shorter proof of this.

OPEN

Let the van der Waerden number $W(k)$ be such that whenever $N\geq W(k)$ and $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ is $2$-coloured there must exist a monochromatic $k$-term arithmetic progression. Improve the bounds for $W(k)$ - for example, prove that $W(k)^{1/k}\to \infty$.

OPEN

Let $s_1<s_2<\cdots$ be the sequence of squarefree numbers. Is it true that, for any $\alpha \geq 0$,
\[\lim_{x\to \infty}\frac{1}{x}\sum_{s_n\leq x}(s_{n+1}-s_n)^\alpha\]
exists?

OPEN

Let $F(k)$ be the number of solutions to
\[ 1= \frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k},\]
where $1\leq n_1<\cdots<n_k$ are distinct integers. Find good estimates for $F(k)$.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph of maximum degree $\Delta$. Is $G$ the union of at most $\tfrac{5}{4}\Delta^2$ sets of strongly independent edges (sets such that the induced subgraph is the union of vertex-disjoint edges)?

Asked by Erdős and Nešetřil. They also asked the easier problem of whether $G$ containing at least $\tfrac{5}{4}\Delta^2$ many edges implies $G$ containing two strongly independent edges. This was proved independently by Chung-Trotter and Gyárfás-Tuza.

OPEN

A minimal cut of a graph is a minimal set of vertices whose removal disconnects the graph. Let $c(n)$ be the maximum number of minimal cuts a graph on $n$ vertices can have.
Is $c(3m+2)=3^m$? Does $c(n)^{1/n}\to \alpha$ for some $\alpha <2$?

Asked by Erdős and Nešetřil. Seymour observed that $c(3m+2)\geq 3^m$, as seen by the graph of $m$ independent paths of length $4$ joining two vertices.

OPEN

Let $h(n)$ be minimal such that, for every graph $G$ on $n$ vertices, there is a set of vertices $X$ of size $\lvert X\rvert\leq h(n)$ such that every maximal clique (on at least $2$ vertices) in $G$ contains at least one vertex from $X$.
Let $H(n)$ be maximal such that every triangle-free graph on $n$ vertices contains an independent set on $H(n)$ vertices.
Does $h(n)=n-H(n)$?

It is easy to see that $h(n)\leq n-\sqrt{n}$ and that $h(n)\leq n-H(n)$. Conjectured by Erdős and Gallai, who were unable to make progress even assuming $G$ is $K_4$-free. Erdős remarked that this conjecture is 'perhaps completely wrongheaded'.

OPEN

For any $M\geq 1$, if $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ is a sufficiently large finite Sidon set then there are at least $M$ many $a\in A+A$ such that $a+1,a-1\not\in A+A$.

There may even be $\gg \lvert A\rvert^2$ many such $a$. A similar question can be asked for truncations of infinite Sidon sets.

OPEN

Let $A\subset \{1,\ldots,N\}$ be a Sidon set with $\lvert A\rvert\sim N^{1/2}$. Must $A+A$ be well-distributed over all small moduli? In particular, must about half the elements of $A+A$ be even and half odd?

OPEN

Does there exist a maximal Sidon set $A\subset \{1,\ldots,N\}$ of size $O(N^{1/3})$?

OPEN

Let $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ be an infinite set such that, for any $n$, there are most $2$ solutions to $a+b=n$ with $a\leq b$. Must
\[\liminf_{N\to\infty}\frac{\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N^{1/2}}=0?\]

If we replace $2$ by $1$ then $A$ is a Sidon set, for which Erdős proved this is true.

The current bounds are
\[ \frac{n^{3/2}}{(\log n)^{3/2}}\ll R(C_4,K_n)\ll \frac{n^2}{(\log n)^2}.\]
The upper bound is due to Szemerédi (mentioned in [EFRS78]), and the lower bound is due to Spencer [Sp77].

This problem is #17 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $h(N)$ be the smallest $k$ such that $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ can be coloured with $k$ colours so that every four-term arithmetic progression must contain at least three distinct colours. Estimate $h(N)$.

Investigated by Erdős and Freud. This has been discussed on MathOverflow, where LeechLattice shows
\[h(N) \ll N^{2/3}.\]
The observation of Zachary Hunter in that question coupled with the bounds of Kelley-Meka [KeMe23] imply that
\[h(N) \gg \exp(c(\log N)^{1/12})\]
for some $c>0$.

OPEN

Let $\alpha>0$ and $n\geq 1$. Let $F(n,\alpha)$ be the largest $k$ such that in any 2-colouring of the edges of $K_n$ any subgraph $H$ on at least $k$ vertices contains more than $\alpha\binom{\lvert H\rvert}{2}$ many edges of each colour.

Prove that for every fixed $0\leq \alpha \leq 1/2$, as $n\to\infty$, \[F(n,\alpha)\sim c_\alpha \log n\] for some constant $c_\alpha$.

It is easy to show with the probabilistic method that there exist $c_1(\alpha),c_2(\alpha)$ such that
\[c_1(\alpha)\log n < F(n,\alpha) < c_2(\alpha)\log n.\]

SOLVED

For any $d\geq 1$ if $H$ is a graph such that every subgraph contains a vertex of degree at most $d$ then $R(H)\ll_d n$.

The Burr-Erdős conjecture. This is equivalent to showing that if $H$ is the union of $c$ forests then $R(H)\ll_c n$, and also that if every subgraph has average degree at most $d$ then $R(H)\ll_d n$. Solved by Lee [Le16], who proved that
\[ R(H) \leq 2^{2^{O(d)}}n.\]

This problem is #9 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection. See also [800].

SOLVED

A set $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ is primitive if no member of $A$ divides another. Is the sum
\[\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n\log n}\]
maximised over all primitive sets when $A$ is the set of primes?

OPEN

If $G$ is a graph with at most $k$ edge disjoint triangles then can $G$ be made triangle-free after removing at most $2k$ edges?

A problem of Tuza. It is trivial that $G$ can be made triangle-free after removing at most $3k$ edges. The examples of $K_4$ and $K_5$ show that $2k$ would be best possible.

OPEN

Let $F(N)$ be the size of the largest subset of $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ which does not contain any set of the form $\{n,2n,3n\}$. What is
\[ \lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{F(N)}{N}?\]
Is this limit irrational?

This limit was proved to exist by Graham, Spencer, and Witsenhausen [GrSpWi77]. Similar questions can be asked for the density or upper density of infinite sets without such configurations.

OPEN

Let $k\geq 3$ and $f(k)$ be the supremum of $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}$ as $A$ ranges over all sets of positive integers which do not contain a $k$-term arithmetic progression. Estimate $f(k)$.

Is \[\lim_{k\to \infty}\frac{f(k)}{\log W(k)}=\infty\] where $W(k)$ is the van der Waerden number?

Gerver [Ge77] has proved
\[f(k) \geq (1+o(1))k\log k.\]
It is trivial that
\[\frac{f(k)}{\log W(k)}\geq \frac{1}{2},\]
but improving the right-hand side to any constant $>1/2$ is open.

OPEN

Let $F(N)$ be the smallest possible size of $A\subset \{0,1,\ldots,N\}$ such that $\{0,1,\ldots,N\}\subset A-A$. Find the value of
\[\lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{F(N)}{N^{1/2}}.\]

The Sparse Ruler problem. Rédei asked whether this limit exists, which was proved by Erdős and Gál [ErGa48]. Bounds on the limit were improved by Leech [Le56]. The limit is known to be in the interval $[1.56,\sqrt{3}]$. The lower bound is due to Leech [Le56], the upper bound is due to Wichmann [Wi63]. Computational evidence by Pegg [Pe20] suggests that the upper bound is the truth. A similar question can be asked without the restriction $A\subset \{0,1,\ldots,N\}$.

SOLVED

Is it true that for every $\epsilon>0$ and integer $t\geq 1$, if $N$ is sufficiently large and $A$ is a subset of $[t]^N$ of size at least $\epsilon t^N$ then $A$ must contain a combinatorial line $P$ (a set $P=\{p_1,\ldots,p_t\}$ where for each coordinate $1\leq j\leq t$ the $j$th coordinate of $p_i$ is either $i$ or constant).

OPEN

Is it true that in any finite colouring of $\mathbb{N}$ there exist arbitrarily large finite $A$ such that all sums and products of distinct elements in $A$ are the same colour?

First asked by Hindman. Hindman [Hi80] has proved this is false (with 7 colours) if we ask for an infinite $A$.

Moreira [Mo17] has proved that in any finite colouring of $\mathbb{N}$ there exist $x,y$ such that $\{x,x+y,xy\}$ are all the same colour.

Alweiss [Al23] has proved that, in any finite colouring of $\mathbb{Q}\backslash \{0\}$ there exist arbitrarily large finite $A$ such that all sums and products of distinct elements in $A$ are the same colour. Bowen and Sabok [BoSa22] had proved this earlier for the first non-trivial case of $\lvert A\rvert=2$.

OPEN

In any $2$-colouring of $\mathbb{R}^2$, for all but at most one triangle $T$, there is a monochromatic congruent copy of $T$.

For some colourings a single equilateral triangle has to be excluded, considering the colouring by alternating strips. Shader [Sh76] has proved this is true if we just consider a single right-angled triangle.

OPEN

A finite set $A\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is called Ramsey if, for any $k\geq 1$, there exists some $d=d(A,k)$ such that in any $k$-colouring of $\mathbb{R}^d$ there exists a monochromatic copy of $A$. Characterise the Ramsey sets in $\mathbb{R}^n$.

Erdős, Graham, Montgomery, Rothschild, Spencer, and Straus [EGMRSS73] proved that every Ramsey set is 'spherical': it lies on the surface of some sphere. Graham has conjectured that every spherical set is Ramsey. Leader, Russell, and Walters [LRW12] have alternatively conjectured that a set is Ramsey if and only if it is 'subtransitive': it can be embedded in some higher-dimensional set on which rotations act transitively.

Sets known to be Ramsey include vertices of $k$-dimensional rectangles [EGMRSS73], non-degenerate simplices [FrRo90], trapezoids [Kr92], and regular polygons/polyhedra [Kr91].

SOLVED

Show that, for any $n\geq 5$, the binomial coefficient $\binom{2n}{n}$ is not squarefree.

It is easy to see that $4\mid \binom{2n}{n}$ except when $n=2^k$, and hence it suffices to prove this when $n$ is a power of $2$.

Proved by Sárkzözy [Sa85] for all sufficiently large $n$, and by Granville and Ramaré [GrRa96] for all $n\geq 5$.

More generally, if $f(n)$ is the largest integer such that, for some prime $p$, we have $p^{f(n)}$ dividing $\binom{2n}{n}$, then $f(n)$ should tend to infinity with $n$. Can one even disprove that $f(n)\gg \log n$?

OPEN

Let $N(k,\ell)$ be the minimal $N$ such that for any $f:\{1,\ldots,N\}\to\{-1,1\}$ there must exist a $k$-term arithmetic progression $P$ such that
\[ \left\lvert \sum_{n\in P}f(n)\right\rvert> \ell.\]
Find good upper bounds for $N(k,\ell)$. Is it true that for any $c>0$ there exists some $C>1$ such that
\[N(k,ck)\leq C^k?\]
What about
\[N(k,1)\leq C^k\]
or
\[N(k,\sqrt{k})\leq C^k?\]

No decent bound is known even for $N(k,1)$. Probabilistic methods imply that, for every fixed constant $c>0$, we have $N(k,ck)>C_c^k$ for some $C_c>1$.

OPEN

Find the smallest $h(d)$ such that the following holds. There exists a function $f:\mathbb{N}\to\{-1,1\}$ such that, for every $d\geq 1$,
\[\max_{P_d}\left\lvert \sum_{n\in P_d}f(n)\right\rvert\leq h(d),\]
where $P_d$ ranges over all finite arithmetic progressions with common difference $d$.

Cantor, Erdős, Schreiber, and Straus [Er66] proved that $h(d)\ll d!$ is possible. Van der Waerden's theorem implies that $h(d)\to \infty$. Beck [Be17] has shown that $h(d) \leq d^{8+\epsilon}$ is possible for every $\epsilon>0$. Roth's famous discrepancy lower bound [Ro64] implies that $h(d)\gg d^{1/2}$.

SOLVED

Let $A_1,A_2,\ldots$ be an infinite collection of infinite sets of integers, say $A_i=\{a_{i1}<a_{i2}<\cdots\}$. Does there exist some $f:\mathbb{N}\to\{-1,1\}$ such that
\[\max_{m, 1\leq i\leq d} \left\lvert \sum_{1\leq j\leq m} f(a_{ij})\right\rvert \ll_d 1\]
for all $d\geq 1$?

SOLVED

Let $1\leq k<\ell$ be integers and define $F_k(N,\ell)$ to be minimal such that every set $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ of size $N$ which contains at least $F_k(N,\ell)$ many $k$-term arithmetic progressions must contain an $\ell$-term arithmetic progression. Find good upper bounds for $F_k(N,\ell)$. Is it true that
\[F_3(N,4)=o(N^2)?\]
Is it true that for every $\ell>3$
\[\lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{\log F_3(N,\ell)}{\log N}=2?\]

Erdős remarks the upper bound $o(N^2)$ is certainly false for $\ell >\epsilon \log N$. The answer is yes: Fox and Pohoata [FoPo20] have shown that, for all fixed $1\leq k<\ell$,
\[F_k(N,\ell)=N^{2-o(1)}\]
and in fact
\[F_{k}(N,\ell) \leq \frac{N^2}{(\log\log N)^{C_\ell}}\]
where $C_\ell>0$ is some constant.

OPEN

If $\mathcal{F}$ is a finite set of finite graphs then $\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})$ is the maximum number of edges a graph on $n$ vertices can have without containing any subgraphs from $\mathcal{F}$. Note that it is trivial that $\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})\leq \mathrm{ex}(n;G)$ for every $G\in\mathcal{F}$.

Is it true that, for every $\mathcal{F}$, there exists $G\in\mathcal{F}$ such that \[\mathrm{ex}(n;G)\ll_{\mathcal{F}}\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})?\]

A problem of Erdős and Simonovits.

This is trivially true if $\mathcal{F}$ does not contain any bipartite graphs, since by the Erdős-Stone theorem if $H\in\mathcal{F}$ has minimal chromatic number $r\geq 2$ then \[\mathrm{ex}(n;H)=\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})=\left(\frac{r-2}{r-1}+o(1)\right)\binom{n}{2}.\] Erdős and Simonovits observe that this is false for infinite families $\mathcal{F}$, e.g. the family of all cycles.

See also [575] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $Q_n$ be the $n$-dimensional hypercube graph (so that $Q_n$ has $2^n$ vertices and $n2^{n-1}$ edges). Prove that
\[R(Q_n) \ll 2^n.\]

Conjectured by Burr and Erdős. The trivial bound is
\[R(Q_n) \leq R(K_{2^n})\leq C^{2^n}\]
for some constant $C>1$. This was improved a number of times; the current best bound due to Tikhomirov [Ti22] is
\[R(Q_n)\ll 2^{(2-c)n}\]
for some small constant $c>0$. (In fact $c\approx 0.03656$ is permissible.)

SOLVED

Let $k\geq 3$. What is the maximum number of edges that a graph on $n$ vertices can contain if it does not have a $k$-regular subgraph? Is it $\ll n^{1+o(1)}$?

Asked by Erdős and Sauer. Resolved by Janzer and Sudakov [JaSu22], who proved that there exists some $C=C(k)>0$ such that any graph on $n$ vertices with at least $Cn\log\log n$ edges contains a $k$-regular subgraph.

A construction due to Pyber, Rödl, and Szemerédi [PRS95] shows that this is best possible.

OPEN

Any graph on $n$ vertices can be decomposed into $O(n)$ many cycles and edges.

SOLVED

Let $f_3(n)$ be the maximal size of a subset of $\{0,1,2\}^n$ which contains no three points on a line. Is it true that $f_3(n)=o(3^n)$?

Originally considered by Moser. It is trivial that $f_3(n)\geq R_3(3^n)$, the maximal size of a subset of $\{1,\ldots,3^n\}$ without a three-term arithmetic progression. Moser showed that
\[f_3(n) \gg \frac{3^n}{\sqrt{n}}.\]

The answer is yes, which is a corollary of the density Hales-Jewett theorem, proved by Furstenberg and Katznelson [FuKa91].

OPEN

Let $F(N)$ be the maximal size of $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ which is 'non-averaging', so that no $n\in A$ is the arithmetic mean of at least two elements in $A$. What is the order of growth of $F(N)$?

Originally due to Straus. It is known that
\[N^{1/4}\ll F(N) \ll N^{\sqrt{2}-1+o(1)}.\]
The lower bound is due to Bosznay [Bo89] and the upper bound to Conlon, Fox, and Pham [CFP23] (improving on earlier bound due to Erdős and Sárközy [ErSa90] of $\ll (N\log N)^{1/2}$).

See also [789].

OPEN

Find the best function $f(d)$ such that, in any 2-colouring of the integers, at least one colour class contains an arithmetic progression with common difference $d$ of length $f(d)$ for infinitely many $d$.

Originally asked by Cohen. Erdős observed that colouring according to whether $\{ \sqrt{2}n\}<1/2$ or not implies $f(d) \ll d$ (using the fact that $\|\sqrt{2}q\| \gg 1/q$ for all $q$, where $\|x\|$ is the distance to the nearest integer). Beck [Be80] has improved this using the probabilistic method, constructing a colouring that shows $f(d)\leq (1+o(1))\log_2 d$. Van der Waerden's theorem implies $f(d)\to \infty$ is necessary.

OPEN

What is the smallest $k$ such that $\mathbb{R}^2$ can be red/blue coloured with no pair of red points unit distance apart, and no $k$-term arithmetic progression of blue points?

Juhász [Ju79] has shown that $k\geq 5$. It is also known that $k\leq 10000000$ (as Erdős writes, 'more or less').

SOLVED

If $\mathbb{R}^2$ is finitely coloured then must there exist some colour class which contains the vertices of a rectangle of every area?

Graham [Gr80] has shown that this is true if we replace rectangle by right-angled triangle. The same question can be asked for parallelograms. It is not true for rhombuses.

This is false; Kovač [Ko23] provides an explicit (and elegantly simple) colouring using 25 colours such that no colour class contains the vertices of a rectangle of area $1$. The question for parallelograms remains open.

OPEN

Let $H(k)$ be the smallest $N$ such that in any finite colouring of $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ (into any number of colours) there is always either a monochromatic $k$-term arithmetic progression or a rainbow arithmetic progression (i.e. all elements are different colours). Estimate $H(k)$. Is it true that
\[H(k)^{1/k}/k \to \infty\]
as $k\to\infty$?

This type of problem belongs to 'canonical' Ramsey theory. The existence of $H(k)$ follows from Szemerédi's theorem, and it is easy to show that $H(k)^{1/k}\to\infty$.

SOLVED

Let $C>0$ be arbitrary. Is it true that, if $n$ is sufficiently large depending on $C$, then in any $2$-colouring of $\binom{\{2,\ldots,n\}}{2}$ there exists some $X\subset \{2,\ldots,n\}$ such that $\binom{X}{2}$ is monochromatic and
\[\sum_{x\in X}\frac{1}{\log x}\geq C?\]

The answer is yes, which was proved by Rödl [Ro03].

In the same article Rödl also proved a lower bound for this problem, constructing, for all $n$, a $2$-colouring of $\binom{\{2,\ldots,n\}}{2}$ such that if $X\subseteq \{2,\ldots,n\}$ is such that $\binom{X}{2}$ is monochromatic then \[\sum_{x\in X}\frac{1}{\log x}\ll \log\log\log n.\]

This bound is best possible, as proved by Conlon, Fox, and Sudakov [CFS13], who proved that, if $n$ is sufficiently large, then in any $2$-colouring of $\binom{\{2,\ldots,n\}}{2}$ there exists some $X\subset \{2,\ldots,n\}$ such that $\binom{X}{2}$ is monochromatic and \[\sum_{x\in X}\frac{1}{\log x}\geq 2^{-8}\log\log\log n.\]

SOLVED

Let $A=\{a_1,a_2,\ldots\}\subset \mathbb{R}^d$ be an infinite sequence such that $a_{i+1}-a_i$ is a positive unit vector (i.e. is of the form $(0,0,\ldots,1,0,\ldots,0)$). For which $d$ must $A$ contain a three-term arithmetic progression?

This is true for $d\leq 3$ and false for $d\geq 4$.

This problem is equivalent to one on 'abelian squares' (see [231]). In particular $A$ can be interpreted as an infinite string over an alphabet with $d$ letters (each letter describining which of the $d$ possible steps is taken at each point). An abelian square in a string $s$ is a pair of consecutive blocks $x$ and $y$ appearing in $s$ such that $y$ is a permutation of $x$. The connection comes from the observation that $p,q,r\in A\subset \mathbb{R}^d$ form a three-term arithmetic progression if and only if the string corresponding to the steps from $p$ to $q$ is a permutation of the string corresponding to the steps from $q$ to $r$.

This problem is therefore equivalent to asking for which $d$ there exists an infinite string over $\{1,\ldots,d\}$ with no abelian squares. It is easy to check that in fact any finite string of length $7$ over $\{1,2,3\}$ contains an abelian square.

An infinite string without abelian squares was constructed when $d=4$ by Keränen [Ke92]. We refer to a recent survey by Fici and Puzynina [FiPu23] for more background and related results, and a blog post by Renan for an entertaining and educational discussion.

OPEN

Let $S\subseteq \mathbb{Z}^3$ be a finite set and let $A=\{a_1,a_2,\ldots,\}\subset \mathbb{Z}^3$ be an infinite $S$-walk, so that $a_{i+1}-a_i\in S$ for all $i$. Must $A$ contain three collinear points?

Originally conjectured by Gerver and Ramsey [GeRa79], who showed that the answer is yes for $\mathbb{Z}^2$, and for $\mathbb{Z}^3$ that the largest number of collinear points can be bounded.

SOLVED

Let $k\geq 3$. Must any ordering of $\mathbb{R}$ contain a monotone $k$-term arithmetic progression, that is, some $x_1<\cdots<x_k$ which forms an increasing or decreasing $k$-term arithmetic progression?

OPEN

Must every permutation of $\mathbb{N}$ contain a monotone 4-term arithmetic progression $x_1<x_2<x_3<x_4$?

Davis, Entringer, Graham, and Simmons [DEGS77] have shown that there must exist a monotone 3-term arithmetic progression and need not contain a 5-term arithmetic progression.

OPEN

Let $G_k(N)$ be such that any set of $N$ integers contains a subset of size at least $G_k(N)$ which does not contain a $k$-term arithmetic progression. Determine the size of $G_k(N)$. How does it relate to $R_k(N)$, the size of the largest subset of $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ without a $k$-term arithmetic progression? Is it true that
\[\lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{R_3(N)}{G_3(N)}=1?\]

First asked and investigated by Riddell [Ri69]. It is trivial that $G_k(N)\leq R_k(N)$, and it is possible that $G_k(N) <R_k(N)$ (for example with $k=3$ and $N=14$). Komlós, Sulyok, and Szemerédi [KSS75] have shown that $R_k(N) \ll_k G_k(N)$.

OPEN

Let $n_1<\cdots < n_r\leq N$ with associated $a_i\pmod{n_i}$ such that the congruence classes are disjoint (that is, every integer is $\equiv a_i\pmod{n_i}$ for at most one $1\leq i\leq r$). How large can $r$ be in terms of $N$?

Let $f(N)$ be the maximum possible $r$. Erdős and Stein conjectured that $f(N)=o(N)$, which was proved by Erdős and Szemerédi [ErSz68], who showed that, for every $\epsilon>0$,
\[\frac{N}{\exp((\log N)^{1/2+\epsilon})} \ll_\epsilon f(N) < \frac{N}{(\log N)^c}\]
for some $c>0$. Erdős believed the lower bound is closer to the truth.

OPEN

Is there an integer $m$ with $(m,6)=1$ such that none of $2^k3^\ell m+1$ are prime, for any $k,\ell\geq 0$?

There are odd integers $m$ such that none of $2^km+1$ are prime, which arise from covering systems (i.e. one shows that there exists some $n$ such that $(2^km+1,n)>1$ for all $k\geq 1$). Erdős and Graham also ask whether there is such an $m$ where a covering system is not 'responsible'. The answer is probably no since otherwise this would imply there are infinitely many Fermat primes of the form $2^{2^t}+1$.

OPEN

Do there exist $n$ with an associated covering system $a_d\pmod{d}$ on the divisors of $n$ (so that $d\mid n$ for all $d$ in the system), such that if
\[x\equiv a_d\pmod{d}\textrm{ and }x\equiv a_{d'}\pmod{d'}\]
then $(d,d')=1$? For a given $n$ what is the density of the integers which do not satisfy any of the congruences?

The density of such $n$ is zero. Erdős and Graham believed that no such $n$ exist.

OPEN

Is it true that all sufficiently large $n$ can be written as $2^k+m$ for some $k\geq 0$, where $\Omega(m)<\log\log m$? (Here $\Omega(m)$ is the number of prime divisors of $m$ counted with multiplicity.) What about $<\epsilon \log\log m$? Or some more slowly growing function?

It is easy to see by probabilistic methods that this holds for almost all integers. Romanoff [Ro34] showed that a positive density set of integers are representable as the sum of $2^k+p$ for prime $p$, and Erdős used covering systems to show that there is a positive density set of integers which cannot be so represented.

SOLVED

Let $x>0$ be a real number. For any $n\geq 1$ let
\[R_n(x) = \sum_{i=1}^n\frac{1}{m_i}<x\]
be the maximal sum of $n$ distinct unit fractions which is $<x$.

Is it true that, for almost all $x$, for sufficiently large $n$, we have \[R_{n+1}(x)=R_n(x)+\frac{1}{m},\] where $m$ is minimal such that $m$ does not appear in $R_n(x)$ and the right-hand side is $<x$? (That is, are the best underapproximations eventually always constructed in a 'greedy' fashion?)

Erdős and Graham write it is 'not difficult' to construct irrational $x$ such that this fails (although give no proof or reference, and it seems to still be an open problem to actually construct some such irrational $x$). Curtiss [Cu22] showed that this is true for $x=1$ and Erdős [Er50b] showed it is true for all $x=1/m$ with $m\geq 1$. Nathanson [Na23] has shown it is true for $x=a/b$ when $a\mid b+1$ and Chu [Ch23b] has shown it is true for a larger class of rationals; it is still unknown whether this is true for all rational $x>0$.

Without the 'eventually' condition this can fail for some rational $x$ (although Erdős [Er50b] showed it holds without the eventually for rationals of the form $1/m$). For example \[R_1(\tfrac{11}{24})=\frac{1}{3}\] but \[R_2(\tfrac{11}{24})=\frac{1}{4}+\frac{1}{5}.\]

Kovač [Ko24b] has proved that this is false - in fact as false as possible: the set of $x\in (0,\infty)$ for which the best underapproximations are eventually 'greedy' has Lebesgue measure zero. (It remains an open problem to give any explicit example of such a number.)

SOLVED

For any $g\geq 2$, if $n$ is sufficiently large and $\equiv 1,3\pmod{6}$ then there exists a 3-uniform hypergraph on $n$ vertices such that

- every pair of vertices is contained in exactly one edge (i.e. the graph is a Steiner triple system) and
- for any $2\leq j\leq g$ any collection of $j$ edges contains at least $j+3$ vertices.

Proved by Kwan, Sah, Sawhney, and Simkin [KSSS22b].

OPEN

Let $s_1<s_2<\cdots$ be the sequence of squarefree numbers. Is it true that, for any $\epsilon>0$ and large $n$,
\[s_{n+1}-s_n \ll_\epsilon s_n^{\epsilon}?\]
Is it true that
\[s_{n+1}-s_n \leq (1+o(1))\frac{\pi^2}{6}\frac{\log s_n}{\log\log s_n}?\]

Erdős [Er51] showed that there are infinitely many $n$ such that
\[s_{n+1}-s_n > (1+o(1))\frac{\pi^2}{6}\frac{\log s_n}{\log\log s_n},\]
so this bound would be the best possible.

In [Er79] Erdős says perhaps $s_{n+1}-s_n \ll \log s_n$, but he is 'very doubtful'.

Filaseta and Trifonov [FiTr92] proved an upper bound of $s_n^{1/5}$. Pandey [Pa24] has improved this exponent to $1/5-c$ for some constant $c>0$.

SOLVED

Let $A$ be a finite collection of $d\geq 4$ non-parallel lines in $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that there are no points where at least four lines from $A$ meet. Must there exist a 'Gallai triangle' (or 'ordinary triangle'): three lines from $A$ which intersect in three points, and each of these intersection points only intersects two lines from $A$?

Equivalently, one can ask the dual problem: given $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that there are no lines containing at least four points then there are three points such that the lines determined by them are ordinary ones (i.e. contain exactly two points each).

The Sylvester-Gallai theorem implies that there must exist a point where only two lines from $A$ meet. This problem asks whether there must exist three such points which form a triangle (with sides induced by lines from $A$). Füredi and Palásti [FuPa84] showed this is false when $d\geq 4$ is not divisible by $9$. Escudero [Es16] showed this is false for all $d\geq 4$.

SOLVED

Let $f(n)$ be minimal such that the following holds. For any $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$, not all on a line, there must be at least $f(n)$ many lines which contain exactly 2 points (called 'ordinary lines'). Does $f(n)\to \infty$? How fast?

Conjectured by Erdős and de Bruijn. The Sylvester-Gallai theorem states that $f(n)\geq 1$. The fact that $f(n)\geq 1$ was conjectured by Sylvester in 1893. Erdős rediscovered this conjecture in 1933 and told it to Gallai who proved it.

That $f(n)\to \infty$ was proved by Motzkin [Mo51]. Kelly and Moser [KeMo58] proved that $f(n)\geq\tfrac{3}{7}n$ for all $n$. This is best possible for $n=7$. Motzkin conjectured that for $n\geq 13$ there are at least $n/2$ such lines. Csima and Sawyer [CsSa93] proved a lower bound of $f(n)\geq \tfrac{6}{13}n$ when $n\geq 8$. Green and Tao [GrTa13] proved that $f(n)\geq n/2$ for sufficiently large $n$. (A proof that $f(n)\geq n/2$ for large $n$ was earlier claimed by Hansen but this proof was flawed.)

The bound of $n/2$ is best possible for even $n$, since one could take $n/2$ points on a circle and $n/2$ points at infinity. Surprisingly, Green and Tao [GrTa13] show that if $n$ is odd then $f(n)\geq 3\lfloor n/4\rfloor$.

OPEN

Is there a dense subset of $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that all pairwise distances are rational?

Conjectured by Ulam. Erdős believed there cannot be such a set. This problem is discussed in a blogpost by Terence Tao, in which he shows that there cannot be such a set, assuming the Bombieri-Lang conjecture. The same conclusion was independently obtained by Shaffaf [Sh18].

Indeed, Shaffaf and Tao actually proved that such a rational distance set must be contained in a finite union of real algebraic curves. Solymosi and de Zeeuw [SdZ10] then proved (unconditionally) that a rational distance set contained in a real algebraic curve must be finite, unless the curve contains a line or a circle.

Ascher, Braune, and Turchet [ABT20] observed that, combined, these facts imply that a rational distance set in general position must be finite (conditional on the Bombieri-Lang conjecture).

OPEN

Let $n\geq 4$. Are there $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$, no three on a line and no four on a circle, such that all pairwise distances are integers?

Anning and Erdős [AnEr45] proved there cannot exist an infinite such set. Harborth constructed such a set when $n=5$. The best construction to date, due to Kreisel and Kurz [KK08], has $n=7$.

Ascher, Braune, and Turchet [ABT20] have shown that there is a uniform upper bound on the size of such a set, conditional on the Bombieri-Lang conjecture. Greenfeld, Iliopoulou, and Peluse [GIP24] have shown (unconditionally) that any such set must be very sparse, in that if $S\subseteq [-N,N]^2$ has no three on a line and no four on a circle, and all pairwise distances integers, then \[\lvert S\rvert \ll (\log N)^{O(1)}.\]

See also [130].

SOLVED

Let $S\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ be such that no two points in $S$ are distance $1$ apart. Must the complement of $S$ contain four points which form a unit square?

The answer is yes, proved by Juhász [Ju79], who proved more generally that the complement of $S$ must contain a congruent copy of any set of four points. This is not true for arbitrarily large sets of points, but perhaps is still true for any set of five points.

SOLVED

Does there exist $S\subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$ such that every set congruent to $S$ (that is, $S$ after some translation and rotation) contains exactly one point from $\mathbb{Z}^2$?

An old question of Steinhaus. Erdős was 'almost certain that such a set does not exist'.

In fact, such a set does exist, as proved by Jackson and Mauldin [JaMa02]. Their construction depends on the axiom of choice.

SOLVED

Let $g(k)$ be the smallest integer (if any such exists) such that any $g(k)$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ contains an empty convex $k$-gon (i.e. with no point in the interior). Does $g(k)$ exist? If so, estimate $g(k)$.

A variant of the 'happy ending' problem [107], which asks for the same without the 'no point in the interior' restriction. Erdős observed $g(4)=5$ (as with the happy ending problem) but Harborth [Ha78] showed $g(5)=10$. Nicolás [Ni07] and Gerken [Ge08] independently showed that $g(6)$ exists. Horton [Ho83] showed that $g(n)$ does not exist for $n\geq 7$.

This problem is #2 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

For which $n$ are there $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$, no three on a line and no four on a circle, which determine $n-1$ distinct distances and so that (in some ordering of the distances) the $i$th distance occurs $i$ times?

An example with $n=4$ is an isosceles triangle with the point in the centre. Erdős originally believed this was impossible for $n\geq 5$, but Pomerance constructed a set with $n=5$ (see [Er83c] for a description), and Palásti has proved such sets exist for all $n\leq 8$. Erdős believes this is impossible for all sufficiently large $n$.

SOLVED

Is there a set $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ such that, for all large $N$,
\[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \ll N/\log N\]
and such that every large integer can be written as $2^k+a$ for some $k\geq 0$ and $a\in A$?

Lorentz [Lo54] proved there is such a set with, for all large $N$,
\[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \ll \frac{\log\log N}{\log N}N\]
The answer is yes, proved by Ruzsa [Ru72]. Ruzsa's construction is ingeniously simple:
\[A = \{ 5^nm : m\geq 1\textrm{ and }5^n\geq C\log m\}+\{0,1\}\]
for some large absolute constant $C>0$. That every large integer is of the form $2^k+a$ for some $a\in A$ is a consequence of the fact that $2$ is a primitive root of $5^n$ for all $n\geq 1$.

In [Ru01] Ruzsa constructs an asymptotically best possible answer to this question (a so-called 'exact additive complement'; that is, there is such a set $A$ with \[\lvert A\cap\{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \sim \frac{N}{\log_2N}\] as $N\to \infty$.

OPEN

Let $n_1<n_2<\cdots$ be the sequence of integers which are the sum of two squares. Explore the behaviour of (i.e. find good upper and lower bounds for) the consecutive differences $n_{k+1}-n_k$.

Erdős [Er51] proved that, for infinitely many $k$,
\[ n_{k+1}-n_k \gg \frac{\log n_k}{\sqrt{\log\log n_k}}.\]
Richards [Ri82] improved this to
\[\limsup_{k\to \infty} \frac{n_{k+1}-n_k}{\log n_k} \geq 1/4.\]
The constant $1/4$ here has been improved, most lately to $0.868\cdots$ by Dietmann, Elsholtz, Kalmynin, Konyagin, and Maynard [DEKKM22].
The best known upper bound is due to Bambah and Chowla [BaCh47], who proved that
\[n_{k+1}-n_k \ll n_k^{1/4}.\]

OPEN

Let $d\geq 2$ and $n\geq 2$. Let $f_d(n)$ be maximal such that, for any $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^d$ of size $n$, with diameter $1$, the distance 1 occurs between $f_d(n)$ many pairs of points in $A$. Estimate $f_d(n)$.

SOLVED

If $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^d$ is any set of $2^d+1$ points then some three points in $A$ determine an obtuse angle.

For $d=2$ this is trivial. For $d=3$ there is an unpublished proof by Kuiper and Boerdijk. The general case was proved by Danzer and Grünbaum [DaGr62].

SOLVED

Let
\[ f(\theta) = \sum_{k\geq 1}c_k e^{ik\theta}\]
be a trigonometric polynomial (so that the $c_k\in \mathbb{C}$ are finitely supported) with real roots such that $\max_{\theta\in [0,2\pi]}\lvert f(\theta)\rvert=1$. Then
\[\int_0^{2\pi}\lvert f(\theta)\rvert \mathrm{d}\theta \leq 4.\]

This was solved independently by Kristiansen [Kr74] (only in the case when $c_k\in\mathbb{R}$) and Saff and Sheil-Small [SSS73] (for general $c_k\in \mathbb{C}$).

OPEN

Is there an entire non-linear function $f$ such that, for all $x\in\mathbb{R}$, $x$ is rational if and only if $f(x)$ is?

More generally, if $A,B\subseteq \mathbb{R}$ are two countable dense sets then is there an entire function such that $f(A)=B$?

SOLVED

Let $f=\sum_{n=0}^\infty a_nz^n$ be an entire function. Is it true that if
\[\lim_{r\to \infty} \frac{\max_n\lvert a_nr^n\rvert}{\max_{\lvert z\rvert=r}\lvert f(z)\rvert}\]
exists then it must be $0$?

SOLVED

Does there exist, for all large $n$, a polynomial $P$ of degree $n$, with coefficients $\pm 1$, such that
\[\sqrt{n} \ll \lvert P(z) \rvert \ll \sqrt{n}\]
for all $\lvert z\rvert =1$, with the implied constants independent of $z$ and $n$?

Originally a conjecture of Littlewood. The answer is yes (for all $n\geq 2$), proved by Balister, Bollobás, Morris, Sahasrabudhe, and Tiba [BBMST19].

See also [230].

OPEN

Let $(S_n)_{n\geq 1}$ be a sequence of sets of complex numbers, none of which has a finite limit point. Does there exist an entire function $f(z)$ such that, for all $n\geq 1$, there exists some $k_n\geq 0$ such that
\[f^{(k_n)}(z) = 0\textrm{ for all }z\in S_n?\]

SOLVED

Let $P(z)=\sum_{1\leq k\leq n}a_kz^k$ for some $a_k\in \mathbb{C}$ with $\lvert a_k\rvert=1$ for $1\leq k\leq n$. Does there exist a constant $c>0$ such that, for $n\geq 2$, we have
\[\max_{\lvert z\rvert=1}\lvert P(z)\rvert \geq (1+c)\sqrt{n}?\]

The lower bound of $\sqrt{n}$ is trivial from Parseval's theorem. The answer is no (contrary to Erdős' initial guess). Kahane [Ka80] constructed 'ultraflat' polynomials $P(z)=\sum a_kz^k$ with $\lvert a_k\rvert=1$ such that
\[P(z)=(1+o(1))\sqrt{n}\]
uniformly for all $z\in\mathbb{C}$ with $\lvert z\rvert=1$, where the $o(1)$ term $\to 0$ as $n\to \infty$.

For more details see the paper [BoBo09] of Bombieri and Bourgain and where Kahane's construction is improved to yield such a polynomial with \[P(z)=\sqrt{n}+O(n^{\frac{7}{18}}(\log n)^{O(1)})\] for all $z\in\mathbb{C}$ with $\lvert z\rvert=1$.

See also [228].

SOLVED

Let $S$ be a string of length $2^k-1$ formed from an alphabet of $k$ characters. Must $S$ contain an abelian square: two consecutive blocks $x$ and $y$ such that $y$ is a permutation of $x$?

Erdős initially conjectured that the answer is yes for all $k\geq 2$, but for $k=4$ this was disproved by de Bruijn and Erdős. At least, this is what Erdős writes, but gives no construction or reference, and a simple computer search produces no such counterexamples for $k=4$. Perhaps Erdős meant $2^k$, where indeed there is an example for $k=4$:
\[1213121412132124.\]

Erdős then asked if there is in fact an infinite string formed from $\{1,2,3,4\}$ which contains no abelian squares? This is equivalent to [192], and such a string was constructed by Keränen [Ke92]. The existence of this infinite string gives a negative answer to the problem for all $k\geq 4$.

Containing no abelian squares is a stronger property than being squarefree (the existence of infinitely long squarefree strings over alphabets with $k\geq 3$ characters was established by Thue).

We refer to a recent survey by Fici and Puzynina [FiPu23] for more background and related results.

SOLVED

For $A\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ we define the upper density as
\[\overline{\delta}(A)=\limsup_{R\to \infty}\frac{\lambda(A \cap B_R)}{\lambda(B_R)},\]
where $\lambda$ is the Lebesgue measure and $B_R$ is the ball of radius $R$.

Estimate \[m_1=\sup \overline{\delta}(A),\] where $A$ ranges over all measurable subsets of $\mathbb{R}^2$ without two points distance $1$ apart. In particular, is $m_1\leq 1/4$?

A question of Moser [Mo66]. A lower bound of $m_1\geq \pi/8\sqrt{3}\approx 0.2267$ is given by taking the union of open circular discus of radius $1/2$ at a regular hexagonal lattice suitably spaced aprt. Croft [Cr67] gives a small improvement of $m_1\geq 0.22936$.

The trivial upper bound is $m_1\leq 1/2$, since for any unit vector $u$ the sets $A$ and $A+u$ must be disjoint. Erdős' question was solved by Ambrus, Csiszárik, Matolcsi, Varga, and Zsámboki [ACMVZ23] who proved that $m_1\leq 0.247$.

OPEN

Let $N_k=2\cdot 3\cdots p_k$ and $\{a_1<a_2<\cdots <a_{\phi(N_k)}\}$ be the integers $<N_k$ which are relatively prime to $N_k$. Then, for any $c\geq 0$, the limit
\[\frac{\#\{ a_i-a_{i-1}\leq c \frac{N_k}{\phi(N_k)} : 2\leq i\leq \phi(N_k)\}}{\phi(N_k)}\]
exists and is a continuous function of $c$.

OPEN

Let $f(n)$ count the number of solutions to $n=p+2^k$ for prime $p$ and $k\geq 0$. Is it true that $f(n)=o(\log n)$?

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a set such that $\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \gg \log N$ for all large $N$. Let $f(n)$ count the number of solutions to $n=p+a$ for $p$ prime and $a\in A$. Is it true that $\limsup f(n)=\infty$?

SOLVED

Let $f:\mathbb{N}\to \{-1,1\}$ be a multiplicative function. Is it true that
\[ \lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{1}{N}\sum_{n\leq N}f(n)\]
always exists?

OPEN

Is there an infinite set of primes $P$ such that if $\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}$ is the set of integers divisible only by primes in $P$ then $\lim a_{i+1}-a_i=\infty$?

Originally asked to Erdős by Wintner. The limit is infinite for a finite set of primes, which follows from a theorem of Pólya.

OPEN

For every $n\geq 2$ there exist distinct integers $1\leq x<y<z$ such that
\[\frac{4}{n} = \frac{1}{x}+\frac{1}{y}+\frac{1}{z}.\]

The Erdős-Straus conjecture. The existence of a representation of $4/n$ as the sum of at most four distinct unit fractions follows trivially from a greedy algorithm.

Schinzel conjectured the generalisation that, for any fixed $a$, if $n$ is sufficiently large in terms of $a$ then there exist distinct integers $1\leq x<y<z$ such that \[\frac{a}{n} = \frac{1}{x}+\frac{1}{y}+\frac{1}{z}.\]

OPEN

Let $a_1<a_2<\cdots$ be a sequence of integers such that
\[\lim_{n\to \infty}\frac{a_n}{a_{n-1}^2}=1\]
and $\sum\frac{1}{a_n}\in \mathbb{Q}$. Then, for all sufficiently large $n\geq 1$,
\[ a_n = a_{n-1}^2-a_{n-1}+1.\]

A sequence defined in such a fashion is known as Sylvester's sequence.

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be an infinite set such that $\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert=o(N)$. Is it true that
\[\limsup_{N\to \infty}\frac{\lvert (A+A)\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}\geq 3?\]

Erdős writes it is 'easy to see' that this holds with $3$ replaced by $2$, and that $3$ would be best possible here. We do not see an easy argument that this holds with $2$, but this follows e.g. from the main result of Mann [Ma60].

The answer is yes, proved by Freiman [Fr73].

OPEN

Are there infinitely many $n$ such that, for all $k\geq 1$,
\[ \omega(n+k) \ll k,\]
where the implied constant depends only on $n$? (Here $\omega(n)$ is the number of distinct prime divisors of $n$.)

OPEN

Is
\[\sum_n \frac{\phi(n)}{2^n}\]
irrational? Here $\phi$ is the Euler totient function.

OPEN

Let $k\geq 1$ and $\sigma_k(n)=\sum_{d\mid n}d^k$. Is
\[\sum \frac{\sigma_k(n)}{n!}\]
irrational?

SOLVED

Let $a_1<a_2<\cdots $ be an infinite sequence of integers such that $a_{i+1}/a_i\to 1$. If every arithmetic progression contains infinitely many integers which are the sum of distinct $a_i$ then every sufficiently large integer is the sum of distinct $a_i$.

This was disproved by Cassels [Ca60].

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be such that
\[\lvert A\cap [1,2x]\rvert -\lvert A\cap [1,x]\rvert \to \infty\textrm{ as }x\to \infty\]
and
\[\sum_{n\in A} \{ \theta n\}=\infty\]
for every $\theta\in (0,1)$, where $\{x\}$ is the distance of $x$ from the nearest integer. Then every sufficiently large integer is the sum of distinct elements of $A$.

Cassels [Ca60] proved this under the alternative hypotheses
\[\lvert A\cap [1,2x]\rvert -\lvert A\cap [1,x]\rvert\gg \log\log x\]
and
\[\sum_{n\in A} \{ \theta n\}^2=\infty\]
for every $\theta\in (0,1)$.

SOLVED

Let $z_1,z_2,\ldots \in [0,1]$ be an infinite sequence, and define the discrepancy
\[D_N(I) = \#\{ n\leq N : z_n\in I\} - N\lvert I\rvert.\]
Must there exist some interval $I\subseteq [0,1]$ such that
\[\limsup_{N\to \infty}\lvert D_N(I)\rvert =\infty?\]

The answer is yes, as proved by Schmidt [Sc68], who later showed [Sc72] that in fact this is true for all but countably many intervals of the shape $[0,x]$.

Essentially the best possible result was proved by Tijdeman and Wagner [TiWa80], who proved that, for almost all intervals of the shape $[0,x)$, we have \[\limsup_{N\to \infty}\frac{\lvert D_N([0,x))\rvert}{\log N}\gg 1.\]

OPEN

Let $n\geq 1$ and $f(n)$ be maximal such that, for every $a_1\leq \cdots \leq a_n\in \mathbb{N}$ we have
\[\max_{\lvert z\rvert=1}\left\lvert \prod_{i}(1-z^{a_i})\right\rvert\geq f(n).\]
Estimate $f(n)$ - in particular, is it true that there exists some constant $c>0$ such that
\[f(n) \geq \exp(n^{c})?\]

Erdős and Szekeres [ErSz59] proved that $\lim f(n)^{1/n}=1$ and $f(n)>\sqrt{2n}$. Erdős proved an upper bound of $f(n) < \exp(n^{1-c})$ for some constant $c>0$ with probabilistic methods. Atkinson [At61] showed that $f(n) <\exp(cn^{1/2}\log n)$ for some constant $c>0$.

This was improved to \[f(n) \leq \exp( cn^{1/3}(\log n)^{4/3})\] by Odlyzko [Od82].

If we denote by $f^*(n)$ the analogous quantity with the assumption that $a_1<\cdots<a_n$ then Bourgain and Chang [BoCh18] prove that \[f^*(n)< \exp(c(n\log n)^{1/2}\log\log n).\]

OPEN

Let $a_n\to \infty$. Is
\[\sum_{n} \frac{d(n)}{a_1\cdots a_n}\]
irrational, where $d(n)$ is the number of divisors of $n$?

OPEN

Let $a_n$ be a sequence such that $a_n/n\to \infty$. Is the sum
\[\sum_n \frac{a_n}{2^{a_n}}\]
irrational?

This is true under either of the stronger assumptions that

- $a_{n+1}-a_n\to \infty$ or
- $a_n \gg n\sqrt{\log n\log\log n}$.

OPEN

Are there infinitely many $n$ such that there exists some $t\geq 2$ and $a_1,\ldots,a_t\geq 1$ such that
\[\frac{n}{2^n}=\sum_{1\leq k\leq t}\frac{a_k}{2^{a_k}}?\]
Is this true for all $n$? Is there a rational $x$ such that
\[x = \sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac{a_k}{2^{a_k}}\]
has at least two solutions?

Related to [260].

OPEN

Suppose $a_1<a_2<\cdots$ is a sequence of integers such that for all integer sequences $t_n$ with $t_n\geq 1$ the sum
\[\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{t_na_n}\]
is irrational. How slowly can $a_n$ grow?

OPEN

Let $a_n$ be a sequence of integers such that for every sequence of integers $b_n$ with $b_n/a_n\to 1$ the sum
\[\sum\frac{1}{b_n}\]
is irrational. Is $a_n=2^{2^n}$ such a sequence? Must such a sequence satisfy $a_n^{1/n}\to \infty$?

OPEN

Let $a_n$ be a sequence of integers such that, for every bounded sequence $b_n$, the sum
\[\sum \frac{1}{a_n+b_n}\]
is irrational. Are $a_n=2^n$ or $a_n=n!$ examples of such a sequence? Is there such a sequence with $a_n<n^k$?

OPEN

How fast can $a_n\to \infty$ grow if
\[\sum\frac{1}{a_n}\quad\textrm{and}\quad\sum\frac{1}{a_n-1}\]
are both rational?

Cantor observed that $a_n=\binom{n}{2}$ is such a sequence. If we replace $-1$ by a different constant then higher degree polynomials can be used - for example if we consider $\sum_{n\geq 2}\frac{1}{a_n}$ and $\sum_{n\geq 2}\frac{1}{a_n-12}$ then $a_n=n^3+6n^2+5n$ is an example of both series being rational.

Kovač [Ko24c] constructs a sequence $a_n$ with this property which grows exponentially with $n$: \[a_n > 1.01^n.\]

OPEN

Let $F_1=F_2=1$ and $F_{n+1}=F_n+F_{n-1}$ be the Fibonacci sequence. Let $n_1<n_2<\cdots $ be an infinite sequence with $n_{k+1}/n_k \geq c>1$. Must
\[\sum_k\frac{1}{F_{n_k}}\]
be irrational?

SOLVED

Let $X\subseteq \mathbb{R}^3$ be the set of all points of the shape
\[\left( \sum_{n\in A} \frac{1}{n},\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n+1},\sum_{n\in A} \frac{1}{n+2}\right) \]
as $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ ranges over all infinite sets with $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}<\infty$.
Does $X$ contain an open set?

Erdős and Straus proved the answer is yes for the 2-dimensional version, where $X\subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$ is the set of
\[\left( \sum_{n\in A} \frac{1}{n},\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n+1}\right) \]
as $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ ranges over all infinite sets with $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}<\infty$.

The answer is yes, proved by Kovač [Ko24], who constructs an explicit open ball inside the set. The analogous question for higher dimensions remains open.

OPEN

Let $P$ be a finite set of primes with $\lvert P\rvert \geq 2$ and let $\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}=\{ n\in \mathbb{N} : \textrm{if }p\mid n\textrm{ then }p\in P\}$. Is the sum
\[\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{[a_1,\ldots,a_n]},\]
where $[a_1,\ldots,a_n]$ is the lowest common multiple of $a_1,\ldots,a_n$, rational or irrational?

If $P$ is infinite this sum is always irrational.

OPEN

Let $f(n)\to \infty$ as $n\to \infty$. Is it true that
\[\sum_n \frac{1}{(n+1)\cdots (n+f(n))}\]
is irrational?

Erdős and Graham write 'the answer is almost surely in the affirmative if $f(n)$ is assumed to be nondecreasing'. Even the case $f(n)=n$ is unknown, although Hansen [Ha75] has shown that
\[\sum_n \frac{1}{\binom{2n}{n}}=\sum_n \frac{n!}{(n+1)\cdots (n+n)}=\frac{1}{3}+\frac{2\pi}{3^{5/2}}\]
is transcendental.

OPEN

For any $n$, let $A(n)=\{0<n<\cdots\}$ be the infinite sequence with $a_0=0$ and $a_1=n$ and $a_{k+1}$ is the least integer such that there is no three-term arithmetic progression in $\{a_0,\ldots,a_{k+1}\}$. Can the $a_k$ be explicitly determined? How fast do they grow?

It is easy to see that $A(1)$ is the set of integers which have no 2 in their base 3 expansion. Odlyzko and Stanley have found similar characterisations are known for $A(3^k)$ and $A(2\cdot 3^k)$ for any $k\geq 0$, see [OdSt78]. There are no conjectures for the general case.

OPEN

Let $N\geq 1$. What is the largest $t$ such that there are $A_1,\ldots,A_t\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ with $A_i\cap A_j$ a non-empty arithmetic progression for all $i\neq j$?

Simonovits and Sós [SiSo81] have shown that $t\ll N^2$. It is possible that the maximal $t$ is achieved when we take the $A_i$ to be all arithmetic progressions in $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ containing some fixed element.

If we drop the non-empty requirement then Simonovits, Sós, and Graham [SiSoGr80] have shown that \[t\leq \binom{N}{3}+\binom{N}{2}+\binom{N}{1}+1\] and this is best possible.

OPEN

If $G$ is an abelian group then can there exist an exact covering of $G$ by more than one cosets of different sizes? (i.e. each element is contained in exactly one of the cosets)

A problem of Herzog and Schönheim. In [Er97c] Erdős asks this for finite (not necessarily abelian) groups.

SOLVED

If a finite system of $r$ congruences $\{ a_i\pmod{n_i} : 1\leq i\leq r\}$ covers $2^r$ consecutive integers then it covers all integers.

This is best possible as the system $2^{i-1}\pmod{2^i}$ shows. This was proved indepedently by Selfridge and Crittenden and Vanden Eynden [CrVE70].

OPEN

Is there an infinite Lucas sequence $a_0,a_1,\ldots,$ where $(a_0,a_1)=1$ and $a_{n+2}=a_{n+1}+a_n$ for $n\geq 0$ such that all $a_k$ are composite, and yet no integer has a common factor with every term of the sequence?

Whether such a composite Lucas sequence even exists was open for a while, but using covering systems Graham [Gr64] showed that
\[a_0 = 1786772701928802632268715130455793\]
\[a_1 = 1059683225053915111058165141686995\]
generate such a sequence. This problem asks whether one can have a composite Lucas sequence without 'an underlying system of covering congruences responsible'.

OPEN

Let $k\geq 3$. Is there a choice of congruence classes $a_p\pmod{p}$ for every prime $p$ such that all except finitely many integers can be written as $a_p+tp$ for some prime $p$ and integer $t\geq k$?

Even the case $k=3$ seems difficult. This may be true with the primes replaced by any set $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ such that
\[\lvert A\cap [1,N]\rvert \gg N/\log N\]
and
\[\sum_{\substack{n\in A\\ n\leq N}}\frac{1}{n} -\log\log N\to \infty\]
as $N\to \infty$.

For $k=1$ or $k=2$ any set $A$ such that $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}=\infty$ has this property.

OPEN

Let $n_1<n_2<\cdots $ be an infinite sequence of integers with associated $a_i\pmod{n_i}$, such that for some $\epsilon>0$ we have $n_k>(1+\epsilon)k\log k$ for all $k$. Then
\[\#\{ m<n_k : m\not\equiv a_i\pmod{n_i} \textrm{ for }1\leq i\leq k\}\neq o(k).\]

Erdős and Graham [ErGr80] suggest this 'may have to await improvements in current sieve methods' (of which there have been several since 1980).

OPEN

Let $n_1<n_2<\cdots$ be an infinite sequence with associated congruence classes $a_i\pmod{n_i}$ such that the set of integers not satisfying any of the congruences $a_i\pmod{n_i}$ has density $0$.

Is it true that for every $\epsilon>0$ there exists some $k$ such that the density of integers not satisfying any of the congruences $a_i\pmod{n_i}$ for $1\leq i\leq k$ is less than $\epsilon$?

The latter condition is clearly sufficient, the problem is if it's also necessary. The assumption implies $\sum \frac{1}{n_i}=\infty$.

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be an infinite set and consider the following greedy algorithm for a rational $x\in (0,1)$: choose the minimal $n\in A$ such that $n\geq 1/x$ and repeat with $x$ replaced by $x-\frac{1}{n}$. If this terminates after finitely many steps then this produces a representation of $x$ as the sum of distinct unit fractions with denominators from $A$.

Does this process always terminate if $x$ has odd denominator and $A$ is the set of odd numbers? More generally, for which pairs $x$ and $A$ does this process terminate?

In 1202 Fibonacci observed that this process terminates for any $x$ when $A=\mathbb{N}$. The problem when $A$ is the set of odd numbers is due to Stein.

Graham [Gr64b] has shown that $\frac{m}{n}$ is the sum of distinct unit fractions with denominators $\equiv a\pmod{d}$ if and only if \[\left(\frac{n}{(n,(a,d))},\frac{d}{(a,d)}\right)=1.\] Does the greedy algorithm always terminate in such cases?

Graham [Gr64c] has also shown that $x$ is the sum of distinct unit fractions with square denominators if and only if $x\in [0,\pi^2/6-1)\cup [1,\pi^2/6)$. Does the greedy algorithm for this always terminate? Erdős and Graham believe not - indeed, perhaps it fails to terminate almost always.

OPEN

Let $p:\mathbb{Z}\to \mathbb{Z}$ be a polynomial whose leading coefficient is positive and such that there exists no $d\geq 2$ with $d\mid p(n)$ for all $n\geq 1$. Is it true that, for all sufficiently large $m$, there exist integers $1\leq n_1<\cdots <n_k$ such that
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}\]
and
\[m=p(n_1)+\cdots+p(n_k)?\]

SOLVED

Let $f(k)$ be the maximal value of $n_1$ such that there exist $n_1<n_2<\cdots <n_k$ with
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}.\]
Is it true that
\[f(k)=(1+o(1))\frac{k}{e-1}?\]

The upper bound $f(k) \leq (1+o(1))\frac{k}{e-1}$ is trivial since for any $u\geq 1$ we have
\[\sum_{u\leq n\leq eu}\frac{1}{n}=1+o(1),\]
and hence if $f(k)=u$ then we must have $k\geq (e-1-o(1))u$.
Essentially solved by Croot [Cr01], who showed that for any $N>1$ there exists some $k\geq 1$ and
\[N<n_1<\cdots <n_k \leq (e+o(1))N\]
with $1=\sum \frac{1}{n_i}$.

SOLVED

Let $f(k)$ be the minimal value of $n_k$ such that there exist $n_1<n_2<\cdots <n_k$ with
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}.\]
Is it true that
\[f(k)=(1+o(1))\frac{e}{e-1}k?\]

It is trivial that $f(k)\geq (1+o(1))\frac{e}{e-1}k$, since for any $u\geq 1$
\[\sum_{e\leq n\leq eu}\frac{1}{n}= 1+o(1),\]
and so if $eu\approx f(k)$ then $k\leq \frac{e-1}{e}f(k)$. Proved by Martin [Ma00].

OPEN

Let $k\geq 2$. Is it true that, for any distinct integers $n_1<\cdots <n_k$ such that
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}\]
we must have $\max(n_{i+1}-n_i)\geq 3$?

The example $1=\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{6}$ shows that $3$ would be best possible here. The lower bound of $\geq 2$ is equivalent to saying that $1$ is not the sum of reciprocals of consecutive integers, proved by Erdős [Er32].

This conjecture would follow for all but at most finitely many exceptions if it were known that, for all large $N$, there exists a prime $p\in [N,2N]$ such that $\frac{p+1}{2}$ is also prime.

OPEN

Is it true that there are only finitely many pairs of intervals $I_1,I_2$ such that
\[\sum_{n_1\in I_1}\frac{1}{n_1}+\sum_{n_2\in I_2}\frac{1}{n_2}\in \mathbb{N}?\]

This is still open even if $\lvert I_2\rvert=1$. It is perhaps true with two intervals replaced by any $k$ intervals.

OPEN

Let $a\geq 1$. Must there exist some $b>a$ such that
\[\sum_{a\leq n\leq b}\frac{1}{n}=\frac{r_1}{s_1}\textrm{ and }\sum_{a\leq n\leq b+1}\frac{1}{n}=\frac{r_2}{s_2},\]
with $(r_i,s_i)=1$ and $s_2<s_1$? If so, how does this $b(a)$ grow with $a$?

For example,
\[\sum_{3\leq n\leq 5}\frac{1}{n} = \frac{47}{60}\textrm{ and }\sum_{3\leq n\leq 6}\frac{1}{n}=\frac{19}{20}.\]

OPEN

Let $n\geq 1$ and define $L_n$ to be the least common multiple of $\{1,\ldots,n\}$ and $a_n$ by
\[\sum_{1\leq k\leq n}\frac{1}{k}=\frac{a_n}{L_n}.\]
Is it true that $(a_n,L_n)=1$ and $(a_n,L_n)>1$ both occur for infinitely many $n$?

Steinerberger has observed that the answer to the second question is trivially yes: for example, any $n$ which begins with a $2$ in base $3$ has $3\mid (a_n,L_n)$.

More generally, if the leading digit of $n$ in base $p$ is $p-1$ then $p\mid (a_n,L_n)$. There is in fact a necessary and sufficient condition: a prime $p\leq n$ divides $(a_n,L_n)$ if and only if $p$ divides the numerator of $1+\cdots+\frac{1}{k}$, where $k$ is the leading digit of $n$ in base $p$. This can be seen by writing \[a_n = \frac{L_n}{1}+\cdots+\frac{L_n}{n}\] and observing that the right-hand side is congruent to $1+\cdots+1/k$ modulo $p$. (The previous claim about $p-1$ follows immediately from Wolstenholme's theorem.)

This leads to a heuristic prediction (see for example a preprint of Shiu [Sh16]) of $\asymp\frac{x}{\log x}$ for the number of $n\in [1,x]$ such that $(a_n,L_n)=1$. In particular, there should be infinitely many $n$, but the set of such $n$ should have density zero. Unfortunately this heuristic is difficult to turn into a proof.

OPEN

Let $A$ be the set of $n\in \mathbb{N}$ such that there exist $1\leq m_1<\cdots <m_k=n$ with $\sum\tfrac{1}{m_i}=1$. Explore $A$. In particular,

- Does $A$ have density $1$?
- What are those $n\in A$ not divisible by any $d\in A$ with $1<d<n$?

Straus observed that $A$ is closed under multiplication. Furthermore, it is easy to see that $A$ does not contain any prime power.

OPEN

Let $k\geq 1$ and let $v(k)$ be the minimal integer which does not appear as some $n_i$ in a solution to
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}\]
with $1\leq n_1<\cdots <n_k$. Estimate the growth of $v(k)$.

Results of Bleicher and Erdős [BlEr75] imply $v(k) \gg k!$. It may be that $v(k)$ grows doubly exponentially in $\sqrt{k}$ or even $k$.

An elementary inductive argument shows that $n_k\leq ku_k$ where $u_1=1$ and $u_{i+1}=u_i(u_i+1)$, and hence \[v(k) \leq kc_0^{2^k},\] where \[c_0=\lim_n u_n^{1/2^n}=1.26408\cdots\] is the 'Vardi constant'.

SOLVED

Let $N\geq 1$ and let $t(N)$ be the least integer $t$ such that there is no solution to
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}\]
with $t=n_1<\cdots <n_k\leq N$. Estimate $t(N)$.

OPEN

Let $N\geq 1$ and let $k(N)$ denote the smallest $k$ such that there exist $N\leq n_1<\cdots <n_k$ with
\[1=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}.\]
Is it true that
\[\lim_{N\to \infty} k(N)-(e-1)N=\infty?\]

Erdős and Straus [ErSt71b] have proved the existence of some constant $c>0$ such that
\[-c < k(N)-(e-1)N \ll \frac{N}{\log N}.\]

SOLVED

Let $N\geq 1$ and let $k(N)$ be maximal such that there are $k$ disjoint $A_1,\ldots,A_k\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ with $\sum_{n\in A_i}\frac{1}{n}=1$ for all $i$. Estimate $k(N)$. Is it true that $k(N)=o(\log N)$?

More generally, how many disjoint $A_i$ can be found in $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that the sums $\sum_{n\in A_i}\frac{1}{n}$ are all equal? Using sunflowers it can be shown that there are at least $N\exp(-O(\sqrt{\log N}))$ such sets.

Hunter and Sawhney have observed that Theorem 3 of Bloom [Bl23] (coupled with the trivial greedy approach) implies that $k(N)=(1-o(1))\log N$.

SOLVED

Let $N\geq 1$. How many $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ are there such that $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}=1$?

It was not even known for a long time whether this is $2^{cN}$ for some $c<1$ or $2^{(1+o(1))N}$. In fact the former is true, and the correct value of $c$ is now known.

- Steinerberger [St24] proved the relevant count is at most $2^{0.93N}$;
- Independently, Liu and Sawhney [LiSa24] gave both upper and lower bounds, proving that the count is \[2^{(0.91\cdots+o(1))N},\] where $0.91\cdots$ is an explicit number defined as the solution to a certain integral equation;
- Again independently this same asymptotic was proved (with a different proof) by Conlon, Fox, He, Mubayi, Pham, Suk, and Verstraëte [CFHMPSV24], who prove more generally, for any $x\in \mathbb{Q}_{>0}$, a similar expression for the number of $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}=x$;
- The above papers all appeared within weeks of each other in 2024; in 2017 a similar question (with $\leq 1$ rather than $=1$) was asked on MathOverflow by Mikhail Tikhomirov and proofs of the correct asymptotic were sketched by Lucia, RaphaelB4, and js21.

SOLVED

Let $A(N)$ denote the maximal cardinality of $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that $\sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}\neq 1$ for all $S\subseteq A$. Estimate $A(N)$.

Erdős and Graham believe the answer is $A(N)=(1+o(1))N$. Croot [Cr03] disproved this, showing the existence of some constant $c<1$ such that $A(N)<cN$ for all large $N$. It is trivial that $A(N)\geq (1-\frac{1}{e}+o(1))N$.

Liu and Sawhney [LiSa24] have proved that $A(N)=(1-1/e+o(1))N$.

OPEN

What is the size of the largest $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that for any $a,b_1,\ldots,b_k\in A$ with $k\geq 2$ we have
\[\frac{1}{a}\neq \frac{1}{b_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{b_k}?\]
Is there a constant $c>1/2$ such that $\lvert A\rvert >cN$ is possible for all large $N$?

The example $A=(N/2,N]\cap \mathbb{N}$ shows that $\lvert A\rvert\geq N/2$.

OPEN

Is it true that, for any $\delta>1/2$, if $N$ is sufficiently large and $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ has $\lvert A\rvert \geq \delta N$ then there exist $a,b,c\in A$ such that
\[\frac{1}{a}=\frac{1}{b}+\frac{1}{c}.\]

The colouring version of this is [303], which was solved by Brown and Rödl [BrRo91].

The possible alternative question, that if $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ is a set of positive lower density then must there exist $a,b,c\in A$ such that \[\frac{1}{a}=\frac{1}{b}+\frac{1}{c},\] has a negative answer, taking for example $A$ to be the union of $[5^k,(1+\epsilon)5^k]$ for large $k$ and sufficiently small $\epsilon>0$. This was observed by Hunter and Sawhney.

OPEN

For integers $1\leq a<b$ let $N(a,b)$ denote the minimal $k$ such that there exist integers $1<n_1<\cdots<n_k$ with
\[\frac{a}{b}=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}.\]
Estimate $N(b)=\max_{1\leq a<b}N(a,b)$. Is it true that $N(b) \ll \log\log b$?

Erdős [Er50c] proved that
\[\log\log b \ll N(b) \ll \frac{\log b}{\log\log b}.\]
The upper bound was improved by Vose [Vo85] to
\[N(b) \ll \sqrt{\log b}.\]
One can also investigate the average of $N(a,b)$ for fixed $b$, and it is known that
\[\frac{1}{b}\sum_{1\leq a<b}N(a,b) \gg \log\log b.\]

Related to [18].

SOLVED

For integers $1\leq a<b$ let $D(a,b)$ be the minimal value of $n_k$ such that there exist integers $1\leq n_1<\cdots <n_k$ with
\[\frac{a}{b}=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}.\]
Estimate $D(b)=\max_{1\leq a<b}D(a,b)$. Is it true that
\[D(b) \ll b(\log b)^{1+o(1)}?\]

Bleicher and Erdős [BlEr76] have shown that
\[D(b)\ll b(\log b)^2.\]
If $b=p$ is a prime then
\[D(p) \gg p\log p.\]

This was solved by Yokota [Yo88], who proved that \[D(b)\ll b(\log b)(\log\log b)^4(\log\log\log b)^2.\] This was improved by Liu and Sawhney [LiSa24] to \[D(b)\ll b(\log b)(\log\log b)^3(\log\log\log b)^{O(1)}.\]

OPEN

Let $a/b\in \mathbb{Q}_{>0}$ with $b$ squarefree. Are there integers $1<n_1<\cdots<n_k$, each the product of two distinct primes, such that
\[\frac{a}{b}=\frac{1}{n_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n_k}?\]

For $n_i$ the product of three distinct primes, this is true when $b=1$, as proved by Butler, Erdős and Graham [BEG15] (this paper is perhaps Erdős' last paper, appearing 19 years after his death).

OPEN

Are there two finite sets of primes $P,Q$ such that
\[1=\left(\sum_{p\in P}\frac{1}{p}\right)\left(\sum_{q\in Q}\frac{1}{q}\right)?\]

Asked by Barbeau [Ba76]. Can this be done if we drop the requirement that all $p\in P$ are prime and just ask for them to be relatively coprime, and similarly for $Q$?

SOLVED

Let $N\geq 1$. How many integers can be written as the sum of distinct unit fractions with denominators from $\{1,\ldots,N\}$? Are there $o(\log N)$ such integers?

The answer to the second question is no: there are at least $(1-o(1))\log N$ many such integers, which follows from a more precise result of Croot [Cr99], who showed that every integer at most
\[\leq \sum_{n\leq N}\frac{1}{n}-(\tfrac{9}{2}+o(1))\frac{(\log\log N)^2}{\log N}\]
can be so represented.

SOLVED

Let $\alpha >0$ and $N\geq 1$. Is it true that for any $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ with $\lvert A\rvert \geq \alpha N$ there exists some $S\subseteq A$ such that
\[\frac{a}{b}=\sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}\]
with $a\leq b =O_\alpha(1)$?

Liu and Sawhney [LiSa24] observed that the main result of Bloom [Bl21] implies a positive solution to this conjecture. They prove a more precise version, that if $(\log N)^{-1/7+o(1)}\leq \alpha \leq 1/2$ then there is some $S\subseteq A$ such that
\[\frac{a}{b}=\sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}\]
with $a\leq b \leq \exp(O(1/\alpha))$. They also observe that the dependence $b\leq \exp(O(1/\alpha))$ is sharp.

OPEN

What is the minimal value of $\lvert 1-\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}\rvert$ as $A$ ranges over all subsets of $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ which contain no $S$ such that $\sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}=1$? Is it
\[e^{-(c+o(1))N}\]
for some constant $c\in (0,1)$?

It is trivially at least $1/[1,\ldots,N]$.

OPEN

Does there exist some $c>0$ such that, for any $K>1$, whenever $A$ is a sufficiently large finite multiset of integers with $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}>K$ there exists some $S\subseteq A$ such that
\[1-e^{-cK} < \sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}\leq 1?\]

Erdős and Graham knew this with $e^{-cK}$ replaced by $c/K^2$.

SOLVED

Let $n\geq 1$ and let $m$ be minimal such that $\sum_{n\leq k\leq m}\frac{1}{k}\geq 1$. We define
\[\epsilon(n) = \sum_{n\leq k\leq m}\frac{1}{k}-1.\]
How small can $\epsilon(n)$ be? Is it true that
\[\liminf n^2\epsilon(n)=0?\]

This is true, and shown by Lim and Steinerberger [LiSt24] who proved that there exist infinitely many $n$ such that
\[\epsilon(n)n^2\ll \left(\frac{\log\log n}{\log n}\right)^{1/2}.\]
Erdős and Graham (and also Lim and Steinerberger) believe that the exponent of $2$ is best possible here, in that $\liminf \epsilon(n) n^{2+\delta}=\infty$ for all $\delta>0$.

OPEN

Let $u_1=2$ and $u_{n+1}=u_n^2-u_n+1$. Let $a_1<a_2<\cdots $ be any other sequence with $\sum \frac{1}{a_k}=1$. Is it true that
\[\liminf a_n^{1/2^n}<\lim u_n^{1/2^n}=c_0=1.264085\cdots?\]

$c_0$ is called the Vardi constant and the sequence $u_n$ is Sylvester's sequence.

In [ErGr80] this problem is stated with the sequence $u_1=1$ and $u_{n+1}=u_n(u_n+1)$, but Quanyu Tang has pointed out this is probably an error (since with that choice we do not have $\sum \frac{1}{u_n}=1$). This question with Sylvester's sequence is the most natural interpretation of what they meant to ask.

SOLVED

Is it true that if $A\subset \mathbb{N}\backslash\{1\}$ is a finite set with $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}<2$ then there is a partition $A=A_1\sqcup A_2$ such that
\[\sum_{n\in A_i}\frac{1}{n}<1\]
for $i=1,2$?

This is not true if $A$ is a multiset, for example $2,3,3,5,5,5,5$.

This is not true in general, as shown by Sándor [Sa97], who observed that the proper divisors of $120$ form a counterexample. More generally, Sándor shows that for any $n\geq 2$ there exists a finite set $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}\backslash\{1\}$ with $\sum_{k\in A}\frac{1}{k}<n$ and no partition into $n$ parts each of which has $\sum_{k\in A_i}\frac{1}{k}<1$.

The minimal counterexample is $\{2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11,13,14,15\}$, found by Tom Stobart.

OPEN

Is there some constant $c>0$ such that for every $n\geq 1$ there exists some $\delta_k\in \{-1,0,1\}$ for $1\leq k\leq n$ with
\[0< \left\lvert \sum_{1\leq k\leq n}\frac{\delta_k}{k}\right\rvert < \frac{c}{2^n}?\]
Is it true that for sufficiently large $n$, for any $\delta_k\in \{-1,0,1\}$,
\[\left\lvert \sum_{1\leq k\leq n}\frac{\delta_k}{k}\right\rvert > \frac{1}{[1,\ldots,n]}\]
whenever the left-hand side is not zero?

Inequality is obvious for the second claim, the problem is strict inequality. This fails for small $n$, for example
\[\frac{1}{2}-\frac{1}{3}-\frac{1}{4}=-\frac{1}{12}.\]

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be an infinite arithmetic progression and $f:A\to \{-1,1\}$ be a non-constant function. Must there exist a finite $S\subset A$ such that
\[\sum_{n\in S}\frac{f(n)}{n}=0?\]
What about if $A$ is an arbitrary set of positive density? What if $A$ is the set of squares excluding $1$?

OPEN

Let $S(N)$ count the number of distinct sums of the form $\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}$ for $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$. Estimate $S(N)$.

Bleicher and Erdős [BlEr75] proved the lower bound
\[\frac{N}{\log N}\prod_{i=3}^k\log_iN\leq \frac{\log S(N)}{\log 2},\]
valid for $k\geq 4$ and $\log_kN\geq k$, and also [BlEr76b] proved the upper bound
\[\log S(N)\leq \log_r N\left(\frac{N}{\log N} \prod_{i=3}^r \log_iN\right),\]
valid for $r\geq 1$ and $\log_{2r}N\geq 1$. (In these bounds $\log_in$ denotes the $i$-fold iterated logarithm.)

See also [321].

OPEN

What is the size of the largest $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that all sums $\sum_{n\in S}\frac{1}{n}$ are distinct for $S\subseteq A$?

Let $R(N)$ be the maximal such size. Results of Bleicher and Erdős from [BlEr75] and [BlEr76b] imply that
\[\frac{N}{\log N}\prod_{i=3}^k\log_iN\leq R(N)\leq \frac{1}{\log 2}\log_r N\left(\frac{N}{\log N} \prod_{i=3}^r \log_iN\right),\]
valid for any $k\geq 4$ with $\log_kN\geq k$ and any $r\geq 1$ with $\log_{2r}N\geq 1$. (In these bounds $\log_in$ denotes the $i$-fold iterated logarithm.)

See also [320].

OPEN

Let $k\geq 3$ and $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ be the set of $k$th powers. What is the order of growth of $1_A^{(k)}(n)$, i.e. the number of representations of $n$ as the sum of $k$ many $k$th powers? Does there exist some $c>0$ and infinitely many $n$ such that
\[1_A^{(k)}(n) >n^c?\]

Connected to Waring's problem. The famous Hypothesis $K$ of Hardy and Littlewood was that $1_A^{(k)}(n)\leq n^{o(1)}$, but this was disproved by Mahler [Ma36] for $k=3$, who constructed infinitely many $n$ such that
\[1_A^{(3)}(n)\gg n^{1/12}\]
(where $A$ is the set of cubes). Erdős believed Hypothesis $K$ fails for all $k\geq 4$, but this is unknown. Hardy and Littlewood made the weaker Hypothesis $K^*$ that for all $N$ and $\epsilon>0$
\[\sum_{n\leq N}1_A^{(k)}(n)^2 \ll_\epsilon N^{1+\epsilon}.\]
Erdős and Graham remark: 'This is probably true but no doubt very deep. However, it would suffice for most applications.'

Independently Erdős [Er36] and Chowla proved that for all $k\geq 3$ and infinitely many $n$ \[1_A^{(k)}(n) \gg n^{c/\log\log n}\] for some constant $c>0$ (depending on $k$).

OPEN

Let $1\leq m\leq k$ and $f_{k,m}(x)$ denote the number of integers $\leq x$ which are the sum of $m$ many nonnegative $k$th powers. Is it true that
\[f_{k,k}(x) \gg_\epsilon x^{1-\epsilon}\]
for all $\epsilon>0$? Is it true that if $m<k$ then
\[f_{k,m}(x) \gg x^{m/k}\]
for sufficiently large $x$?

This would have significant applications to Waring's problem. Erdős and Graham describe this as 'unattackable by the methods at our disposal'. The case $k=2$ was resolved by Landau, who showed
\[f_{2,2}(x) \sim \frac{cx}{\sqrt{\log x}}\]
for some constant $c>0$.

For $k>2$ it is not known if $f_{k,k}(x)=o(x)$.

OPEN

Let $k\geq 3$ and $f_{k,3}(x)$ denote the number of integers $\leq x$ which are the sum of three nonnegative $k$th powers. Is it true that
\[f_{k,3}(x) \gg x^{3/k}\]
or even $\gg_\epsilon x^{3/k-\epsilon}$?

OPEN

Let $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ be an additive basis of order $2$. Must there exist $B=\{b_1<b_2<\cdots\}\subseteq A$ which is also a basis such that
\[\lim_{k\to \infty}\frac{b_k}{k^2}\]
does not exist?

Erdős originally asked whether this was true with $A=B$, but this was disproved by Cassels [Ca57].

OPEN

Suppose $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ is such that if $a,b\in A$ then $a+b\nmid ab$. Can $A$ be 'substantially more' than the odd numbers?

What if $a,b\in A$ with $a\neq b$ implies $a+b\nmid 2ab$? Must $\lvert A\rvert=o(N)$?

The connection to unit fractions comes from the observation that $\frac{1}{a}+\frac{1}{b}$ is a unit fraction if and only if $a+b\mid ab$.

SOLVED

Suppose $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ and $C>0$ is such that $1_A\ast 1_A(n)\leq C$ for all $n\in\mathbb{N}$. Can $A$ be partitioned into $t$ many subsets $A_1,\ldots,A_t$ (where $t=t(C)$ depends only on $C$) such that $1_{A_i}\ast 1_{A_i}(n)<C$ for all $1\leq i\leq t$ and $n\in \mathbb{N}$?

Asked by Erdős and Newman. Nešetřil and Rödl have shown the answer is no for all $C$ (source is cited as 'personal communication' in [ErGr80]). Erdős had previously shown the answer is no for $C=3,4$ and infinitely many other values of $C$.

OPEN

Suppose $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ is a Sidon set. How large can
\[\limsup_{N\to \infty}\frac{\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{N^{1/2}}\]
be?

SOLVED

Let $A,B\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ such that for all large $N$
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \gg N^{1/2}\]
and
\[\lvert B\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \gg N^{1/2}.\]
Is it true that there are infinitely many solutions to $a_1-a_2=b_1-b_2\neq 0$ with $a_1,a_2\in A$ and $b_1,b_2\in B$?

Ruzsa has observed that there is a simple counterexample: take $A$ to be the set of numbers whose binary representation has only non-zero digits in even places, and $B$ similarly but with non-zero digits only in odd places. It is easy to see $A$ and $B$ both grow like $\gg N^{1/2}$ and yet for any $n\geq 1$ there is exactly one solution to $n=a+b$ with $a\in A$ and $b\in B$.

Ruzsa suggests that a non-trivial variant of this problem arises if one imposes the stronger condition that \[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \sim c_AN^{1/2}\] for some constant $c_A>0$ as $N\to \infty$, and similarly for $B$.

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ and $D(A)$ be the set of those numbers which occur infinitely often as $a_1-a_2$ with $a_1,a_2\in A$. What conditions on $A$ are sufficient to ensure $D(A)$ has bounded gaps?

Prikry, Tijdeman, Stewart, and others (see the survey articles [St78] and [Ti79]) have shown that a sufficient condition is that $A$ has positive density.

One can also ask what conditions are sufficient for $D(A)$ to have positive density, or for $\sum_{d\in D(A)}\frac{1}{d}=\infty$, or even just $D(A)\neq\emptyset$.

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a set of density zero. Does there exist a basis $B$ such that $A\subseteq B+B$ and
\[\lvert B\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert =o(N^{1/2})\]
for all large $N$?

OPEN

Find the best function $f(n)$ such that every $n$ can be written as $n=a+b$ where both $a,b$ are $f(n)$-smooth (that is, are not divisible by any prime $p>f(n)$.)

Erdős originally asked if even $f(n)\leq n^{1/3}$ is true. This is known, and the best bound is due to Balog [Ba89] who proved that
\[f(n) \ll_\epsilon n^{\frac{4}{9\sqrt{e}}+\epsilon}\]
for all $\epsilon>0$. (Note $\frac{4}{9\sqrt{e}}=0.2695\ldots$.)

It is likely that $f(n)\leq n^{o(1)}$, or even $f(n)\leq e^{O(\sqrt{\log n})}$.

OPEN

Let $d(A)$ denote the density of $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$. Characterise those $A,B\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ with positive density such that
\[d(A+B)=d(A)+d(B).\]

One way this can happen is if there exists $\theta>0$ such that
\[A=\{ n>0 : \{ n\theta\} \in X_A\}\textrm{ and }B=\{ n>0 : \{n\theta\} \in X_B\}\]
where $\{x\}$ denotes the fractional part of $x$ and $X_A,X_B\subseteq \mathbb{R}/\mathbb{Z}$ are such that $\mu(X_A+X_B)=\mu(X_A)+\mu(X_B)$. Are all possible $A$ and $B$ generated in a similar way (using other groups)?

OPEN

For $r\geq 2$ let $h(r)$ be the maximal finite $k$ such that there exists a basis $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ of order $r$ (so every large integer is the sum of at most $r$ integers from $A$) and exact order $k$ (i.e. $k$ is minimal such that every large integer is the sum of exactly $k$ integers from $A$). Find the value of
\[\lim_r \frac{h(r)}{r^2}.\]

Erdős and Graham [ErGr80b] have shown that a basis $A$ has an exact order if and only if $a_2-a_1,a_3-a_2,a_4-a_3,\ldots$ are coprime. They also prove that
\[\frac{1}{4}\leq \lim_r \frac{h(r)}{r^2}\leq \frac{5}{4}.\]
It is known that $h(2)=4$, but even $h(3)$ is unknown (it is $\geq 7$).

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be an additive basis (of any finite order) such that $\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert=o(N)$. Is it true that
\[\lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{\lvert (A+A)\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}{\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}=\infty?\]

The answer is no, and a counterexample was provided by Turjányi [Tu84]. This was generalised (to the replacement of $A+A$ by the $h$-fold sumset $hA$ for any $h\geq 2$) by Ruzsa and Turjányi [RT85]. Ruzsa and Turjányi do prove (under the same hypotheses) that
\[\lim_{N\to \infty}\frac{\lvert (A+A+A)\cap \{1,\ldots,3N\}\rvert}{\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert}=\infty,\]
and conjecture that the same should be true with $(A+A)\cap \{1,\ldots,2N\}$ in the numerator.

OPEN

The restricted order of a basis is the least integer $t$ (if it exists) such that every large integer is the sum of at most $t$ distinct summands from $A$. What are necessary and sufficient conditions that this exists? Can it be bounded (when it exists) in terms of the order of the basis? What are necessary and sufficient conditions that this is equal to the order of the basis?

Bateman has observed that for $h\geq 3$ there is a basis of order $h$ with no restricted order, taking
\[A=\{1\}\cup \{x>0 : h\mid x\}.\]
Kelly [Ke57] has shown that any basis of order $2$ has restricted order at most $4$ and conjectures it always has restricted order at most $3$.

The set of squares has order $4$ and restricted order $5$ (see [Pa33]) and the set of triangular numbers has order $3$ and restricted order $3$ (see [Sc54]).

Is it true that if $A\backslash F$ is a basis for all finite sets $F$ then $A$ must have a restricted order? What if they are all bases of the same order?

OPEN

Let $A=\{1,2,4,8,13,21,31,45,66,81,97,\ldots\}$ be the greedy Sidon sequence: we begin with $1$ and iteratively include the next smallest integer that preserves the Sidon property. What is the order of growth of $A$? Is it true that
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert \gg N^{1/2-\epsilon}\]
for all $\epsilon>0$ and large $N$?

Erdős and Graham [ErGr80] also ask about the difference set $A-A$, whether this has positive density, and whether this contains $22$.

This sequence is at OEIS A005282.

OPEN

Let $A=\{a_1<\cdots<a_k\}$ be a finite set of integers and extend it to an infinite sequence $\overline{A}=\{a_1<a_2<\cdots \}$ by defining $a_{n+1}$ for $n\geq k$ to be the least integer exceeding $a_n$ which is not of the form $a_i+a_j$ with $i,j\leq n$. Is it true that the sequence of differences $a_{m+1}-a_m$ is eventually periodic?

An old problem of Dickson. Even a starting set as small as $\{1,4,9,16,25\}$ requires thousands of terms before periodicity occurs.

OPEN

With $a_1=1$ and $a_2=2$ let $a_{n+1}$ for $n\geq 2$ be the least integer $>a_n$ which can be expressed uniquely as $a_i+a_j$ for $i<j\leq n$. What can be said about this sequence? Do infinitely many pairs $a,a+2$ occur? Does this sequence eventually have periodic differences? Is the density $0$?

A problem of Ulam. The sequence is
\[1,2,3,4,6,8,11,13,16,18,26,28,\ldots\]
at OEIS A002858.

SOLVED

If $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ is a multiset of integers such that
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\gg N\]
for all $N$ then must $A$ be subcomplete? That is, must
\[P(A) = \left\{\sum_{n\in B}n : B\subseteq A\textrm{ finite }\right\}\]
contain an infinite arithmetic progression?

A problem of Folkman. Folkman [Fo66] showed that this is true if
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\gg N^{1+\epsilon}\]
for some $\epsilon>0$ and all $N$.

The original question was answered by Szemerédi and Vu [SzVu06] (who proved that the answer is yes).

This is best possible, since Folkman [Fo66] showed that for all $\epsilon>0$ there exists a multiset $A$ with \[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\ll N^{1+\epsilon}\] for all $N$, such that $A$ is not subcomplete.

SOLVED

If $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ is a set of integers such that
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\gg N^{1/2}\]
for all $N$ then must $A$ be subcomplete? That is, must
\[P(A) = \left\{\sum_{n\in B}n : B\subseteq A\textrm{ finite }\right\}\]
contain an infinite arithmetic progression?

Folkman proved this under the stronger assumption that
\[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\gg N^{1/2+\epsilon}\]
for some $\epsilon>0$.

This is true, and was proved by Szemerédi and Vu [SzVu06]. The stronger conjecture that this is true under \[\lvert A\cap \{1,\ldots,N\}\rvert\geq (2N)^{1/2}\] seems to be still open (this would be best possible as shown by [Er61b].

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a complete sequence, and define the threshold of completeness $T(A)$ to be the least integer $m$ such that all $n\geq m$ are in
\[P(A) = \left\{\sum_{n\in B}n : B\subseteq A\textrm{ finite }\right\}\]
(the existence of $T(A)$ is guaranteed by completeness).

Is it true that there are infinitely many $k$ such that $T(n^k)>T(n^{k+1})$?

Erdős and Graham [ErGr80] remark that very little is known about $T(A)$ in general. It is known that
\[T(n)=1, T(n^2)=128, T(n^3)=12758,\]
\[T(n^4)=5134240,\textrm{ and }T(n^5)=67898771.\]
Erdős and Graham remark that a good candidate for the $n$ in the question are $k=2^t$ for large $t$, perhaps even $t=3$, because of the highly restricted values of $n^{2^t}$ modulo $2^{t+1}$.

OPEN

Let $A=\{a_1< a_2<\cdots\}$ be a set of integers such that

- $A\backslash B$ is complete for any finite subset $B$ and
- $A\backslash B$ is not complete for any infinite subset $B$.

Graham [Gr64d] has shown that the sequence $a_n=F_n-(-1)^{n}$, where $F_n$ is the $n$th Fibonacci number, has these properties. Erdős and Graham [ErGr80] remark that it is easy to see that if $a_{n+1}/a_n>\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}$ then the second property is automatically satisfied, and that it is not hard to construct very irregular sequences satisfying both properties.

OPEN

For what values of $0\leq m<n$ is there a complete sequence $A=\{a_1\leq a_2\leq \cdots\}$ of integers such that

- $A$ remains complete after removing any $m$ elements, but
- $A$ is not complete after removing any $n$ elements?

The Fibonacci sequence $1,1,2,3,5,\ldots$ shows that $m=1$ and $n=2$ is possible. The sequence of powers of $2$ shows that $m=0$ and $n=1$ is possible. The case $m=2$ and $n=3$ is not known.

OPEN

For what values of $t,\alpha \in (0,\infty)$ is the sequence $\lfloor t\alpha^n\rfloor$ complete?

Even in the range $t\in (0,1)$ and $\alpha\in (1,2)$ the behaviour is surprisingly complex. For example, Graham [Gr64e] has shown that for any $k$ there exists some $t_k\in (0,1)$ such that the set of $\alpha$ such that the sequence is complete consists of at least $k$ disjoint line segments. It seems likely that the sequence is complete for all $t>0$ and all $1<\alpha < \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}$. Proving this seems very difficult, since we do not even known whether $\lfloor (3/2)^n\rfloor$ is odd or even infinitely often.

SOLVED

If $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ is a finite set of integers all of whose subset sums are distinct then
\[\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}<2.\]

OPEN

Let $p(x)\in \mathbb{Q}[x]$. Is it true that
\[A=\{ p(n)+1/n : n\in \mathbb{N}\}\]
is strongly complete, in the sense that, for any finite set $B$,
\[\left\{\sum_{n\in X}n : X\subseteq A\backslash B\textrm{ finite }\right\}\]
contains all sufficiently large rational numbers?

Graham [Gr64f] proved this is true when $p(n)=n$. Erdős and Graham also ask which rational functions $r(x)\in\mathbb{Z}[x]$ force $\{ r(n) : n\in\mathbb{N}\}$ to be complete?

OPEN

Is there some $c>0$ such that every measurable $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$ of measure $\geq c$ contains the vertices of a triangle of area 1?

Erdős (unpublished) proved that this is true if $A$ has infinite measure, or if $A$ is an unbounded set of positive measure.

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$ be a measurable set with infinite measure. Must $A$ contain the vertices of an isosceles trapezoid of area $1$?

Erdős and Mauldin (unpublished) claim that this is true for trapezoids in general, but fails for parallelograms.

OPEN

Let $\alpha,\beta\in \mathbb{R}_{>0}$ such that $\alpha/\beta$ is irrational. Is
\[\{ \lfloor \alpha\rfloor,\lfloor 2\alpha\rfloor,\lfloor 4\alpha\rfloor,\ldots\}\cup \{ \lfloor \beta\rfloor,\lfloor 2\beta\rfloor,\lfloor 4\beta\rfloor,\ldots\}\]
complete? What if $2$ is replaced by some $\gamma\in(1,2)$?

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a lacunary sequence (so that $A=\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}$ and there exists some $\lambda>1$ such that $a_{n+1}/a_n\geq \lambda$ for all $n\geq 1$). Must
\[\left\{ \sum_{a\in A'}\frac{1}{a} : A'\subseteq A\textrm{ finite}\right\}\]
contain all rationals in some open interval?

Bleicher and Erdős conjecture the answer is no.

Steinerberger has pointed out that as written this problem is trivial: simply take some lacunary $A$ whose prime factors are restricted (e.g. $A=\{1,2,4,8,\ldots,\}$) - clearly any finite sum of the shape $\sum_{a\in A'}\frac{1}{a}$ can only form a rational with denominator divisible by one of these restricted set of primes.

This is puzzling, since Erdős and Graham were very aware of this kind of obstruction, so it's a strange thing to miss. I assume that there was some unwritten extra assumption intended (e.g. $A$ contains a multiple of every integer).

SOLVED

Is there some $c>0$ such that, for all sufficiently large $n$, there exist integers $a_1<\cdots<a_k\leq n$ such that there are at least $cn^2$ distinct integers of the form $\sum_{u\leq i\leq v}a_i$?

This fails for $a_i=i$ for example. Erdős and Graham also ask what happens if we drop the monotonicity restriction and just ask that the $a_i$ are distinct. Perhaps some permutation of $\{1,\ldots,n\}$ has at least $cn^2$ such distinct sums (this was solved by Konieczny [Ko15], see [34]).

The original problem was solved (in the affirmative) by Beker [Be23b].

They also ask how many consecutive integers $>n$ can be represented as such a sum? Is it true that, for any $c>0$ at least $cn$ such integers are possible (for sufficiently large $n$)?

OPEN

Let $1\leq a_1<\cdots <a_k\leq n$ be integers such that all sums of the shape $\sum_{u\leq i\leq v}a_i$ are distinct. How large can $k$ be? Must $k=o(n)$?

Asked by Erdős and Harzheim. What if we remove the monotonicity and/or the distinctness constraint? Also what is the least $m$ which is not a sum of the given form? Can it be much larger than $n$? Erdős and Harzheim can show that $\sum_{x<a_i<x^2}\frac{1}{a_i}\ll 1$. Is it true that $\sum_i \frac{1}{a_i}\ll 1$?

OPEN

Is there a sequence $A=\{1\leq a_1<a_2<\cdots\}$ such that every integer is the sum of some finite number of consecutive elements of $A$? Can the number of representations of $n$ in this form tend to infinity with $n$?

Erdős and Moser [Mo63] considered the case when $A$ is the set of primes, and conjectured that the $\limsup$ of the number of such representations in this case is infinite. They could not even prove that the upper density of the set of integers representable in this form is positive.

SOLVED

Let $f(n)$ be minimal such that $\{1,\ldots,n\}$ can be partitioned into $f(n)$ classes so that $n$ cannot be expressed as a sum of distinct elements from the same class. How fast does $f(n)$ grow?

Alon and Erdős [AlEr96] proved that $f(n) = n^{1/3+o(1)}$, and more precisely
\[\frac{n^{1/3}}{(\log n)^{4/3}}\ll f(n) \ll \frac{n^{1/3}}{(\log n)^{1/3}}(\log\log n)^{1/3}.\]
Vu [Vu07] improved the lower bound to
\[f(n) \gg \frac{n^{1/3}}{\log n}.\]
Conlon, Fox, and Pham [CFP21] determined the order of growth of $f(n)$ up to a multiplicative constant, proving
\[f(n) \asymp \frac{n^{1/3}(n/\phi(n))}{(\log n)^{1/3}(\log\log n)^{2/3}}.\]

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a finite set of size $N$. Is it true that, for any fixed $t$, there are
\[\ll \frac{2^N}{N^{3/2}}\]
many $S\subseteq A$ such that $\sum_{n\in S}n=t$?

If we further ask that $\lvert S\rvert=l$ (for any fixed $l$) then is the number of solutions \[\ll \frac{2^N}{N^2},\] with the implied constant independent of $l$ and $t$?

Erdős and Moser proved the first bound with an additional factor of $(\log n)^{3/2}$. This was removed by Sárközy and Szemerédi [SaSz65], thereby answering the first question in the affirmative. Stanley [St80] has shown that this quantity is maximised when $A$ is an arithmetic progression and $t=\tfrac{1}{2}\sum_{n\in A}n$.

OPEN

When is the product of two or more disjoint blocks of consecutive integers a power? Is it true that there are only finitely many collections of disjoint intervals $I_1,\ldots,I_n$ of size $\lvert I_i\rvert \geq 4$ for $1\leq i\leq n$ such that
\[\prod_{1\leq i\leq n}\prod_{n\in I_i}n\]
is a square?

Erdős and Selfridge have proved that the product of consecutive integers is never a power. The condition $\lvert I_i\rvert \geq 4$ is necessary here, since Pomerance has observed that the product of
\[(2^{n-1}-1)2^{n-1}(2^{n-1}+1),\]
\[(2^n-1)2^n(2^n+1),\]
\[(2^{2n-1}-2)(2^{2n-1}-1)2^{2n-1},\]
and
\[(2^{2n-2}-2)(2^{2n}-1)2^{2n}\]
is a always a square.

OPEN

Are there any triples of consecutive positive integers all of which are powerful (i.e. if $p\mid n$ then $p^2\mid n$)?

Erdős originally asked Mahler whether there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive powerful numbers, but Mahler immediately observed that the answer is yes from the infinitely many solutions to the Pell equation $x^2=8y^2+1$.

OPEN

Do all pairs of consecutive powerful numbers come from solutions to Pell equations? Is the number of such pairs $\leq x$ bounded by $(\log x)^{O(1)}$?

Erdős originally asked Mahler whether there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive powerful numbers, but Mahler immediately observed that the answer is yes from the infinitely many solutions to the Pell equation $x^2=8y^2+1$.

OPEN

Are there any 2-full $n$ such that $n+1$ is 3-full? That is, if $p\mid n$ then $p^2\mid n$ and if $p\mid n+1$ then $p^3\mid n+1$.

Erdős originally asked Mahler whether there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive powerful numbers, but Mahler immediately observed that the answer is yes from the infinitely many solutions to the Pell equation $x^2=8y^2+1$.

Note that $8$ is 3-full and $9$ is 2-full. Is the the only pair of such consecutive integers?

OPEN

Let $B_2(n)$ be the 2-full part of $n$ (that is, $B_2(n)=n/n'$ where $n'$ is the product of all primes that divide $n$ exactly once). Is it true that, for every fixed $k\geq 1$,
\[\prod_{n\leq m<n+k}B_2(m) \ll n^{2+o(1)}?\]
Or perhaps even $\ll_k n^2$?

It would also be interesting to find upper and lower bounds for the analogous product with $B_r$ for $r\geq 3$, where $B_r(n)$ is the $r$-full part of $n$ (that is, the product of prime powers $p^a \mid n$ such that $p^{a+1}\nmid n$ and $a\geq r$). Is it true that, for every fixed $r,k\geq 2$ and $\epsilon>0$,
\[\limsup \frac{\prod_{n\leq m<n+k}B_r(m) }{n^{1+\epsilon}}\to\infty?\]

OPEN

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $k\geq 2$. Is it true that, for all sufficiently large $n$, there is a sequence of $k$ consecutive integers in $\{1,\ldots,n\}$ all of which are $n^\epsilon$-smooth?

Erdős and Graham state that this is open even for $k=2$ and 'the answer should be affirmative but the problem seems very hard'.

Unfortunately the problem is trivially true as written (simply taking $\{1,\ldots,k\}$ and $n>k^{1/\epsilon}$). There are (at least) two possible variants which are non-trivial, and it is not clear which Erdős and Graham meant. Let $P$ be the sequence of $k$ consecutive integers sought for. The potential strengthenings which make this non-trivial are:

- Each $m\in P$ must be $m^\epsilon$-smooth. If this is the problem then the answer is yes, which follows from a result of Balog and Wooley [BaWo98]: for any $\epsilon>0$ and $k\geq 2$ there exist infinitely many $m$ such that $m+1,\ldots,m+k$ are all $m^\epsilon$-smooth.
- Each $m\in P$ must be in $[n/2,n]$ (say). In this case a positive answer also follows from the result of Balog and Wooley [BaWo98] for infinitely many $n$, but the case of all sufficiently large $n$ is open.

See also [370].

SOLVED

Are there infinitely many $n$ such that the largest prime factor of $n$ is $<n^{1/2}$ and the largest prime factor of $n+1$ is $<(n+1)^{1/2}$?

Pomerance has observed that if we replace $1/2$ in the exponent by $1/\sqrt{e}-\epsilon$ for any $\epsilon>0$ then this is true for density reasons (since the density of integers $n$ whose greatest prime factor is $\leq n^{1/\sqrt{e}}$ is $1/2$).

Steinerberger has pointed out this problem has a trivial solution: take $n=m^2-1$, and then it is obvious that the largest prime factor of $n$ is $\leq m+1\ll n^{1/2}$ and the largest prime factor of $n+1$ is $\leq m\ll (n+1)^{1/2}$ (these $\ll$ can be replaced by $<$ if we choose $m$ such that $m,m+1$ are both composite).

Given that Erdős and Graham describe the above observation of Pomerance and explicitly say about this problem that 'we know very little about this', it is strange that such a trivial obstruction was overlooked. Perhaps the problem they intended was subtly different, and the problem in this form was the result of a typographical error, but I have no good guess what was intended here.

See also [369].

OPEN

Let $P(n)$ denote the largest prime factor of $n$. Show that the set of $n$ with $P(n+1)>P(n)$ has density $1/2$.

SOLVED

Let $P(n)$ denote the largest prime factor of $n$. There are infinitely many $n$ such that $P(n)>P(n+1)>P(n+2)$.

OPEN

Show that the equation
\[n! = a_1!a_2!\cdots a_k!,\]
with $n-1>a_1\geq a_2\geq \cdots \geq a_k$, has only finitely many solutions.

This would follow if $P(n(n+1))/\log n\to \infty$, where $P(m)$ denotes the largest prime factor of $m$ (see Problem [368]). Hickerson conjectured the largest solution is
\[16! = 14! 5!2!.\]
The condition $a_1<n-1$ is necessary to rule out the trivial solutions when $n=a_2!\cdots a_k!$.

Surányi was the first to conjecture that the only non-trivial solution to $a!b!=n!$ is $6!7!=10!$.

OPEN

For any $m\in \mathbb{N}$, let $F(m)$ be the minimal $k\geq 2$ (if it exists) such that there are $a_1<\cdots <a_k=m$ with $a_1!\cdots a_k!$ a square. Let $D_k=\{ m : F(m)=k\}$. What is the order of growth of $\lvert D_k\cap\{1,\ldots,n\}\rvert$ for $3\leq k\leq 6$? For example, is it true that $\lvert D_6\cap \{1,\ldots,n\}\rvert \gg n$?

Studied by Erdős and Graham [ErGr76] (see also [LSS14]). It is known, for example, that:

- no $D_k$ contains a prime,
- $D_2=\{ n^2 : n>1\}$,
- $\lvert D_3\cap \{1,\ldots,n\}\rvert = o(\lvert D_4\cap \{1,\ldots,n\}\rvert)$,
- the least element of $D_6$ is $527$, and
- $D_k=\emptyset$ for $k>6$.

OPEN

Is it true that for any $n,k\geq 1$, if $n+1,\ldots,n+k$ are all composite then there are distinct primes $p_1,\ldots,p_k$ such that $p_i\mid n+i$ for $1\leq i\leq k$?

Note this is trivial when $k\leq 2$. Originally conjectured by Grimm. This is a very difficult problem, since it in particular implies $p_{n+1}-p_n <p_n^{1/2-c}$ for some constant $c>0$, in particular resolving Legendre's conjecture.

Grimm proved that this is true if $k\ll \log n/\log\log n$. Erdős and Selfridge improved this to $k\leq (1+o(1))\log n$. Ramachandra, Shorey, and Tijdeman [RST75] have improved this to \[k\ll\left(\frac{\log n}{\log\log n}\right)^3.\]

OPEN

Are there infinitely many $n$ such that $\binom{2n}{n}$ is coprime to $105$?

Erdős, Graham, Ruzsa, and Straus [EGRS75] have shown that, for any two primes $p$ and $q$, there are infinitely many $n$ such that $\binom{2n}{n}$ is coprime to $pq$.

OPEN

Is there some absolute constant $C>0$ such that
\[\sum_{p\leq n}1_{p\nmid \binom{2n}{2}}\frac{1}{p}\leq C\]
for all $n$?

A question of Erdős, Graham, Ruzsa, and Straus [EGRS75], who proved that if $f(n)$ is the sum in question then
\[\lim_{x\to \infty}\frac{1}{x}\sum_{n\leq x}f(n) = \sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{\log k}{2^k}=\gamma_0\]
and
\[\lim_{x\to \infty}\frac{1}{x}\sum_{n\leq x}f(n)^2 = \gamma_0^2,\]
so that for almost all integers $f(m)=\gamma_0+o(1)$. They also prove that, for all large $n$,
\[f(n) \leq c\log\log n\]
for some constant $c<1$. (It is trivial from Mertens estimates that $f(n)\leq (1+o(1))\log\log n$.)

A positive answer would imply that \[\sum_{p\leq n}1_{p\mid \binom{2n}{n}}\frac{1}{p}=(1-o(1))\log\log n,\] and Erdős, Graham, Ruzsa, and Straus say there is 'no doubt' this latter claim is true.

OPEN

Let $r\geq 0$. Does the density of integers $n$ for which $\binom{n}{k}$ is squarefree for at least $r$ values of $1\leq k<n$ exist? Is this density $>0$?

Erdős and Graham state they can prove that, for $k$ fixed and large, the density of $n$ such that $\binom{n}{k}$ is squarefree is $o_k(1)$. They can also prove that there are infinitely many $n$ such that $\binom{n}{k}$ is not squarefree for $1\leq k<n$, and expect that the density of such $n$ is positive.

OPEN

Let $S(n)$ denote the largest integer such that, for all $1\leq k<n$, the binomial coefficient $\binom{n}{k}$ is divisible by $p^{S(n)}$ for some prime $p$ (depending on $k$). Is it true that
\[\limsup S(n)=\infty?\]

If $s(n)$ denotes the largest integer such that $\binom{n}{k}$ is divisible by $p^{s(n)}$ for some prime $p$ for at least one $1\leq k<n$ then it is easy to see that $s(n)\to \infty$ as $n\to \infty$ (and in fact that $s(n) \asymp \log n$).

OPEN

We call an interval $[u,v]$ 'bad' if the greatest prime factor of $\prod_{u\leq m\leq v}m$ occurs with an exponent greater than $1$. Let $B(x)$ count the number of $n\leq x$ which are contained in at least one bad interval. Is it true that
\[B(x)\sim \#\{ n\leq x: p\mid n\rightarrow p\leq n^{1/2}\}?\]

Erdős and Graham only knew that $B(x) > x^{1-o(1)}$. Similarly, we call an interval $[u,v]$ 'very bad' if $\prod_{u\leq m\leq v}m$ is powerful. The number of integers $n\leq x$ contained in at least one very bad interval should be $\ll x^{1/2}$. In fact, it should be asymptotic to the number of powerful numbers $\leq x$.

See also [382].

OPEN

Let $u\leq v$ be such that the largest prime dividing $\prod_{u\leq m\leq v}m$ appears with exponent at least $2$. Is it true that $v-u=v^{o(1)}$? Can $v-u$ be arbitrarily large?

Erdős and Graham report it follows from results of Ramachandra that $v-u\leq v^{1/2+o(1)}$.

See also [380].

SOLVED

If $1<k<n-1$ then $\binom{n}{k}$ is divisible by a prime $p<n/2$ (except $\binom{7}{3}=5\cdot 7$).

A conjecture of Erdős and Selfridge. Proved by Ecklund [Ec69], who made the stronger conjecture that whenever $n>k^2$ the binomial coefficient $\binom{n}{k}$ is divisible by a prime $p<n/k$. They have proved the weaker inequality $p\ll n/k^c$ for some constant $c>0$.

OPEN

Let
\[F(n) = \max_{\substack{m<n\\ m\textrm{ composite}}} m+p(m),\]
where $p(m)$ is the least prime divisor of $m$. Is it true that $F(n)>n$ for all sufficiently large $n$? Does $F(n)-n\to \infty$ as $n\to\infty$?

A question of Erdős, Eggleton, and Selfridge, who write that 'plausible conjectures on primes' imply that $F(n)\leq n$ for only finitely many $n$, and in fact it is possible that this quantity is always at least $n+(1-o(1))\sqrt{n}$ (note that it is trivially $\leq n+\sqrt{n}$).

OPEN

Can $\binom{n}{k}$ be the product of consecutive primes infinitely often? For example
\[\binom{21}{2}=2\cdot 3\cdot 5\cdot 7.\]

Erdős and Graham write that 'a proof that this cannot happen infinitely often for $\binom{n}{2}$ seems hopeless; probably this can never happen for $\binom{n}{k}$ if $3\leq k\leq n-3$.'

OPEN

Is there an absolute constant $c>0$ such that, for all $1\leq k< n$, the binomial coefficient $\binom{n}{k}$ has a divisor in $(cn,n]$?

Erdős once conjectured that $\binom{n}{k}$ must always have a divisor in $(n-k,n]$, but this was disproved by Schinzel and Erdős [Sc58].

OPEN

Can one classify all solutions of
\[\prod_{1\leq i\leq k_1}(m_1+i)=\prod_{1\leq j\leq k_2}(m_2+j)\]
where $1<k_1<k_2$ and $m_1+k_1\leq m_2$? Are there only finitely many solutions? More generally, if $k_1>2$ then for fixed $a$ and $b$
\[a\prod_{1\leq i\leq k_1}(m_1+i)=b\prod_{1\leq j\leq k_2}(m_2+j)\]
should have only a finite number of solutions. What if one just requires that the products have the same prime factors, say when $k_1=k_2$?

OPEN

Let $t(n)$ be the maximum $m$ such that
\[n!=a_1\cdots a_n\]
with $m=a_1\leq \cdots \leq a_n$. Obtain good upper bounds for $t(n)$. In particular does there exist some constant $c>0$ such that
\[t(n) \leq \frac{n}{e}-c\frac{n}{\log n}\]
for infinitely many $n$?

Erdős, Selfridge, and Straus have shown that
\[\lim \frac{t(n)}{n}=\frac{1}{e}.\]
Alladi and Grinstead [AlGr77] have obtained similar results when the $a_i$ are restricted to prime powers.

OPEN

Let $A(n)$ denote the least value of $t$ such that
\[n!=a_1\cdots a_t\]
with $a_1\leq \cdots \leq a_t\leq n^2$. Is it true that
\[A(n)=\frac{n}{2}-\frac{n}{2\log n}+o\left(\frac{n}{\log n}\right)?\]

If we change the condition to $a_t\leq n$ it can be shown that
\[A(n)=n-\frac{n}{\log n}+o\left(\frac{n}{\log n}\right)\]
via a greedy decomposition (use $n$ as often as possible, then $n-1$, and so on). Other questions can be asked for other restrictions on the sizes of the $a_t$.

OPEN

Let $f(n)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that
\[n! = a_1\cdots a_t\]
with $a_1<\cdots <a_t=a_1+m$. What is the behaviour of $f(n)$?

Erdős and Graham write that they do not even know whether $f(n)=1$ infinitely often (i.e. whether a factorial is the product of two consecutive integers infinitely often).

SOLVED

Let $t_k(n)$ denote the least $m$ such that
\[n\mid (m+1)(m+2)\cdots (m+k).\]
Is it true that
\[\sum_{1\leq n\leq N}t_2(n)=o(N)?\]

The answer is yes, proved by Hall. It is probably true that the sum is $o(N/(\log N)^c)$ for some constant $c>0$. Similar questions can be asked for other $k\geq 3$.

OPEN

Is it true that for every $k$ there exists $n$ such that
\[\prod_{0\leq i\leq k}(n-i) \mid \binom{2n}{n}?\]

Erdős and Graham write that $n+1$ always divides $\binom{2n}{n}$ (indeed $\frac{1}{n+1}\binom{2n}{n}$ is the $n$th Catalan number), but it is quite rare that $n$ divides $\binom{2n}{n}$.

Pomerance [Po14] has shown that for any $k\geq 0$ there are infinitely many $n$ such that $n-k\mid\binom{2n}{n}$, although the set of such $n$ has upper density $<1/3$. Pomerance also shows that the set of $n$ such that \[\prod_{1\leq i\leq k}(n+i)\mid \binom{2n}{n}\] has density $1$.

The Brocard-Ramanujan conjecture. Erdős and Graham describe this as an old conjecture, and write it 'is almost certainly true but it is intractable at present'.

Overholt [Ov93] has shown that this has only finitely many solutions assuming a weak form of the abc conjecture.

OPEN

Is it true that there are no solutions to
\[n! = x^k\pm y^k\]
with $x,y,n\in \mathbb{N}$, with $xy>1$ and $k>2$?

Erdős and Obláth [ErOb37] proved this is true when $(x,y)=1$ and $k\neq 4$. Pollack and Shapiro [PoSh73] proved this is true when $(x,y)=1$ and $k=4$. The known methods break down without the condition $(x,y)=1$.

OPEN

For any $k\geq 2$ let $g_k(n)$ denote the maximal value of
\[n-(a_1+\cdots+a_k)\]
where $a_1,\ldots,a_k$ are integers such that $a_1!\cdots a_k! \mid n!$. Can one show that
\[\sum_{n\leq x}g_k(n) \sim c_k x\log x\]
for some constant $c_k$? Is it true that there is a constant $c_k$ such that for almost all $n<x$ we have
\[g_k(n)=c_k\log x+o(\log x)?\]

Erdős and Graham write that it is easy to show that $g_k(n) \ll_k \log n$ always, but the best possible constant is unknown.

See also [401].

SOLVED

Prove that, for any finite set $A\subset\mathbb{N}$, there exist $a,b\in A$ such that
\[\mathrm{gcd}(a,b)\leq a/\lvert A\rvert.\]

A conjecture of Graham [Gr70], who also conjectured that (assuming $A$ itself has no common divisor) the only cases where equality is achieved are when $A=\{1,\ldots,n\}$ or $\{L/1,\ldots,L/n\}$ (where $L=\mathrm{lcm}(1,\ldots,n)$) or $\{2,3,4,6\}$.

Proved for all sufficiently large sets (including the sharper version which characterises the case of equality) independently by Szegedy [Sz86] and Zaharescu [Za87].

Proved for all sets by Balasubramanian and Soundararajan [BaSo96].

SOLVED

Does the equation
\[2^m=a_1!+\cdots+a_k!\]
with $a_1<a_2<\cdots <a_k$ have only finitely many solutions?

Asked by Burr and Erdős. Frankl and Lin [Li76] independently showed that the answer is yes, and the largest solution is
\[2^7=2!+3!+5!.\]
In fact Lin showed that the largest power of $2$ which can divide a sum of distinct factorials containing $2$ is $2^{254}$, and that there are only 5 solutions to $3^m=a_1!+\cdots+a_k!$ (when $m=0,1,2,3,6$).

See also [404].

OPEN

Let $f(a,p)$ be the largest $k$ such that there are $a=a_1<\cdots<a_k$ such that
\[p^k \mid (a_1!+\cdots+a_k!).\]
Is $f(a,p)$ bounded by some absolute constant? What if this constant is allowed to depend on $a$ and $p$?

Is there a prime $p$ and an infinite sequence $a_1<a_2<\cdots$ such that if $p^{m_k}$ is the highest power of $p$ dividing $\sum_{i\leq k}a_i!$ then $m_k\to \infty$?

OPEN

Is it true that there are only finitely many powers of $2$ which have only the digits $0$ and $1$ when written in base $3$?

The only examples seem to be $4=1+3$ and $256=1+3+3^2+3^5$. If we only allow the digits $1$ and $2$ then $2^{15}$ seems to be the largest such power of $2$.

This would imply via Kummer's theorem that \[3\mid \binom{2^{k+1}}{2^k}\] for all large $k$.

OPEN

Let $\phi(n)$ be the Euler totient function and $\phi_k(n)$ be the iterated $\phi$ function, so that $\phi_1(n)=\phi(n)$ and $\phi_k(n)=\phi(\phi_{k-1}(n))$. Let
\[f(n) = \min \{ k : \phi_k(n)=1\}.\]
Does $f(n)/\log n$ have a distribution function? Is $f(n)/\log n$ almost always constant? What can be said about the largest prime factor of $\phi_k(n)$ when, say, $k=\log\log n$?

Pillai [Pi29] was the first to investigate this function, and proved
\[\log_3 n < f(n) < \log_2 n\]
for all large $n$. Shapiro [Sh50] proved that $f(n)$ is essentially multiplicative.

Erdős, Granville, Pomerance, and Spiro [EGPS90] have proved that the answer to the first two questions is yes, conditional on a form of the Elliott-Halberstam conjecture.

It is likely true that, if $k\to \infty$ however slowly with $n$, then for almost $n$ the largest prime factor of $\phi_k(n)$ is $\leq n^{o(1)}$.

OPEN

Let $g_1=g(n)=n+\phi(n)$ and $g_k(n)=g(g_{k-1}(n))$. For which $n$ and $r$ is it true that $g_{k+r}(n)=2g_k(n)$ for all large $k$?

The known solutions to $g_{k+2}(n)=2g_k(n)$ are $n=10$ and $n=94$. Selfridge and Weintraub found solutions to $g_{k+9}(n)=9g_k(n)$ and Weintraub found
\[g_{k+25}(3114)=729g_k(3114)\]
for all $k\geq 6$.

OPEN

Let $\sigma_1(n)=\sigma(n)$, the sum of divisors function, and $\sigma_k(n)=\sigma(\sigma_{k-1}(n))$. Is it true that, for every $m,n$, there exist some $i,j$ such that $\sigma_i(m)=\sigma_j(n)$?

In [Er79d] Erdős attributes this conjecture to van Wijngaarden, who told it to Erdős in the 1950s.

That is, there is (eventually) only one possible sequence that the iterated sum of divisors function can settle on. Selfridge reports numerical evidence which suggests the answer is no, but Erdős and Graham write 'it seems unlikely that anything can be proved about this in the near future'.

OPEN

Let $\omega(n)$ count the number of distinct primes dividing $n$. Are there infinitely many $n$ such that, for all $m<n$, we have $m+\omega(m) \leq n$?

Can one show that there exists an $\epsilon>0$ such that there are infinitely many $n$ where $m+\epsilon \omega(m)\leq n$ for all $m<n$?

In [Er79] Erdős calls such an $n$ a 'barrier' for $\omega$. Some other natural number theoretic functions (such as $\phi$ and $\sigma$) have no barriers because they increase too rapidly. Erdős believed that $\omega$ should have infinitely many barriers. In [Er79d] he proves that $F(n)=\prod k_i$, where $n=\prod p_i^{k_i}$, has infinitely many barriers (in fact the set of barriers has positive density in the integers).

Erdős also believed that $\Omega$, the count of the number of prime factors with multiplicity), should have infinitely many barriers. Selfridge found the largest barrier for $\Omega$ which is $<10^5$ is $99840$.

In [ErGr80] this problem is suggested as a way of showing that the iterated behaviour of $n\mapsto n+\omega(n)$ eventually settles into a single sequence, regardless of the starting value of $n$ (see also [412] and [414]).

Erdős and Graham report it could be attacked by sieve methods, but 'at present these methods are not strong enough'.

OPEN

Let $h_1(n)=h(n)=n+\tau(n)$ (where $\tau(n)$ counts the number of divisors of $n$) and $h_k(n)=h(h_{k-1}(n))$. Is it true, for any $m,n$, there exist $i$ and $j$ such that $h_i(m)=h_j(n)$?

OPEN

For any $n$ let $F(n)$ be the largest $k$ such that any of the $k!$ possible ordering patterns appears in some sequence of $\phi(m+1),\ldots,\phi(m+k)$ with $m+k\leq n$. Is it true that
\[F(n)=(c+o(1))\log\log\log n\]
for some constant $c$? Is the first pattern which fails to appear always
\[\phi(m+1)>\phi(m+2)>\cdots \phi(m+k)?\]
Is it true that 'natural' ordering which mimics what happens to $\phi(1),\ldots,\phi(k)$ is the most likely to appear?

Erdős [Er36b] proved that
\[F(n)\asymp \log\log\log n,\]
and similarly if we replace $\phi$ with $\sigma$ or $\tau$ or $\nu$ or any 'decent' additive or multiplicative function.

OPEN

Let $V(x)$ count the number of $n\leq x$ such that $\phi(m)=n$ is solvable. Does $V(2x)/V(x)\to 2$? Is there an asymptotic formula for $V(x)$?

Pillai [Pi29] proved $V(x)=o(x)$. Erdős [Er35b] proved $V(x)=x(\log x)^{-1+o(1)}$.

The behaviour of $V(x)$ is now almost completely understood. Maier and Pomerance [MaPo88] proved \[V(x)=\frac{x}{\log x}e^{(C+o(1))(\log\log\log x)^2},\] for some explicit constant $C>0$. Ford [Fo98] improved this to \[V(x)\asymp\frac{x}{\log x}e^{C_1(\log\log\log x-\log\log\log\log x)^2+C_2\log\log\log x-C_3\log\log\log\log x}\] for some explicit constants $C_1,C_2,C_3>0$. Unfortunately this falls just short of an asymptotic formula for $V(x)$ and determining whether $V(2x)/V(x)\to 2$.

In [Er79e] Erdős asks further to estimate the number of $n\leq x$ such that the smallest solution to $\phi(m)=n$ satisfies $kx<m\leq (k+1)x$.

See also [417].

Asked by Erdős and Sierpiński. It follows from the Goldbach conjecture that every odd number can be written as $n-\phi(n)$. What happens for even numbers?

Erdős [Er73b] has shown that a positive density set of integers cannot be written as $\sigma(n)-n$.

This is true, as shown by Browkin and Schinzel [BrSc95], who show that any integer of the shape $2^{k}\cdot 509203$ is not of this form. It seems to be open whether there is a positive density set of integers not of this form.

SOLVED

If $\tau(n)$ counts the number of divisors of $n$, then what is the set of limit points of
\[\frac{\tau((n+1)!)}{\tau(n!)}?\]

Erdős and Graham noted that any number of the shape $1+1/k$ for $k\geq 1$ is a limit point (and thus so too is $1$), but knew of no others.

Mehtaab Sawhney has shared the following simple argument that proves that the above limit points are in fact the only ones.

If $v_p(m)$ is the largest $k$ such that $p^k\mid m$ then $\tau(m)=\prod_p (v_p(m)+1)$ and so \[\frac{\tau((n+1)!)}{\tau(n!)} = \prod_{p|n+1}\left(1+\frac{v_p(n+1)}{v_p(n!)+1}\right).\] Note that $v_p(n!)\geq n/p$, and furthermore $n+1$ has $<\log n$ prime divisors, each of which satisfy $v_p(n+1)<\log n$. It follows that the contribution from $p\leq n^{2/3}$ is at most \[\left(1+\frac{\log n}{n^{1/3}}\right)^{\log n}\leq 1+o(1).\]

There is at most one $p\mid n+1$ with $p\geq n^{2/3}$ which (if present) contributes exactly \[\left(1+\frac{1}{\frac{n+1}{p}}\right).\] We have proved the claim, since these two facts combined show that the ratio in question is either $1+o(1)$ or $1+1/k+o(1)$, the latter occurring if $n+1=pk$ for some $p>n^{2/3}$.

OPEN

If $\tau(n)$ counts the number of divisors of $n$ then let
\[F(f,n)=\frac{\tau((n+\lfloor f(n)\rfloor)!)}{\tau(n!)}.\]
Is it true that
\[\lim_{n\to \infty}F((\log n)^C,n)=\infty\]
for large $C$? Is it true that $F(\log n,n)$ is everywhere dense in $(1,\infty)$? More generally, if $f(n)\leq \log n$ is a monotonic function then is $F(f,n)$ everywhere dense?

Erdős and Graham write that it is easy to show that $\lim F(n^{1/2},n)=\infty$, and in fact the $n^{1/2}$ can be replaced by $n^{1/2-c}$ for some small constant $c>0$.

OPEN

Let $f(1)=f(2)=1$ and for $n>2$
\[f(n) = f(n-f(n-1))+f(n-f(n-2)).\]
Does $f(n)$ miss infinitely many integers? What is its behaviour?

Asked by Hofstadter. The sequence begins $1,1,2,3,3,4,\ldots$ and is A005185 in the OEIS. It is not even known whether $f(n)$ is well-defined for all $n$.

OPEN

Let $a_1=1$ and $a_2=2$ and for $k\geq 3$ we choose $a_k$ to be the least integer $>a_{k-1}$ which is the sum of at least two consecutive terms of the sequence. What is the asymptotic behaviour of this sequence?

Asked by Hofstadter. The sequence begins $1,2,3,5,6,8,10,11,\ldots$ and is A005243 in the OEIS.

OPEN

Let $a_1=2$ and $a_2=3$ and continue the sequence by appending to $a_1,\ldots,a_n$ all possible values of $a_ia_j-1$ with $i\neq j$. Is it true that the set of integers which eventually appear has positive density?

Asked by Hofstadter. The sequence begins $2,3,5,9,14,17,26,\ldots$ and is A005244 in the OEIS. This problem is also discussed in section E31 of Guy's book Unsolved Problems in Number Theory.

In [ErGr80] (and in Guy's book) this problem as written is asking for whether almost all integers appear in this sequence, but the answer to this is trivially no (as pointed out to me by Steinerberger): no integer $\equiv 1\pmod{3}$ is ever in the sequence, so the set of integers which appear has density at most $2/3$. This is easily seen by induction, and the fact that if $a,b\in \{0,2\}\pmod{3}$ then $ab-1\in \{0,2\}\pmod{3}$.

Presumably it is the weaker question of whether a positive density of integers appear (as correctly asked in [Er77c]) that was also intended in [ErGr80].

OPEN

Let $F(n)$ be the maximum possible size of a subset $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that the products $ab$ are distinct for all $a<b$. Is there a constant $c$ such that
\[F(n)=\pi(n)+(c+o(1))n^{3/4}(\log n)^{-3/2}?\]

If $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,n\}$ is such that all products $a_1\cdots a_r$ are distinct for $a_1<\cdots <a_r$ then is it true that \[\lvert A\rvert \leq \pi(n)+O(n^{\frac{r+1}{2r}})?\]

Erdős [Er68] proved that there exist some constants $0<c_1\leq c_2$ such that
\[\pi(n)+c_1 n^{3/4}(\log n)^{-3/2}\leq F(n)\leq \pi(n)+c_2 n^{3/4}(\log n)^{-3/2}.\]
Surprisingly, if we consider the corresponding problem in the reals (so consider the largest $A\subset [1,x]$ such that for any distinct $a,b,c,d\in A$ we have $\lvert ab-cd\rvert \geq 1$) then Alexander proved that $\lvert A\rvert> x/8e$ is possible (disproving an earlier conjecture of Erdős [Er73] that $m=o(x)$). Alexander's construction seems to be unpublished, and I have no idea what it is.

SOLVED

Is it true that, for every $n$ and $d$, there exists $k$ such that
\[d \mid p_{n+1}+\cdots+p_{n+k},\]
where $p_r$ denotes the $r$th prime?

Cedric Pilatte has observed that a positive solution to this follows from a result of Shiu [Sh00]: for any $k\geq 1$ and $(a,q)=1$ there exist infinitely many $k$-tuples of consecutive primes $p_m,\ldots,p_{m+{k-1}}$ all of which are congruent to $a$ modulo $q$.

Indeed, we apply this with $k=q=d$ and $a=1$ and let $p_m,\ldots,p_{m+{d-1}}$ be consecutive primes all congruent to $1$ modulo $d$, with $m>n+1$. If $p_{n+1}+\cdots+p_{m-1}\equiv r\pmod{d}$ with $1\leq r\leq d$ then \[d \mid p_{n+1}+\cdots +p_m+\cdots+p_{m+r-1}.\]

OPEN

Is there a set $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ such that, for infinitely many $n$, all of $n-a$ are prime for all $a\in A$ with $0<a<n$ and
\[\liminf\frac{\lvert A\cap [1,x]\rvert}{\pi(x)}>0?\]

Erdős and Graham could show this is true (assuming the prime $k$-tuple conjecture) if we replace $\liminf$ by $\limsup$.

SOLVED

Is it true that, if $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ is sparse enough and does not cover all residue classes modulo $p$ for any prime $p$, then there exists some $n$ such that $n+a$ is prime for all $a\in A$?

Weisenberg [We24] has shown the answer is no: $A$ can be arbitrarily sparse and missing at least one residue class modulo every prime $p$, and yet $A+n$ is not contained in the primes for any $n\in \mathbb{Z}$.

OPEN

Fix some integer $n$ and define a decreasing sequence in $[1,n)$ by $a_1=n-1$ and, for $k\geq 2$, letting $a_k$ be the greatest integer in $[1,a_{k-1})$ such that all of the prime factors of $a_k$ are $>n-a_k$. Is it true that, for sufficiently large $n$, not all of this sequence can be prime?

Erdős and Graham write 'preliminary calculations made by Selfridge indicate that this is the case but no proof is in sight'. For example if $n=8$ we have $a_1=7$ and $a_2=5$ and then must stop.

OPEN

Are there two infinite sets $A$ and $B$ such that $A+B$ agrees with the set of prime numbers up to finitely many exceptions?

A problem of Ostmann, sometimes known as the 'inverse Goldbach problem'. The answer is surely no. The best result in this direction is due to Elsholtz and Harper [ElHa15], who showed that if $A,B$ are such sets then for all large $x$ we must have
\[\frac{x^{1/2}}{\log x\log\log x} \ll \lvert A \cap [1,x]\rvert \ll x^{1/2}\log\log x\]
and similarly for $B$.

Elsholtz [El01] has proved there are no infinite sets $A,B,C$ such that $A+B+C$ agrees with the set of prime numbers up to finitely many exceptions.

See also [432].

OPEN

If $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ is a finite set then let $G(A)$ denote the greatest integer which is not expressible as a finite sum of elements from $A$ (with repetitions allowed). Let
\[g(n,t)=\max G(A)\]
where the maximum is taken over all $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,t\}$ of size $\lvert A\rvert=n$ which has no common divisor. Is it true that
\[g(n,t)\sim \frac{t^2}{n-1}?\]

This type of problem is associated with Frobenius. Erdős and Graham [ErGr72] proved $g(n,t)<2t^2/n$, and there are examples which show that
\[g(n,t) \geq \frac{t^2}{n-1}-5t\]
for $n\geq 2$.

The problem is written as Erdős and Graham describe it, but presumably they had in mind the regime where $n$ is fixed and $t\to \infty$.

OPEN

Let $k\leq n$. What choice of $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,n\}$ of size $\lvert A\rvert=k$ maximises the number of integers not representable as the sum of finitely many elements from $A$ (with repetitions allowed)? Is it $\{n,n-1,\ldots,n-k+1\}$?

Associated with problems of Frobenius.

OPEN

If $p$ is a prime and $k,m\geq 2$ then let $r(k,m,p)$ be the minimal $r$ such that $r,r+1,\ldots,r+m-1$ are all $k$th power residues modulo $p$. Let
\[\Lambda(k,m)=\limsup_{p\to \infty} r(k,m,p).\]
Is it true that $\Lambda(k,2)$ is finite for all $k$? Is $\Lambda(k,3)$ finite for all odd $k$? How large are they?

SOLVED

How large can $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ be if $A+A$ contains no square numbers?

Taking all integers $\equiv 1\pmod{3}$ shows that $\lvert A\rvert\geq N/3$ is possible. This can be improved to $\tfrac{11}{32}N$ by taking all integers $\equiv 1,5,9,13,14,17,21,25,26,29,30\pmod{32}$, as observed by Massias.

Lagarias, Odlyzko, and Shearer [LOS83] proved this is sharp for the modular version of the problem; that is, if $A\subseteq \mathbb{Z}/N\mathbb{Z}$ is such that $A+A$ contains no squares then $\lvert A\rvert\leq \tfrac{11}{32}N$. They also prove the general upper bound of $\lvert A\rvert\leq 0.475N$ for the integer problem.

In fact $\frac{11}{32}$ is sharp in general, as shown by Khalfalah, Lodha, and Szemerédi [KLS02], who proved that the maximal such $A$ satisfies $\lvert A\rvert\leq (\tfrac{11}{32}+o(1))N$.

See also [587].

SOLVED

Is it true that, in any finite colouring of the integers, there must be two integers $x\neq y$ of the same colour such that $x+y$ is a square? What about a $k$th power?

A question of Roth, Erdős, Sárközy, and Sós. In other words, if $G$ is the infinite graph on $\mathbb{N}$ where we connect $m,n$ by an edge if and only if $n+m$ is a square, then is the chromatic number of $G$ equal to $\aleph_0$?

This is true, as proved by Khalfalah and Szemerédi [KhSz06], who in fact prove the general result with $x+y=z^2$ replaced by $x+y=f(z)$ for any non-constant $f(z)\in \mathbb{Z}[z]$ such that $2\mid f(z)$ for some $z\in \mathbb{Z}$.

OPEN

Let $A=\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be infinite and let $A(x)$ count the numer of indices for which $\mathrm{lcm}(a_i,a_{i+1})\leq x$. Is it true that $A(x) \ll x^{1/2}$? How large can
\[\liminf \frac{A(x)}{x^{1/2}}\]
be?

It is easy to give a sequence with
\[\limsup\frac{A(x)}{x^{1/2}}=c>0.\]
There are related results (particularly for the more general case of $\mathrm{lcm}(a_i,a_{i+1},\ldots,a_{i+k})$) in a paper of Erdős and Szemerédi [ErSz80].

SOLVED

Let $N\geq 1$. What is the size of the largest $A\subset \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that $\mathrm{lcm}(a,b)\leq N$ for all $a,b\in A$?

Is it attained by choosing all integers in $[1,(N/2)^{1/2}]$ together with all even integers in $[(N/2)^{1/2},(2N)^{1/2}]$?

Let $g(N)$ denote the size of the largest such $A$. The construction mentioned proves that
\[g(N) \geq \left(\tfrac{9}{8}n\right)^{1/2}+O(1).\]
Erdős [Er51b] proved $g(N) \leq (4n)^{1/2}+O(1)$. Chen [Ch98] established the asymptotic
\[g(N) \sim \left(\tfrac{9}{8}n\right)^{1/2}.\]
Chen and Dai [DaCh06] proved that
\[g(N)\leq \left(\tfrac{9}{8}n\right)^{1/2}+O\left(\left(\frac{N}{\log N}\right)^{1/2}\log\log N\right).\]
In [ChDa07] the same authors prove that, infinitely often, Erdős' construction is not optimal: if $B$ is that construction and $A$ is such that $\lvert A\rvert=g(N)$ then, for infinitely many $N$,
\[\lvert A\rvert\geq \lvert B\rvert+t,\]
where $t\geq 0$ is defined such that the $t$-fold iterated logarithm of $N$ is in $[0,1)$.

SOLVED

Is it true that if $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ is such that
\[\frac{1}{\log\log x}\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\frac{1}{n}\to \infty\]
then
\[\left(\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\frac{1}{n}\right)^{-2} \sum_{\substack{a,b\in A\cap (1,x]\\ a<b}}\frac{1}{\mathrm{lcm}(a,b)}\to \infty?\]

Tao [Ta24b] has shown this is false: there exists $A\subset\mathbb{N}$ such that
\[\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\gg \exp((\tfrac{1}{2}+o(1))\sqrt{\log\log x}\log\log\log x)\]
and
\[\left(\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\frac{1}{n}\right)^{-2} \sum_{\substack{a,b\in A\cap (1,x]\\ a<b}}\frac{1}{\mathrm{lcm}(a,b)}\ll 1.\]
Moreover, Tao shows this is the best possible result, in that if $\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\frac{1}{n}$ grows faster than $\exp(O(\sqrt{\log\log x}\log\log\log x))$ then
\[\left(\sum_{n\in A\cap [1,x)}\frac{1}{n}\right)^{-2} \sum_{\substack{a,b\in A\cap (1,x]\\ a<b}}\frac{1}{\mathrm{lcm}(a,b)}\to \infty.\]

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq\mathbb{N}$ be infinite and $d_A(n)$ count the number of $a\in A$ which divide $n$. Is it true that, for every $k$,
\[\limsup_{x\to \infty} \frac{\max_{n<x}d_A(n)}{\left(\sum_{n\in A\cap[1,x)}\frac{1}{n}\right)^k}=\infty?\]

The answer is yes, proved by Erdős and Sárkőzy [ErSa80].

SOLVED

Let $\delta(n)$ denote the density of integers which are divisible by some integer in $(n,2n)$. What is the growth rate of $\delta(n)$?

If $\delta'(n)$ is the density of integers which have exactly one divisor in $(n,2n)$ then is it true that $\delta'(n)=o(\delta(n))$?

Besicovitch [Be34] proved that $\liminf \delta(n)=0$. Erdős [Er35] proved that $\delta(n)=o(1)$. Erdős [Er60] proved that $\delta(n)=(\log n)^{-\alpha+o(1)}$ where
\[\alpha=1-\frac{1+\log\log 2}{\log 2}=0.08607\cdots.\]
This estimate was refined by Tenenbaum [Te84], and the true growth rate of $\delta(n)$ was determined by Ford [Fo08] who proved
\[\delta(n)\asymp \frac{1}{(\log n)^\alpha(\log\log n)^{3/2}}.\]

Among many other results in [Fo08], Ford also proves that the second conjecture is false, and more generally that if $\delta_r(n)$ is the density of integers with exactly $r$ divisors in $(n,2n)$ then $\delta_r(n)\gg_r\delta(n)$.

SOLVED

How large can a union-free collection $\mathcal{F}$ of subsets of $[n]$ be? By union-free we mean there are no solutions to $A\cup B=C$ with distinct $A,B,C\in \mathcal{F}$. Must $\lvert \mathcal{F}\rvert =o(2^n)$? Perhaps even
\[\lvert \mathcal{F}\rvert <(1+o(1))\binom{n}{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}?\]

The estimate $\lvert \mathcal{F}\rvert=o(2^n)$ implies that if $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ is a set of positive density then there are infinitely many distinct $a,b,c\in A$ such that $[a,b]=c$ (i.e. [487]).

Solved by Kleitman [Kl71], who proved \[\lvert \mathcal{F}\rvert <(1+o(1))\binom{n}{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}.\]

SOLVED

Let $\tau(n)$ count the divisors of $n$ and $\tau^+(n)$ count the number of $k$ such that $n$ has a divisor in $[2^k,2^{k+1})$. Is it true that, for all $\epsilon>0$,
\[\tau^+(n) < \epsilon \tau(n)\]
for almost all $n$?

This is false, and was disproved by Erdős and Tenenbaum [ErTe81], who showed that in fact the upper density of the set of such $n$ is $\asymp \epsilon^{1-o(1)}$ (where the $o(1)$ in the exponent $\to 0$ as $\epsilon \to 0$).

A more precise result was proved by Hall and Tenenbaum [HaTe88] (see Section 4.6), who showed that the upper density is $\ll\epsilon \log(2/\epsilon)$. Hall and Tenenbaum further prove that $\tau^+(n)/\tau(n)$ has a distribution function.

Erdős and Graham also asked whether there is a good inequality known for $\sum_{n\leq x}\tau^+(n)$. This was provided by Ford [Fo08] who proved \[\sum_{n\leq x}\tau^+(n)\asymp x\frac{(\log x)^{1-\alpha}}{(\log\log x)^{3/2}}\] where \[\alpha=1-\frac{1+\log\log 2}{\log 2}=0.08607\cdots.\]

SOLVED

Let $r(n)$ count the number of $d_1,d_2$ such that $d_1\mid n$ and $d_2\mid n$ and $d_1<d_2<2d_1$. Is it true that, for every $\epsilon>0$,
\[r(n) < \epsilon \tau(n)\]
for almost all $n$, where $\tau(n)$ is the number of divisors of $n$?

This is false - indeed, for any constant $K>0$ we have $r(n)>K\tau(n)$ for a positive density set of $n$. Kevin Ford has observed this follows from the negative solution to [448]: the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality implies
\[r(n)+\tau(n)\geq \tau(n)^2/\tau^+(n)\]
where $\tau^+(n)$ is as defined in [448], and the negative solution to [448] implies the right-hand side is at least $(K+1)\tau(n)$ for a positive density set of $n$. (This argument is given for an essentially identical problem by Hall and Tenenbaum [HaTe88], Section 4.6.)

See also [448].

OPEN

How large must $y=y(\epsilon,n)$ be such that the number of integers in $(x,x+y)$ with a divisor in $(n,2n)$ is at most $\epsilon y$?

OPEN

Estimate $n_k$, the smallest integer such that $\prod_{1\leq i\leq k}(n_k-i)$ has no prime factor in $(k,2k)$.

Erdős and Graham write 'we can prove $n_k>k^{1+c}$ but no doubt much more is true'.

In [Er79d] Erdős writes that probably $n_k<e^{o(k)}$ but $n_k>k^d$ for all constant $d$.

OPEN

Let $\omega(n)$ count the number of distinct prime factors of $n$. What is the size of the largest interval $I\subseteq [x,2x]$ such that $\omega(n)>\log\log n$ for all $n\in I$?

Erdős [Er37] proved that the density of integers $n$ with $\omega(n)>\log\log n$ is $1/2$. The Chinese remainder theorem implies that there is such an interval with
\[\lvert I\rvert \geq (1+o(1))\frac{\log x}{(\log\log x)^2}.\]
It could be true that there is such an interval of length $(\log x)^{k}$ for arbitrarily large $k$.

OPEN

Let $p_n$ be the smallest prime $\equiv 1\pmod{n}$ and let $m_n$ be the smallest integer such that $n\mid \phi(m_n)$. Is it true that $p_n>m_n$ for almost all $n$? Does $p_n/m_n\to \infty$ for almost all $n$? Are there infinitely many primes $p$ such that $p-1$ is the only $n$ for which $m_n=p$?

Linnik's theorem implies that $p_n\leq n^{O(1)}$. Erdős [Er79e] writes it is 'easy to show' that for infinitely many $n$ we have $p_n <m_n$.

OPEN

Is there some $\epsilon>0$ such that there are infinitely many $n$ where all primes $p\leq (2+\epsilon)\log n$ divide
\[\prod_{1\leq i\leq \log n}(n+i)?\]

A problem of Erdős and Pomerance.

More generally, let $q(n,k)$ denote the least prime which does not divide $\prod_{1\leq i\leq k}(n+i)$. This problem asks whether $q(n,\log n)\geq (2+\epsilon)\log n$ infinitely often. Taking $n$ to be the product of primes between $\log n$ and $(2+o(1))\log n$ gives an example where \[q(n,\log n)\geq (2+o(1))\log n.\]

Can one prove that $q(n,\log n)<(1-\epsilon)(\log n)^2$ for all large $n$ and some $\epsilon>0$?

See also [663].

OPEN

Let $[1,\ldots,n]$ denote the least common multiple of $\{1,\ldots,n\}$. Is it true that, for all $k\geq 1$,
\[[1,\ldots,p_{k+1}-1]< p_k[1,\ldots,p_k]?\]

Erdős and Graham write this is 'almost certainly' true, but the proof is beyond our ability, for two reasons (at least):

- Firstly, one has to rule out the possibility of many primes $q$ such that $p_k<q^2<p_{k+1}$. There should be at most one such $q$, which would follow from $p_{k+1}-p_k<p_k^{1/2}$, which is essentially the notorious Legendre's conjecture.
- The small primes also cause trouble.

OPEN

Let $a_0=n$ and $a_1=1$, and in general $a_k$ is the least integer $>a_{k-1}$ for which $(n-a_k,n-a_i)=1$ for all $1\leq i<k$. Does
\[\sum_{i}\frac{1}{a_i}\to \infty\]
as $n\to \infty$? What about if we restrict the sum to those $i$ such that $n-a_j$ is divisible by some prime $\leq a_j$, or the complement of such $i$?

This question arose in work of Eggleton, Erdős, and Selfridge.

OPEN

Let $s_t(n)$ be the $t$-smooth component of $n$ - that is, the product of all primes $p$ (with multiplicity) dividing $n$ such that $p<t$. Let $f(n,t)$ count the number of distinct possible values for $s_t(m)$ for $m\in [n+1,n+t]$. Is there an $\epsilon>0$ such that
\[f(n,t)>\epsilon t\]
for all $t$ and $n$?

Erdős and Graham report they can show
\[f(n,t) \gg \frac{t}{\log t}.\]

OPEN

Let $p(n)$ denote the least prime factor of $n$. There is a constant $c>0$ such that
\[\sum_{\substack{n<x\\ n\textrm{ not prime}}}\frac{p(n)}{n}\sim c\frac{x^{1/2}}{(\log x)^2}.\]
Is it true that there exists a constant $C>0$ such that
\[\sum_{x\leq n\leq x+Cx^{1/2}(\log x)^2}\frac{p(n)}{n} \gg 1\]
for all large $x$?

SOLVED

Let $A=\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}\subset \mathbb{N}$ be a lacunary sequence (so there exists some $\lambda>1$ with $a_{k+1}\geq \lambda a_k$ for all $k$). Is there an irrational $\alpha$ such that
\[\{ \{\alpha a_k\} : k\geq 1\}\]
is not everywhere dense in $[0,1]$ (where $\{x\}=x-\lfloor x\rfloor$ is the fractional part).

Erdős and Graham write the existence of such an $\alpha$ has 'very recently been shown', but frustratingly give neither a name nor a reference. I will try to track down this solution soon.

SOLVED

Let $N(X,\delta)$ denote the maximum number of points $P_1,\ldots,P_n$ which can be chosen in a circle of radius $X$ such that
\[\| \lvert P_i-P_j\rvert \| \geq \delta\]
for all $1\leq i<j\leq n$. (Here $\|x\|$ is the distance from $x$ to the nearest integer.)

Is it true that, for any $0<\delta<1/2$, we have \[N(X,\delta)=o(X)?\] In fact, is it true that (for any fixed $\delta>0$) \[N(X,\delta)<X^{1/2+o(1)}?\]

The first conjecture was proved by Sárközy [Sa76], who in fact proved
\[N(X,\delta) \ll \delta^{-3}\frac{X}{\log\log X}.\]
See also [466].

Even a stronger statement is true, as shown by Konyagin [Ko01], who proved that \[N(X,\delta) \ll_\delta N^{1/2}.\]

SOLVED

Let $N(X,\delta)$ denote the maximum number of points $P_1,\ldots,P_n$ which can be chosen in a circle of radius $X$ such that
\[\| \lvert P_i-P_j\rvert \| \geq \delta\]
for all $1\leq i<j\leq n$. (Here $\|x\|$ is the distance from $x$ to the nearest integer.)

Is there some $\delta>0$ such that \[\lim_{x\to \infty}N(X,\delta)=\infty?\]

OPEN

Prove the following for all large $x$: there is a choice of congruence classes $a_p$ for all primes $p\leq x$ and a decomposition $\{p\leq x\}=A\sqcup B$ into two non-empty sets such that, for all $n<x$, there exist some $p\in A$ and $q\in B$ such that $n\equiv a_p\pmod{p}$ and $n\equiv a_q\pmod{q}$.

This is what I assume the intended problem is, although the presentation in [ErGr80] is missing some crucial quantifiers, so I may have misinterpreted it.

OPEN

For any $n$ let $D_n$ be the set of sums of the shape $d_1,d_1+d_2,d_1+d_2+d_3,\ldots$ where $1<d_1<d_2<\cdots$ are the divisors of $n$.

What is the size of $D_n\backslash \cup_{m<n}D_m$?

If $f(N)$ is the minimal $n$ such that $N\in D_n$ then is it true that $f(N)=o(N)$? Perhaps just for almost all $N$?

OPEN

Let $A$ be the set of all $n$ such that $n=d_1+\cdots+d_k$ with $d_i$ distinct proper divisors of $n$, but this is not true for any $m\mid n$ with $m<n$. Does
\[\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}\]
converge?

The same question can be asked for those $n$ which do not have distinct sums of sets of divisors, but any proper divisor of $n$ does.

OPEN

Call $n$ weird if $\sigma(n)\geq 2n$ and $n\neq d_1+\cdots+d_k$, where the $d_i$ are distinct proper divisors of $n$. Are there any odd weird numbers? Are there infinitely many primitive weird numbers, i.e. those such that no proper divisor of $n$ is weird?

Weird numbers were investigated by Benkoski and Erdős [BeEr74], who proved that the set of weird numbers has positive density.

Melfi [Me15] has proved that there are infinitely many primitive weird numbers, conditional on various well-known conjectures on the distribution of prime gaps. For example, it would suffice to show that $p_{n+1}-p_n <\frac{1}{10}p_n^{1/2}$ for sufficiently large $n$.

OPEN

Given a finite set of primes $Q=Q_0$, define a sequence of sets $Q_i$ by letting $Q_{i+1}$ be $Q_i$ together with all primes formed by adding three distinct elements of $Q_i$. Is there some initial choice of $Q$ such that the $Q_i$ become arbitrarily large?

A problem of Ulam. In particular, what about $Q=\{3,5,7,11\}$?

OPEN

Given some initial finite sequence of primes $q_1<\cdots<q_m$ extend it so that $q_{n+1}$ is the smallest prime of the form $q_n+q_i-1$ for $n\geq m$. Is there an initial starting sequence so that the resulting sequence is infinite?

A problem due to Ulam. For example if we begin with $3,5$ then the sequence continues $3,5,7,11,13,17,\ldots$. It is possible that this sequence is infinite.

SOLVED

Is there a permutation $a_1,a_2,\ldots$ of the positive integers such that $a_k+a_{k+1}$ is always prime?

Asked by Segal. The answer is yes, as shown by Odlyzko.

Watts has suggested that perhaps the obvious greedy algorithm defines such a permutation - that is, let $a_1=1$ and let \[a_{n+1}=\min \{ x : a_n+x\textrm{ is prime and }x\neq a_i\textrm{ for }i\leq n\}.\] In other words, do all positive integers occur as some such $a_n$? Do all primes occur as a sum?

OPEN

Let $b_1=1$ and in general let $b_{n+1}$ be the least integer which is not of the shape $\sum_{u\leq i\leq v}b_i$ for some $1\leq u\leq v\leq n$. How does this sequence grow?

The sequence is OEIS A002048 and begins
\[1,2,4,5,8,10,14,15,16,21,22,23,25,\ldots.\]
In general, if $a_1<a_2<\cdots$ is a sequence so that no $a_n$ is a sum of consecutive $a_i$s, then must the density of the $a_i$ be zero? What about the lower density?

OPEN

Let $p$ be a prime. Given any finite set $A\subseteq \mathbb{F}_p\backslash \{0\}$, is there always a rearrangement $A=\{a_1,\ldots,a_t\}$ such that all partial sums $\sum_{1\leq k\leq m}a_{k}$ are distinct, for all $1\leq m\leq t$?

A problem of Graham, who proved it when $t=p-1$. A similar conjecture was made for arbitrary abelian groups by Alspach. Such an ordering is often called a valid ordering.

This has been proved for $t\leq 12$ (see Costa and Pellegrini [CoPe20] and the references therein) and for $p-3\leq t\leq p-1$ (see Hicks, Ollis, and Schmitt [HOS19] and the references therein). Kravitz [Kr24] has proved this for \[t \leq \frac{\log p}{\log\log p}.\]

OPEN

Is it true that, for all $k\neq 1$, there are infinitely many $n$ such that $2^n\equiv k\pmod{n}$?

A conjecture of Graham. It is easy to see that $2^n\not\equiv 1\mod{n}$ for all $n>1$, so the restriction $k\neq 1$ is necessary. Erdős and Graham report that Graham, Lehmer, and Lehmer have proved this for $k=2^i$ for $i\geq 1$, or if $k=-1$, but I cannot find such a paper.

As an indication of the difficulty, when $k=3$ the smallest $n$ such that $2^n\equiv 3\pmod{n}$ is $n=4700063497$.

SOLVED

Let $x_1,x_2,\ldots\in [0,1]$ be an infinite sequence. Is it true that there are infinitely many $m,n$ such that
\[\lvert x_{m+n}-x_n\rvert \leq \frac{1}{\sqrt{5}n}?\]

A conjecture of Newman. This was proved Chung and Graham, who in fact show that for any $\epsilon>0$ there must exist some $n$ such that there are infinitely many $m$ for which
\[\lvert x_{m+n}-x_m\rvert < \frac{1}{(c-\epsilon)n}\]
where
\[c=1+\sum_{k\geq 1}\frac{1}{F_{2k}}=2.535\cdots\]
and $F_m$ is the $m$th Fibonacci number. This constant is best possible.

OPEN

Let $a_1,\ldots,a_r,b_1,\ldots,b_r\in \mathbb{N}$ such that $\sum_{i}\frac{1}{a_i}>1$. For any finite sequence of $n$ (not necessarily distinct) integers $A=(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ let $T(A)$ denote the sequence of length $rn$ given by
\[(a_ix_j+b_i)_{1\leq j\leq n, 1\leq i\leq r}.\]
Prove that, if $A_1=(1)$ and $A_{i+1}=T(A_i)$, then there must be some $A_k$ with repeated elements.

Erdős and Graham write that 'it is surprising that [this problem] offers difficulty'.

The original formulation of this problem had an extra condition on the minimal element of the sequence $A_k$ being large, but Ryan Alweiss has pointed out that is trivially always satisfied since the minimal element of the sequence must grow by at least $1$ at each stage.

SOLVED

Define a sequence by $a_1=1$ and
\[a_{n+1}=\lfloor\sqrt{2}(a_n+1/2)\rfloor\]
for $n\geq 1$. The difference $a_{2n+1}-2a_{2n-1}$ is the $n$th digit in the binary expansion of $\sqrt{2}$.

Find similar results for $\theta=\sqrt{m}$, and other algebraic numbers.

OPEN

Prove that there exists an absolute constant $c>0$ such that, whenever $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ is $k$-coloured (and $N$ is large enough depending on $k$) then there are at least $cN$ many integers in $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ which are representable as a monochromatic sum (that is, $a+b$ where $a,b\in \{1,\ldots,N\}$ are in the same colour class).

A conjecture of Roth.

SOLVED

Let $f(k)$ be the minimum number of terms in $P(x)^2$, where $P\in \mathbb{Q}[x]$ ranges over all polynomials with exactly $k$ non-zero terms. Is it true that $f(k)\to\infty$ as $k\to \infty$?

First investigated by Rényi and Rédei [Re47]. Erdős [Er49b] proved that $f(k)<k^{1-c}$ for some $c>0$. The conjecture that $f(k)\to \infty$ is due to Erdős and Rényi.

This was solved by Schinzel [Sc87], who proved that \[f(k) > \frac{\log\log k}{\log 2}.\] In fact Schinzel proves lower bounds for the corresponding problem with $P(x)^n$ for any integer $n\geq 1$, where the coefficients of the polynomial can be from any field with zero or sufficiently large positive characteristic.

Schinzel and Zannier [ScZa09] have improved this to \[f(k) \gg \log k.\]

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$, and for each $n\in A$ choose some $X_n\subseteq \mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$. Let
\[B = \{ m\in \mathbb{N} : m\not\in X_n\pmod{n}\textrm{ for all }n\in A\}.\]
Must $B$ have a logarithmic density, i.e. is it true that
\[\lim_{x\to \infty} \frac{1}{\log x}\sum_{\substack{m\in B\\ m<x}}\frac{1}{m}\]
exists?

SOLVED

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ have positive density. Must there exist distinct $a,b,c\in A$ such that $[a,b]=c$ (where $[a,b]$ is the lowest common multiple of $a$ and $b$)?

OPEN

Let $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be a set such that $\lvert A\cap [1,x]\rvert=o(x^{1/2})$. Let
\[B=\{ n\geq 1 : a\nmid n\textrm{ for all }a\in A\}.\]
If $B=\{b_1<b_2<\cdots\}$ then is it true that
\[\lim \frac{1}{x}\sum_{b_i<x}(b_{i+1}-b_i)^2\]
exists (and is finite)?

For example, when $A=\{p^2: p\textrm{ prime}\}$ then $B$ is the set of squarefree numbers, and the existence of this limit was proved by Erdős.

See also [208].

SOLVED

Let $A,B\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ be such that all the products $ab$ with $a\in A$ and $b\in B$ are distinct. Is it true that
\[\lvert A\rvert \lvert B\rvert \ll \frac{N^2}{\log N}?\]

This would be best possible, for example letting $A=[1,N/2]\cap \mathbb{N}$ and $B=\{ N/2<p\leq N: p\textrm{ prime}\}$.

See also [425].

This is true, and was proved by Szemerédi [Sz76].

SOLVED

Let $f:\mathbb{N}\to \mathbb{R}$ be an additive function (i.e. $f(ab)=f(a)+f(b)$ whenever $(a,b)=1$). If there is a constant $c$ such that $\lvert f(n+1)-f(n)\rvert <c$ for all $n$ then must there exist some $c'$ such that
\[f(n)=c'\log n+O(1)?\]

SOLVED

Let $A=\{a_1<a_2<\cdots\}\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ be infinite such that $a_{i+1}/a_i\to 1$. For any $x\geq a_1$ let
\[f(x) = \frac{x-a_i}{a_{i+1}-a_i}\in [0,1),\]
where $x\in [a_i,a_{i+1})$. Is it true that, for almost all $\alpha$, the sequence $f(\alpha n)$ is uniformly distributed in $[0,1)$?

SOLVED

Does there exist a $k$ such that every sufficiently large integer can be written in the form
\[\prod_{i=1}^k a_i - \sum_{i=1}^k a_i\]
for some integers $a_i\geq 2$?

Erdős attributes this question to Schinzel. Eli Seamans has observed that the answer is yes (with $k=2$) for a very simple reason:
\[n = 2(n+2)-(2+(n+2)).\]
There may well have been some additional constraint in the problem as Schinzel posed it, but [Er61] does not record what this is.

OPEN

Let $A\subset \mathbb{C}$ be a finite set of fixed size, for any $k\geq 1$ let
\[A_k = \{ z_1+\cdots+z_k : z_i\in A\textrm{ distinct}\}.\]
For $k>2$ does the set $A_k$ (together with the size of $A$) uniquely determine the set $A$?

A problem of Selfridge and Straus [SeSt58], who prove that this is true if $k=2$ and $\lvert A\rvert \neq 2^l$ (for $l\geq 0$). On the other hand, there are examples with two distinct $A,B$ both of size $2^l$ such that $A_2=B_2$.

More generally, they prove that $A$ is uniquely determined by $A_k$ if $n$ is divisible by a prime greater than $k$. Selfridge and Straus sound more cautious than Erdős, and it may well be that for all $k>2$ there exist $A,B$ of the same size with identical $A_k=B_k$.

(In [Er61] Erdős states this problem incorrectly, replacing sums with products. This product formulation is easily seen to be false, as observed by Steinerberger: consider the case $k=3$ and subsets of the 6th roots of unity corresponding to $\{0,1,2,4\}$ and $\{0,2,3,4\}$ (as subsets of $\mathbb{Z}/6\mathbb{Z}$). The correct problem statement can be found in the paper of Selfridge and Straus that Erdős cites.)

OPEN

Let $\alpha,\beta \in \mathbb{R}$. Is it true that
\[\liminf_{n\to \infty} n \| n\alpha \| \| n\beta\| =0\]
where $\|x\|$ is the distance from $x$ to the nearest integer?

The infamous Littlewood conjecture.

SOLVED

Let $\alpha \in \mathbb{R}$ be irrational and $\epsilon>0$. Are there positive integers $x,y,z$ such that
\[\lvert x^2+y^2-z^2\alpha\rvert <\epsilon?\]

Originally a conjecture due to Oppenheim. Davenport and Heilbronn [DaHe46] solve the analogous problem for quadratic forms in 5 variables.

This is true, and was proved by Margulis [Ma89].

SOLVED

How many antichains in $[n]$ are there? That is, how many families of subsets of $[n]$ are there such that, if $\mathcal{F}$ is such a family and $A,B\in \mathcal{F}$, then $A\not\subseteq B$?

Sperner's theorem states that $\lvert \mathcal{F}\rvert \leq \binom{n}{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}$. This is also known as Dedekind's problem.

Resolved by Kleitman [Kl69], who proved that the number of such families is \[2^{(1+o(1))\binom{n}{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}}.\]

SOLVED

Let $z_1,\ldots,z_n\in\mathbb{C}$. Let $D$ be an arbitrary disc of radius $1$. Is it true that the number of sums of the shape
\[\sum_{i=1}^n\epsilon_iz_i \textrm{ for }\epsilon_i\in \{-1,1\}\]
which lie in $D$ is at most $\binom{n}{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}$?

A strong form of the Littlewood-Offord problem. Erdős proved this is true if $z_i\in\mathbb{R}$, and for general $z_i\in\mathbb{C}$ proved a weaker upper bound of
\[\ll \frac{2^n}{\sqrt{n}}.\]
This was solved in the affirmative by Kleitman [Kl65], who also later generalised this to arbitrary Hilbert spaces [Kl70].

SOLVED

Let $M=(a_{ij})$ be a real $n\times n$ doubly stochastic matrix (i.e. the entries are non-negative and each column and row sums to $1$). Does there exist some $\sigma\in S_n$ such that
\[\prod_{1\leq i\leq n}a_{i\sigma(i)}\geq n^{-n}?\]

A weaker form of the conjecture of van der Waerden, which states that
\[\mathrm{perm}(M)=\sum_{\sigma\in S_n}\prod_{1\leq i\leq n}a_{i\sigma(i)}\geq n^{-n}n!\]
with equality if and only if $a_{ij}=1/n$ for all $i,j$.

This conjecture is true, and was proved by Marcus and Minc [MaMi62].

Erdős also conjectured the even weaker fact that there exists some $\sigma\in S_n$ such that $a_{i\sigma(i)}\neq 0$ for all $i$ and \[\sum_{i}a_{i\sigma(i)}\geq 1.\] This weaker statement was proved by Marcus and Ree [MaRe59].

van der Waerden's conjecture itself was proved by Gyires [Gy80], Egorychev [Eg81], and Falikman [Fa81].

OPEN

For every $x\in\mathbb{R}$ let $A_x\subset \mathbb{R}$ be a bounded set with outer measure $<1$. Must there exist an infinite independent set, that is, some infinite $X\subseteq \mathbb{R}$ such that $x\not\in A_y$ for all $x\neq y\in X$?

If the sets $A_x$ are closed and have measure $<1$, then must there exist an independent set of size $3$?

Erdős and Hajnal [ErHa60] proved the existence of arbitrarily large finite independent sets (under the assumptions in the first problem).

Erdős writes in [Er61] that Gladysz has proved the existence of an independent set of size $2$ in the second question, but I cannot find a reference.

Hechler [He72] has shown the answer to the first question is no, assuming the continuum hypothesis.

SOLVED

What is the size of the largest $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ such that there are only two distinct distances between elements of $A$? That is,
\[\# \{ \lvert x-y\rvert : x\neq y\in A\} = 2.\]

Asked to Erdős by Coxeter. Erdős thought he could show that $\lvert A\rvert \leq n^{O(1)}$, but later discovered a mistake in his proof, and his proof only gave $\leq \exp(n^{1-o(1)})$.

Bannai, Bannai, and Stanton [BBS83] have proved that \[\lvert A\rvert \leq \binom{n+2}{2}.\] A simple proof of this upper bound was given by Petrov and Pohoata [PePo21].

Shengtong Zhang has observed that a simple lower bound of $\binom{n}{2}$ is given by considering all points with exactly two coordinates equal to $1$ and all others equal to $0$.

OPEN

What is the size of the largest $A\subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ such that every three points from $A$ determine an isosceles triangle? That is, for any three points $x,y,z$ from $A$, at least two of the distances $\lvert x-y\rvert,\lvert y-z\rvert,\lvert x-z\rvert$ are equal.

When $n=2$ the answer is $6$ (due to Kelly [ErKe47]). When $n=3$ the answer is $8$ (due to Croft [Cr62]). The best upper bound known in general is due to Blokhuis [Bl84] who showed that
\[\lvert A\rvert \leq \binom{n+2}{2}.\]

Alweiss has observed a lower bound of $\binom{n+1}{2}$ follows from considering the subset of $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ formed of all vectors $e_i+e_j$ where $e_i,e_j$ are distinct coordinate vectors. This set can be viewed as a subset of some $\mathbb{R}^n$, and is easily checked to have the required property.

The fact that the truth for $n=3$ is $8$ suggests that neither of these bounds is the truth.

SOLVED

Let $\alpha_n$ be the infimum of all $0\leq \alpha\leq \pi$ such that in every set $A\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ of size $n$ there exist three distinct points $x,y,z\in A$ such that the angle determined by $xyz$ is at least $\alpha$. Determine $\alpha_n$.

Blumenthal's problem. Szekeres [Sz41] showed that
\[\alpha_{2^n+1}> \pi \left(1-\frac{1}{n}+\frac{1}{n(2^n+1)^2}\right)\]
and
\[\alpha_{2^n}\leq \pi\left(1-\frac{1}{n}\right).\]
Erdős and Szekeres [ErSz60] showed that
\[\alpha_{2^n}=\alpha_{2^n-1}= \pi\left(1-\frac{1}{n}\right),\]
and suggested that perhaps $\alpha_{N}=\pi(1-1/n)$ for $2^{n-1}<N\leq 2^n$. This was disproved by Sendov [Se92].

Sendov [Se93] provided the definitive answer, proving that $\alpha_N=\pi(1-1/n)$ for $2^{n-1}+2^{n-3}<N\leq 2^n$ and $\alpha_N=\pi(1-\frac{1}{2n-1})$ for $2^{n-1}<N\leq 2^{n-1}+2^{n-3}$.

SOLVED

Is every set of diameter $1$ in $\mathbb{R}^n$ the union of at most $n+1$ sets of diameter $<1$?

Borsuk's problem. This is trivially true for $n=1$ and easy for $n=2$. For $n=3$ it is true, which was proved by Eggleston [Eg55].

The answer is in fact no in general, as shown by Kahn and Kalai [KaKa93], who proved that it is false for $n>2014$. The current smallest $n$ where Borsuk's conjecture is known to be false is $n=64$, a result of Brouwer and Jenrich [BrJe14].

If $\alpha(n)$ is the smallest number of pieces of diameter $<1$ required (so Borsuk's original conjecture was that $\alpha(n)=n+1$) then Kahn and Kalai's construction shows that $\alpha(n)\geq (1.2)^{\sqrt{n}}$. The best upper bound, due to Schramm [Sc88], is that \[\alpha(n) \leq ((3/2)^{1/2}+o(1))^{n}.\]

OPEN

What is the minimum number of circles determined by any $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$, not all on a circle?

OPEN

Let $\alpha(n)$ be such that every set of $n$ points in the unit circle contains three points which determine a triangle of area at most $\alpha(n)$. Estimate $\alpha(n)$.

Heilbronn's triangle problem. It is trivial that $\alpha(n) \ll 1/n$. Erdős observed that $\alpha(n)\gg 1/n^2$. The current best bounds are
\[\frac{\log n}{n^2}\ll \alpha(n) \ll \frac{1}{n^{8/7+1/2000}}.\]
The lower bound is due to Komlós, Pintz, and Szemerédi [KPS82]. The upper bound is due to Cohen, Pohoata, and Zakharov [CPZ23] (improving on an exponent of $8/7$ due to Komlós, Pintz, and Szemerédi [KPS81]).

OPEN

What is the chromatic number of the plane? That is, what is the smallest number of colours required to colour $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that no two points of the same colour are distance $1$ apart?

The Hadwiger-Nelson problem. Let $\chi$ be the chromatic number of the plane. An equilateral triangle trivially shows that $\chi\geq 3$. There are several small graphs that show $\chi\geq 4$ (in particular the Moser spindle and Golomb graph). The best bounds currently known are
\[5 \leq \chi \leq 7.\]
The lower bound is due to de Grey [dG18]. The upper bound can be seen by colouring the plane by tesselating by hexagons with diameter slightly less than $1$.

OPEN

Let $f(z)\in\mathbb{C}[z]$ be a monic non-constant polynomial. Can the set
\[\{ z\in \mathbb{C} : \lvert f(z)\rvert \leq 1\}\]
be covered by a set of circles the sum of whose radii is $\leq 2$?

OPEN

If $A\subset \mathbb{Z}$ is a finite set of size $N$ then is there some absolute constant $c>0$ and $\theta$ such that
\[\sum_{n\in A}\cos(n\theta) < -cN^{1/2}?\]

OPEN

Let $f(z)\in \mathbb{C}[z]$ be a monic polynomial of degree $n$ and
\[A = \{ z\in \mathbb{C} : \lvert f(z)\rvert\leq 1\}.\]
Is it true that, for every such $f$ and constant $c>0$, the set $A$ can have at most $O_c(1)$ many components of diameter $>1+c$ (where the implied constant is in particular independent of $n$)?

SOLVED

Is it true that, if $A\subset \mathbb{Z}$ is a finite set of size $N$, then
\[\int_0^1 \left\lvert \sum_{n\in A}e(n\theta)\right\rvert \mathrm{d}\theta \gg \log N,\]
where $e(x)=e^{2\pi ix }$?

OPEN

Let $f=\sum_{n=0}^\infty a_nz^n$ be an entire function. What is the greatest possible value of
\[\liminf_{r\to \infty} \frac{\max_n\lvert a_nr^n\rvert}{\max_{\lvert z\rvert=r}\lvert f(z)\rvert}?\]

OPEN

Let $f(z)$ be an entire function. Does there exist a path $L$ so that, for every $n$,
\[\lvert f(z)/z^n\rvert \to \infty\]
as $z\to \infty$ along $L$?

Can the length of this path be estimated in terms of $M(r)=\max_{\lvert z\rvert=r}\lvert f(z)\rvert$? Does there exist a path along which $\lvert f(z)\rvert$ tends to $\infty$ faster than a fixed function of $M(r)$ (such that $M(r)^\epsilon$)?

Boas (unpublished) has proved the first part, that such a path must exist.

OPEN

Let $f(z)$ be an entire function, not a polynomial. Does there exist a path $C$ such that, for every $\lambda>0$, the integral
\[\int_C \lvert f(z)\rvert^{-\lambda} \mathrm{d}z\]
is finite?

Huber [Hu57] proved that for every $\lambda>0$ there is a path $C_\lambda$ such that this integral is finite.

OPEN

Let $f(z)=\sum_{k\geq 1}a_k z^{n_k}$ be an entire function of finite order such that $\lim n_k/k=\infty$. Let $M(r)=\max_{\lvert z\rvert=r}\lvert f(z)\rvert$ and $m(r)=\max_n \lvert a_nr^n\rvert$. Is it true that
\[\limsup\frac{\log m(r)}{\log M(r)}=1?\]

OPEN

Let $f(z)=\sum_{k=1}^\infty a_kz^{n_k}$ be an entire function. Is it true that if $n_k/k\to \infty$ then $f(z)$ assumes every value infinitely often?

OPEN

Let $A_1,A_2,\ldots$ be sets of complex numbers, none of which has a limit point in $\mathbb{C}$. Does there exist an entire function $f(z)$ and a sequence $n_1<n_2<\cdots$ such that $f^{(n_k)}$ vanishes on $A_k$ for all $k\geq 1$?

SOLVED

Let $z_1,\ldots,z_n\in \mathbb{C}$ with $z_1=1$. Must there exist an absolute constant $c>0$ such that
\[\max_{1\leq k\leq n}\left\lvert \sum_{i}z_i^k\right\rvert>c?\]

A problem of Turán, who proved that this maximum is $\gg 1/n$. This was solved by Atkinson [At61b], who showed that $c=1/6$ suffices. This has been improved by Biró, first to $c=1/2$ [Bi94], and later to an absolute constant $c>1/2$ [Bi00]. Based on computational evidence it is likely that the optimal value of $c$ is $\approx 0.7$.

SOLVED

Let $f$ be a Rademacher multiplicative function: a random $\{-1,0,1\}$-valued multiplicative function, where for each prime $p$ we independently choose $f(p)\in \{-1,1\}$ uniformly at random, and for square-free integers $n$ we extend $f(p_1\cdots p_r)=f(p_1)\cdots f(p_r)$ (and $f(n)=0$ if $n$ is not squarefree). Does there exist some constant $c>0$ such that, almost surely,
\[\limsup_{N\to \infty}\frac{\sum_{m\leq N}f(m)}{\sqrt{N\log\log N}}=c?\]

Note that if we drop the multiplicative assumption, and simply assign $f(m)=\pm 1$ at random, then this statement is true (with $c=\sqrt{2}$), the law of the iterated logarithm.

Wintner [Wi44] proved that, almost surely, \[\sum_{m\leq N}f(m)\ll N^{1/2+o(1)},\] and Erdős improved the right-hand side to $N^{1/2}(\log N)^{O(1)}$. Lau, Tenenbaum, and Wu [LTW13] have shown that, almost surely, \[\sum_{m\leq N}f(m)\ll N^{1/2}(\log\log N)^{2+o(1)}.\] Harper [Ha13] has shown that the sum is almost surely not $O(N^{1/2}/(\log\log N)^{5/2+o(1)})$, and conjectured that in fact Erdős' conjecture is false, and almost surely \[\sum_{m\leq N}f(m) \ll N^{1/2}(\log\log N)^{1/4+o(1)}.\] This was proved by Caich [Ca23].

OPEN

For any $t\in (0,1)$ let $t=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \epsilon_k(t)2^{-k}$ (where $\epsilon_k(t)\in \{0,1\}$). Let $R_n(t)$ denote the number of real roots of $\sum_{1\leq k\leq n}\epsilon_k(t)z^k$. Is it true that, for almost all $t\in (0,1)$, we have
\[\lim_{n\to \infty}\frac{R_n(t)}{\log n}=\frac{\pi}{2}?\]

OPEN

Is it true that all except $o(2^n)$ many polynomials of degree $n$ with $\pm 1$-valued coefficients have $(\frac{1}{2}+o(1))n$ many roots in $\{ z\in \mathbb{C} : \lvert z\rvert \leq 1\}$?

For any $t\in (0,1)$ let $t=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \epsilon_k(t)2^{-k}$ (where $\epsilon_k(t)\in \{0,1\}$). If $S_n(t)$ is the number of roots of $\sum_{1\leq k\leq n}\epsilon_k(t)z^k$ in $\lvert z\rvert \leq1$ then is it true that, for almost all $t\in (0,1)$, \[\lim_{n\to \infty}\frac{S_n(t)}{n}=\frac{1}{2}?\]

Erdős and Offord [EO56] showed that the number of real roots of a random degree $n$ polynomial with $\pm 1$ coefficients is $(\frac{2}{\pi}+o(1))\log n$.

See also [521].

OPEN

For any $t\in (0,1)$ let $t=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \epsilon_k(t)2^{-k}$ (where $\epsilon_k(t)\in \{0,1\}$). Does there exist some constant $C>0$ such that, for almost all $t\in (0,1)$,
\[\max_{\lvert z\rvert=1}\left\lvert \sum_{k\leq n}\epsilon_k(t)z^k\right\rvert=(C+o(1))\sqrt{n\log n}?\]

Salem and Zygmund [SZ54] proved that $\sqrt{n\log n}$ is the right order of magnitude, but not an asymptotic.

OPEN

For any $t\in (0,1)$ let $t=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \epsilon_k(t)2^{-k}$ (where $\epsilon_k(t)\in \{0,1\}$). What is the correct order of magnitude (for almost all $t\in(0,1)$) for
\[M_n(t)=\max_{x\in [0,1]}\left\lvert \sum_{k\leq n}\epsilon_k(t)x^k\right\rvert?\]

A problem of Salem and Zygmund [SZ54]. Chung showed that, for almost all $t$, there exist infinitely many $n$ such that
\[M_n(t) \ll \left(\frac{n}{\log\log n}\right)^{1/2}.\]
Erdős (unpublished) showed that for almost all $t$ and every $\epsilon>0$ we have $\lim_{n\to \infty}M_n(t)/n^{1/2-\epsilon}=\infty$.

SOLVED

Is it true that all except at most $o(2^n)$ many degree $n$ polynomials with $\pm 1$-valued coefficients $f(z)$ have $\lvert f(z)\rvert <1$ for some $\lvert z\rvert=1$?
What is the behaviour of
\[m(f)=\min_{\lvert z\rvert=1}\lvert f(z)\rvert?\]

Random polynomials with independently identically distributed coefficients are sometimes called Kac polynomials - this problem considers the case of Radamacher coefficients, i.e. independent uniform $\pm 1$ values. The first problem asks whether $m(f)<1$ almost surely. Littlewood [Li66] conjectured that the stronger $m(f)=o(1)$ holds almost surely.

The answer to both questions is yes: Littlewood's conjecture was solved by Kashin [Ka87], and Konyagin [Ko94] improved this to show that $m(f)\leq n^{-1/2+o(1)}$ almost surely. This is essentially best possible, since Konyagin and Schlag [KoSc99] proved that for any $\epsilon>0$ \[\limsup_{n\to \infty} \mathbb{P}(m(f) \leq \epsilon n^{-1/2})\ll \epsilon.\] Cook and Nguyen [CoNg21] have identified the limiting distribution, proving that for any $\epsilon>0$ \[\lim_{n\to \infty} \mathbb{P}(m(f) > \epsilon n^{-1/2}) = e^{-\epsilon \lambda}\] where $\lambda$ is an explicit constant.

SOLVED

Let $a_n\geq 0$ with $a_n\to 0$ and $\sum a_n=\infty$. Find a necessary and sufficient condition on the $a_n$ such that, if we choose (independently and uniformly) random arcs on the unit circle of length $a_n$, then all the circle is covered with probability $1$.

A problem of Dvoretzky [Dv56]. It is easy to see that (under the given conditions alone) almost all the circle is covered with probability $1$.

Kahane [Ka59] showed that $a_n=\frac{1+c}{n}$ with $c>0$ has this property, which Erd\H{s} (unpublished) improved to $a_n=\frac{1}{n}$. Erd\{o}s also showed that $a_n=\frac{1-c}{n}$ with $c>0$ does not have this property.

Solved by Shepp [Sh72], who showed that a necessary and sufficient condition is that \[\sum_n \frac{e^{a_1+\cdots+a_n}}{n^2}=\infty.\]

OPEN

Let $a_n\in \mathbb{R}$ be such that $\sum_n \lvert a_n\rvert^2=\infty$ and $\lvert a_n\rvert=o(1/\sqrt{n})$. Is it true that, for almost all $\epsilon_n=\pm 1$, there exists some $z$ with $\lvert z\rvert=1$ (depending on the choice of signs) such that
\[\sum_n \epsilon_n a_n z^n\]
converges?

It is unclear to me whether Erdős also intended to assume that $\lvert a_{n+1}\rvert\leq \lvert a_n\rvert$.

It is 'well known' that, for almost all $\epsilon_n=\pm 1$, the series diverges for almost all $\lvert z\rvert=1$ (assuming only $\sum \lvert a_n\rvert^2=\infty$).

Dvoretzky and Erdős [DE59] showed that if $\lvert a_n\rvert >c/\sqrt{n}$ then, for almost all $\epsilon_n=\pm 1$, the series diverges for all $\lvert z\rvert=1$.

OPEN

Let $f(n,k)$ count the number of self-avoiding walks of $n$ steps (beginning at the origin) in $\mathbb{Z}^k$ (i.e. those walks which do not intersect themselves). Determine
\[C_k=\lim_{n\to\infty}f(n,k)^{1/n}.\]

The constant $C_k$ is sometimes known as the connective constant. Hammersley and Morton [HM54] showed that this limit exists, and it is trivial that $k\leq C_k\leq 2k-1$.

Kesten [Ke63] proved that $C_k=2k-1-1/2k+O(1/k^2)$, and more precise asymptotics are given by Clisby, Liang, and Slade [CLS07].

Conway and Guttmann [CG93] showed that $C_2\geq 2.62$ and Alm [Al93] showed that $C_2\leq 2.696$.

OPEN

Let $d_k(n)$ be the expected distance from the origin after taking $n$ random steps from the origin in $\mathbb{Z}^k$ (conditional on no self intersections). Is it true that
\[\lim_{n\to \infty}\frac{d_2(n)}{n^{1/2}}= \infty?\]
Is it true that
\[d_k(n)\ll n^{1/2}\]
for $k\geq 3$?

OPEN

Let $\ell(N)$ be maximal such that in any finite set $A\subset \mathbb{R}$ of size $N$ there exists a Sidon subset $S$ of size $\ell(N)$ (i.e. the only solutions to $a+b=c+d$ in $S$ are the trivial ones). Determine the order of $\ell(N)$.

In particular, is it true that $\ell(N)\sim N^{1/2}$?

Originally asked by Riddell [Ri69]. Erdős noted the bounds
\[N^{1/3} \ll \ell(N) \leq (1+o(1))N^{1/2}\]
(the upper bound following from the case $A=\{1,\ldots,N\}$). The lower bound was improved to $N^{1/2}\ll \ell(N)$ by Komlós, Sulyok, and Szemerédi [KSS75]. The correct constant is unknown, but it is likely that the upper bound is true, so that $\ell(N)\sim N^{1/2}$.

In [AlEr85] Alon and Erdős make the stronger conjecture that perhaps $A$ can always be written as the union of at most $(1+o(1))N^{1/2}$ many Sidon sets. (This is easily verified for $A=\{1,\ldots,N\}$ using standard constructions of Sidon sets.)

OPEN

Let $F(k)$ be the minimal $N$ such that if we two-colour $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ there is a set $A$ of size $k$ such that all subset sums $\sum_{a\in S}a$ (for $\emptyset\neq S\subseteq A$) are monochromatic. Estimate $F(k)$.

The existence of $F(k)$ was established by Sanders and Folkman, and it also follows from Rado's theorem. It is commonly known as Folkman's theorem.

Erdős and Spencer [ErSp89] proved that \[F(k) \geq 2^{ck^2/\log k}\] for some constant $c>0$. Balogh, Eberhrad, Narayanan, Treglown, and Wagner [BENTW17] have improved this to \[F(k) \geq 2^{2^{k-1}/k}.\]

SOLVED

If $\mathbb{N}$ is 2-coloured then is there some infinite set $A\subseteq \mathbb{N}$ such that all finite subset sums
\[ \sum_{n\in S}n\]
(as $S$ ranges over all non-empty finite subsets of $A$) are monochromatic?

OPEN

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $n$ be large. Let $G$ be a graph on $n$ vertices containing no $K_5$ and such that every set of $\epsilon n$ vertices contains a triangle. Must $G$ have $o(n^2)$ many edges?

The best known result is that $G$ can have at most $(\tfrac{1}{12}+o(1))n^2$ many edges.

OPEN

What is the largest possible subset $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,N\}$ which contains $N$ such that $(a,b)=1$ for all $a\neq b\in A$?

A problem of Erdős and Graham. They conjecture that this maximum is either $N/p$ (where $p$ is the smallest prime factor of $N$) or it is the number of integers $\{2t: t\leq N/2\textrm{ and }(t,N)=1\}$.

OPEN

Let $r\geq 3$, and let $f_r(N)$ denote the size of the largest subset of $\{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that no subset of size $r$ has the same pairwise greatest common divisor between all elements. Estimate $f_r(N)$.

Erdős [Er64] proved that
\[f_r(N) \leq N^{\frac{3}{4}+o(1)},\]
and Abbott and Hanson [AbHa70] improved this exponent to $1/2$. Erdős [Er64] proved the lower bound
\[f_3(N) > N^{\frac{c}{\log\log N}}\]
for some constant $c>0$, and conjectured this should also be an upper bound.

Erdős writes this is 'intimately connected' with the sunflower problem [20]. Indeed, the conjectured upper bound would follow from the following stronger version of the sunflower problem: estimate the size of the largest set of integers $A$ such that $\omega(n)=k$ for all $n\in A$ and there does not exist $a_1,\ldots,a_r\in A$ and an integer $d$ such that $(a_i,a_j)=d$ for all $i\neq j$ and $(a_i/d,d)=1$ for all $i$. The conjectured upper bound for $f_r(N)$ would follow if the size of such an $A$ must be at most $c_r^k$. The original sunflower proof of Erdős and Rado gives the upper bound $c_r^kk!$.

OPEN

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $N$ be sufficiently large. Is it true that if $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ has size at least $\epsilon N$ then there must be $a,b,c\in A$ such that
\[[a,b]=[b,c]=[a,c],\]
where $[a,b]$ denotes the least common multiple?

This is false if we ask for four elements with the same pairwise least common multiple, as shown by Erdős [Er62].

SOLVED

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $N$ be sufficiently large. If $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ has $\lvert A\rvert \geq \epsilon N$ then must there exist $a_1,a_2,a_3\in A$ and distinct primes $p_1,p_2,p_3$ such that
\[a_1p_1=a_2p_2=a_3p_3?\]

A positive answer would imply [536].

Erdős describes a construction of Ruzsa which disproves this: consider the set of all squarefree numbers of the shape $p_1\cdots p_r$ where $p_{i+1}>2p_i$ for $1\leq i<r$. This set has positive density, and hence if $A$ is its intersection with $(N/2,N)$ then $\lvert A\rvert \gg N$ for all large $N$. Suppose now that $p_1a_1=p_2a_2=p_3a_3$ where $a_i\in A$ and $p_1,p_2,p_3$ are distinct primes. Without loss of generality we may assume that $a_2>a_3$ and hence $p_2<p_3$, and so since $p_2p_3\mid a_1\in A$ we must have $2<p_3/p_2$. On the other hand $p_3/p_2=a_2/a_3\in (1,2)$, a contradiction.

OPEN

Let $r\geq 2$ and suppose that $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,N\}$ is such that, for any $m$, there are at most $r$ solutions to $m=pa$ where $p$ is prime and $a\in A$. Give the best possible upper bound for
\[\sum_{n\in A}\frac{1}{n}.\]

SOLVED

Is it true that if $A\subseteq \mathbb{Z}/N\mathbb{Z}$ has size $\gg N^{1/2}$ then there exists some non-empty $S\subseteq A$ such that $\sum_{n\in S}n\equiv 0\pmod{N}$?

OPEN

Let $a_1,\ldots,a_p$ be (not necessarily distinct) residues modulo $p$, such that there exists some $r$ so that if $S\subseteq [p]$ is non-empty and
\[\sum_{i\in S}a_i\equiv 0\pmod{p}\]
then $\lvert S\rvert=r$. Must there be at most two distinct residues amongst the $a_i$?

A question of Graham.

SOLVED

Is it true that if $A\subseteq\{1,\ldots,n\}$ is a set such that $[a,b]>n$ for all $a\neq b$, where $[a,b]$ is the least common multiple, then
\[\sum_{a\in A}\frac{1}{a}\leq \frac{31}{30}.\]
Is it true that there must be $\gg n$ many $m\leq n$ which do not divide any $a\in A$?

The first bound is best possible as $A=\{2,3,5\}$ demonstrates.

Resolved by Schinzel and Szekeres [ScSz59] who proved the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no, and in fact there are examples with at most $n/(\log n)^c$ many such $m$, for some constant $c>0$.

In [Er73] Erdős further speculates that in fact \[\sum_{a\in A}\frac{1}{a}\leq 1+o(1),\] where the $o(1)$ term $\to 0$ as $n\to \infty$.

See also [784].

OPEN

Define $f(N)$ be the minimal $k$ such that the following holds: if $G$ is an abelian group of size $N$ and $A\subseteq G$ is a random set of size $k$ then, with probability $\geq 1/2$, all elements of $G$ can be written as $\sum_{x\in S}x$ for some $S\subseteq A$. Is
\[f(N) \leq \log_2 N+o(\log\log N)?\]

Erdős and Rényi [ErRe65] proved that
\[f(N) \leq \log_2N+O(\log\log N).\]
Erdős believed improving this to $o(\log\log N)$ is impossible.

OPEN

Show that
\[R(3,k+1)-R(3,k)\to\infty\]
as $k\to \infty$. Similarly, prove or disprove that
\[R(3,k+1)-R(3,k)=o(k).\]

This problem is #8 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection. See also [165].

OPEN

Show that if $G$ has $\binom{n}{2}$ edges then
\[R(G) \leq R(n).\]
More generally, if $G$ has $\binom{n}{2}+t$ edges with $t\leq n$ then
\[R(G)\leq R(H)\]
where $H$ is the graph formed by connected a new vertex to $t$ of the vertices of $K_n$.

In other words, are cliques extremal for Ramsey numbers. Asked by Erdős and Graham.

This problem is #10 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

This is true, and was proved by Sudakov [Su11]. The analogous question for $\geq 3$ colours is still open.

This problem is #11 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

Equality holds when $T$ is a star on $n$ vertices.

Implied by [548].

This problem is #14 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $n\geq k+1$. Every graph on $n$ vertices with at least $\frac{k-1}{2}n+1$ edges contains every tree on $k+1$ vertices.

A problem of Erdős and Sós, who also conjectured that every graph with at least
\[\max\left( \binom{2k-1}{2}+1, (k-1)n-(k-1)^2+\binom{k-1}{2}+1\right)\]
many edges contains every forest with $k$ edges. (Erdős and Gallai [ErGa59] proved that this is the threshold which guarantees containing $k$ independent edges.)

It can be easily proved by induction that every graph on $n$ vertices with at least $n(k-1)+1$ edges contains every tree on $k+1$ vertices.

Brandt and Dobson [BrDo96] have proved this for graphs of girth at least $5$. Wang, Li, and Liu [WLL00] have proved this for graphs whose complements have girth at least $5$. Saclé and Woznik [SaWo97] have proved this for graphs which contain no cycles of length $4$. Yi and Li [YiLi04] have proved this for graphs whose complements contain no cycles of length $4$.

SOLVED

If $T$ is a tree which is a bipartite graph with $k$ vertices and $2k$ vertices in the other class then show that $R(T)=4k$.

It follows from results in [EFRS82] that $R(T)\geq 4k-1$.

This is false: Norin, Sun, and Zhao [NSZ16] have proved that if $T$ is the union of two stars on $k$ and $2k$ vertices, with an edge joining the centre of the two stars, then $R(T)\geq (4.2-o(1))k$. The best upper bound for the Ramsey number for this tree is $R(T)\leq 4.27492k+1$, obtained by Dubó and Stein [DuSt24].

This problem is #15 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $m_1\leq\cdots\leq m_k$ and $n$ be sufficiently large. If $T$ is a tree on $n$ vertices and $G$ is the complete multipartite graph with vertex class sizes $m_1,\ldots,m_k$ then prove that
\[R(T,G)\leq (\chi(G)-1)(R(T,K_{m_1,m_2})-1)+m_1.\]

Chvátal [Ch77] proved that $R(T,K_m)=(m-1)(n-1)+1$.

This problem is #16 in Ramsey Theory in the graphs problem collection.

SOLVED

Prove that
\[R(C_k,K_n)=(k-1)(n-1)+1\]
for $k\geq n\geq 3$ (except when $n=k=3$).

Asked by Erdős, Faudree, Rousseau, and Schelp, who also ask for the smallest value of $k$ such that this identity holds (for fixed $n$). They also ask, for fixed $n$, what is the minimum value of $R(C_k,K_n)$?

This identity was proved for $k>n^2-2$ by Bondy and Erdős [BoEr73]. Nikiforov [Ni05] extended this to $k\geq 4n+2$.

Keevash, Long, and Skokan [KLS21] have proved this identity when $k\geq C\frac{\log n}{\log\log n}$ for some constant $C$, thus establishing the conjecture for sufficiently large $n$.

It was shown in [BEFRS89] that
\[n+\lceil\sqrt{n}\rceil+1\geq R(C_4,S_n)\geq n+\sqrt{n}-6n^{11/40}.\]
Füredi (unpublished) has shown that $R(C_4,S_n)=n+\lceil\sqrt{n}\rceil$ for infinitely many $n$.

SOLVED

Let $R(3,3,n)$ denote the smallest integer $m$ such that if we $3$-colour the edges of $K_m$ then there is either a monochromatic triangle in one of the first two colours or a monochromatic $K_n$ in the third colour. Define $R(3,n)$ similarly but with two colours. Show that
\[\frac{R(3,3,n)}{R(3,n)}\to \infty\]
as $n\to \infty$.

OPEN

Let $R(G;k)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that if the edges of $K_m$ are $k$-coloured then there is a monochromatic copy of $G$. Show that
\[\lim_{k\to \infty}\frac{R(C_{2n+1};k)}{R(K_3;k)}=0\]
for any $n\geq 2$.

A problem of Erdős and Graham. The problem is open even for $n=2$.

OPEN

Let $R(G;k)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that if the edges of $K_m$ are $k$-coloured then there is a monochromatic copy of $G$. Determine the value of
\[R(C_{2n};k).\]

SOLVED

Let $R(G;3)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that if the edges of $K_m$ are $3$-coloured then there must be a monochromatic copy of $G$. Show that
\[R(C_n;3) \leq 4n-3.\]

A problem of Bondy and Erdős. This inequality is best possible for odd $n$.

Luczak [Lu99] has shown that $R(C_n;3)\leq (4+o(1))n$ for all $n$, and in fact $R(C_n;3)\leq 3n+o(n)$ for even $n$.

Kohayakawa, Simonovits, and Skokan [KSS05] proved this conjecture when $n$ is sufficiently large and odd. Benevides and Skokan [BeSk09] proved that if $n$ is sufficiently large and even then $R(C_n;3)=2n$.

OPEN

Let $R(G;k)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that if the edges of $K_m$ are $k$-coloured then there is a monochromatic copy of $G$. Is it true that
\[R(T;k)=kn+O(1)\]
for any tree $T$ on $n$ vertices?

A problem of Erdős and Graham. Implied by [548].

OPEN

Let $R(G;k)$ denote the minimal $m$ such that if the edges of $K_m$ are $k$-coloured then there is a monochromatic copy of $G$. Determine
\[R(K_{s,t};k)\]
where $K_{s,t}$ is the complete bipartite graph with $s$ vertices in one component and $t$ in the other.

Chung and Graham [ChGr75] prove the bounds
\[(2\pi\sqrt{st})^{\frac{1}{s+t}}\left(\frac{s+t}{e^2}\right)k^{\frac{st-1}{s+t}}\leq R(K_{s,t};k)\leq (t-1)(k+k^{1/s})^s.\]
For example this implies that
\[R(K_{3,3};k) \ll k^3.\]
Using Turán numbers one can show that
\[R(K_{3,3};k) \gg \frac{k^3}{(\log k)^3}.\]

SOLVED

Let $\hat{R}(G)$ denote the size Ramsey number, the minimal number of edges $m$ such that there is a graph $H$ with $m$ edges that is Ramsey for $G$.

If $G$ has $n$ vertices and maximum degree $d$ then prove that \[\hat{R}(G)\ll_d n.\]

#559:

A problem of Beck and Erdős. Beck [Be83b] proved this when $G$ is a path. Friedman and Pippenger [FrPi87] proved this when $G$ is a tree. Haxell, Kohayakawa, and Luczak [HKL95] proved this when $G$ is a cycle. An alternative proof when $G$ is a cycle (with better constants) was given by Javadi, Khoeini, Omidi, and Pokrovskiy [JKOP19].

This was disproved for $d=3$ by Rödl and Szemerédi [RoSz00], who constructed a graph on $n$ vertices with maximum degree $3$ such that \[\hat{R}(G)\gg n(\log n)^{c}\] for some absolute constant $c>0$. Tikhomirov [Ti22b] has improved this to \[\hat{R}(G)\gg n\exp(c\sqrt{\log n}).\] It is an interesting question how large $\hat{R}(G)$ can be if $G$ has maximum degree $3$. Kohayakawa, Rödl, Schacht, and Szemerédi [KRSS11] proved an upper bound of $\leq n^{5/3+o(1)}$ and Conlon, Nenadov, and Trujić [CNT22] proved $\ll n^{8/5}$. The best known upper bound of $\leq n^{3/2+o(1)}$ is due to Draganić and Petrova [DrPe22].

OPEN

Let $\hat{R}(G)$ denote the size Ramsey number, the minimal number of edges $m$ such that there is a graph $H$ with $m$ edges such that in any $2$-colouring of the edges of $H$ there is a monochromatic copy of $G$.

Determine \[\hat{R}(K_{n,n}),\] where $K_{n,n}$ is the complete bipartite graph with $n$ vertices in each component.

We know that
\[\frac{1}{60}n^22^n<\hat{R}(K_{n,n})< \frac{3}{2}n^32^n.\]
The lower bound (which holds for $n\geq 6$) was proved by Erdős and Rousseau [ErRo93]. The upper bound was proved by Erdős, Faudree, Rousseau, and Schelp [EFRS78b] and Nešetřil and Rödl [NeRo78].

Conlon, Fox, and Wigderson [CFW23] have proved that, for any $s\leq t$, \[\hat{R}(K_{s,t})\gg s^{2-\frac{s}{t}}t2^s,\] and prove that when $t\gg s\log s$ we have $\hat{R}(K_{s,t})\asymp s^2t2^s$. They conjecture that this should hold for all $s\leq t$, and so in particular we should have $\hat{R}(K_{n,n})\asymp n^32^n$.

OPEN

Let $\hat{R}(G)$ denote the size Ramsey number, the minimal number of edges $m$ such that there is a graph $H$ with $m$ edges such that in any $2$-colouring of the edges of $H$ there is a monochromatic copy of $G$.

Let $F_1$ and $F_2$ be the union of stars. More precisely, let $F_1=\cup_{i\leq s} K_{1,n_i}$ and $F_2=\cup_{j\leq t} K_{1,m_j}$. Prove that \[\hat{R}(F_1,F_2) = \sum_{2\leq k\leq s+2}\max\{n_i+m_j-1 : i+j=k\}.\]

Burr, Erdős, Faudree, Rousseau, and Schelp [BEFRS78] proved this when all the $n_i$ are identical and all the $m_i$ are identical.

OPEN

Let $R_r(n)$ denote the $r$-uniform hypergraph Ramsey number: the minimal $m$ such that if we $2$-colour all edges of the complete $r$-uniform hypergraph on $m$ vertices then there must be some monochromatic copy of the complete $r$-uniform hypergraph on $n$ vertices.

Prove that, for $r\geq 3$, \[\log_{r-1} R_r(n) \asymp_r n,\] where $\log_{r-1}$ denotes the $(r-1)$-fold iterated logarithm. That is, does $R_r(n)$ grow like \[2^{2^{\cdots n}}\] where the tower of exponentials has height $r-1$?

OPEN

Let $F(n,\alpha)$ denote the largest $m$ such that there exists a $2$-colouring of the edges of $K_n$ so that every $X\subseteq [n]$ with $\lvert X\rvert\geq m$ contains more than $\alpha \binom{\lvert X\rvert}{2}$ many edges of each colour.

Prove that, for every $0\leq \alpha\leq 1/2$, \[F(n,\alpha)\sim c_\alpha\log n\] for some constant $c_\alpha$ depending only on $\alpha$.

It is easy to show that, for every $0\leq \alpha\leq 1/2$,
\[F(n,\alpha)\asymp_\alpha \log n.\]

Note that when $\alpha=0$ this is just asking for a $2$-colouring of the edges of $K_n$ which contains no monochromatic clique of size $m$, and hence we recover the classical Ramsey numbers.

See also [161].

OPEN

Let $R^*(G)$ be the induced Ramsey number: the minimal $m$ such that there is a graph $H$ on $m$ vertices such that any $2$-colouring of the edges of $H$ contains an induced monochromatic copy of $G$.

Is it true that \[R^*(G) \leq 2^{O(n)}\] for any graph $G$ on $n$ vertices?

A problem of Erdős and Rödl. Even the existence of $R^*(G)$ is not obvious, but was proved independently by Deuber [De75], Erdős, Hajnal, and Pósa [EHP75], and Rödl [Ro73].

Rödl [Ro73] proved this when $G$ is bipartite. Kohayakawa, Prömel, and Rödl [KPR98] have proved that \[R^*(G) < 2^{O(n(\log n)^2)}.\] An alternative (and more explicit) proof was given by Fox and Sudakov [FoSu08]. Conlon, Fox, and Sudakov [CFS12] have improved this to \[R^*(G) < 2^{O(n\log n)}.\]

OPEN

Let $G$ be such that any subgraph on $k$ vertices has at most $2k-3$ edges. Is it true that, if $H$ has $m$ edges and no isolated vertices, then
\[R(G,H)\ll m?\]

OPEN

Let $G$ be either $Q_3$ or $K_{3,3}$ or $H_5$ (the last formed by adding two vertex-disjoint chords to $C_5$). Is it true that, if $H$ has $m$ edges and no isolated vertices, then
\[R(G,H)\ll m?\]

In other words, is $G$ Ramsey size linear? A special case of [566]. In [Er95] Erdős specifically asks about the case $G=K_{3,3}$.

The graph $H_5$ can also be described as $K_4^*$, obtained from $K_4$ by subdividing one edge. ($K_4$ itself is not Ramsey size linear, since $R(4,n)\gg n^{3-o(1)}$, see [166].) Bradać, Gishboliner, and Sudakov [BGS23] have shown that every subdivision of $K_4$ on at least $6$ vertices is Ramsey size linear, and also that $R(H_5,H) \ll m$ whenever $H$ is a bipartite graph with $m$ edges and no isolated vertices.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph such that $R(G,T_n)\ll n$ for any tree $T_n$ on $n$ vertices and $R(G,K_n)\ll n^2$. Is it true that, for any $H$ with $m$ edges and no isolated vertices,
\[R(G,H)\ll m?\]

In other words, is $G$ Ramsey size linear?

OPEN

Let $k\geq 1$. What is the best possible $c_k$ such that
\[R(C_{2k+1},H)\leq c_k m\]
for any graph $H$ on $m$ edges without isolated vertices?

OPEN

Show that for any rational $\alpha \in (1,2)$ there exists a bipartite graph $G$ such that
\[\mathrm{ex}(n;G)\asymp n^{\alpha}.\]
Conversely, if $G$ is bipartite then must there exist some rational $\alpha$ such that\[\mathrm{ex}(n;G)\asymp n^{\alpha}?\]

A problem of Erdős and Simonovits.

See also [713] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

It is easy to see that $\mathrm{ex}(n;C_{2k+1})=\lfloor n^2/4\rfloor$ for any $k\geq 1$ (and $n>2k+1$) (since no bipartite graph contains an odd cycle). Erdős and Klein [Er38] proved $\mathrm{ex}(n;C_4)\asymp n^{3/2}$.

Erdős [Er64c] and Bondy and Simonovits [BoSi74] showed that \[\mathrm{ex}(n;C_{2k})\ll kn^{1+\frac{1}{k}}.\]

Benson [Be66] has proved this conjecture for $k=3$ and $k=5$. Lazebnik, Ustimenko, and Woldar [LUW95] have shown that, for arbitrary $k\geq 3$, \[\mathrm{ex}(n;C_{2k})\gg n^{1+\frac{2}{3k-3+\nu}},\] where $\nu=0$ if $k$ is odd and $\nu=1$ if $k$ is even. See [LUW99] for further history and references.

See also [765] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

A problem of Erdős and Simonovits, who proved that
\[\mathrm{ex}(n;\{C_4,C_5\})=(n/2)^{3/2}+O(n).\]

See also [574] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Is it true that, for $k\geq 2$,
\[\mathrm{ex}(n;\{C_{2k-1},C_{2k}\})=(1+o(1))(n/2)^{1+\frac{1}{k}}.\]

A problem of Erdős and Simonovits.

See also [573] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

If $\mathcal{F}$ is a finite set of finite graphs then $\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})$ is the maximum number of edges a graph on $n$ vertices can have without containing any subgraphs from $\mathcal{F}$. Note that it is trivial that $\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})\leq \mathrm{ex}(n;G)$ for every $G\in\mathcal{F}$.

Is it true that, for every $\mathcal{F}$, if there is a bipartite graph in $\mathcal{F}$ then there exists some bipartite $G\in\mathcal{F}$ such that \[\mathrm{ex}(n;G)\ll_{\mathcal{F}}\mathrm{ex}(n;\mathcal{F})?\]

A problem of Erdős and Simonovits.

See also [180] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $Q_k$ be the $k$-dimensional hypercube graph (so that $Q_k$ has $2^k$ vertices and $k2^{k-1}$ edges). Determine the behaviour of
\[\mathrm{ex}(n;Q_k).\]

Erdős and Simonovits [ErSi70] proved that
\[(\tfrac{1}{2}+o(1))n^{3/2}\leq \mathrm{ex}(n;Q_3) \ll n^{8/5}.\]
In [Er81] Erdős asks whether it is $\asymp n^{8/5}$.

A theorem of Sudakov and Tomon [SuTo22] implies \[\mathrm{ex}(n;Q_k)=o(n^{2-\frac{1}{k}}).\] Janzer and Sudakov [JaSu22b] have improved this to \[\mathrm{ex}(n;Q_k)\ll_k n^{2-\frac{1}{k-1}+\frac{1}{(k-1)2^{k-1}}}.\] See also the entry in the graphs problem collection.

SOLVED

If $G$ is a random graph on $2^d$ vertices, including each edge with probability $1/2$, then $G$ almost surely contains a copy of $Q_d$ (the $d$-dimensional hypercube with $2^d$ vertices and $d2^{d-1}$ many edges).

A conjecture of Erdős and Bollobás. Solved by Riordan [Ri00], who in fact proved this with any edge-probability $>1/4$, and proves that the number of copies of $Q_d$ is normally distributed.

OPEN

Let $\epsilon>0$ and $n$ be sufficiently large. Show that, if $G$ is a graph on $n$ vertices which does not contain $K_{2,2,2}$ and $G$ has at least $\epsilon n^2$ many edges, then $G$ contains an independent set on $\gg_\epsilon n$ many vertices.

A problem of Erdős, Hajnal, Sós, and Szemerédi.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph on $n$ vertices such that at least $n/2$ vertices have degree at least $n/2$. Must $G$ contain every tree on at most $n/2$ vertices?

A conjecture of Erdős, Füredi, Loebl, and Sós. Ajtai, Komlós, and Szemerédi [AKS95] proved an asymptotic version, where at least $(1+\epsilon)n/2$ vertices have degree at least $(1+\epsilon)n/2$ (and $n$ is sufficiently large depending on $\epsilon$).

Komlós and Sós conjectured the generalisation that if at least $n/2$ vertices have degree at least $k$ then $G$ contains any tree with $k$ vertices.

SOLVED

Let $f(m)$ be the maximal $k$ such that a triangle-free graph on $m$ edges must contain a bipartite graph with $k$ edges. Determine $f(m)$.

Resolved by Alon [Al96], who showed that there exist constants $c_1,c_2>0$ such that
\[\frac{m}{2}+c_1m^{4/5}\leq f(m)\leq \frac{m}{2}+c_2m^{4/5}.\]

OPEN

Every connected graph on $n$ vertices can be partitioned into at most $\lceil n/2\rceil$ edge-disjoint paths.

A problem of Erdős and Gallai. Lovász [Lo68] proved that every graph on $n$ vertices can be partitioned into at most $\lfloor n/2\rfloor$ edge-disjoint paths and cycles. Chung [Ch78] proved that every connected graph on $n$ vertices can be partitioned into at most $\lceil n/2\rceil$ edge-disjoint trees. Pyber [Py96] has shown that every connected graph on $n$ vertices can be covered by at mst $n/2+O(n^{3/4})$ paths.

Hajos [Lo68] has conjectured that if $G$ has all degrees even then $G$ can be partitioned into at most $\lfloor n/2\rfloor$ edge-disjoint cycles.

See also [184] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph with $n$ vertices and $\delta n^{2}$ edges. Are there subgraphs $H_1,H_2\subseteq G$ such that

- $H_1$ has $\gg \delta^3n^2$ edges and every two edges in $H_1$ are contained in a cycle of length at most $6$, and furthermore if two edges share a vertex they are on a cycle of length $4$, and
- $H_2$ has $\gg \delta^2n^2$ edges and every two edges in $H_2$ are contained in a cycle of length at most $8$.

A problem of Erdős, Duke, and Rödl. Duke and Erdős [DuEr83], who proved the first if $n$ is sufficiently large depending on $\delta$. The real challenge is to prove this when $\delta=n^{-c}$ for some $c>0$. Duke, Erdős, and Rödl [DER84] proved the first statement with a $\delta^5$ in place of a $\delta^3$.

Fox and Sudakov [FoSu08b] have proved the second statement when $\delta >n^{-1/5}$.

OPEN

What is the maximum number of edges that a graph on $n$ vertices can have if it does not contain two edge-disjoint cycles with the same vertex set?

Pyber, Rödl, and Szemerédi [PRS95] constructed such a graph with $\gg n\log\log n$ edges.

Chakraborti, Janzer, Methuku, and Montgomery [CJMM24] have shown that such a graph can have at most $n(\log n)^{O(1)}$ many edges. Indeed, they prove that there exists a constant $C>0$ such that for any $k\geq 2$ there is a $c_k$ such that if a graph has $n$ vertices and at least $c_kn(\log n)^{C}$ many edges then it contains $k$ pairwise edge-disjoint cycles with the same vertex set.

SOLVED

What is the size of the largest $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ such that, for all $\emptyset\neq S\subseteq A$, $\sum_{n\in S}n$ is not a square?

Erdős observed that $\lvert A\rvert \gg N^{1/3}$ is possible, taking the first $\approx N^{1/3}$ multiples of some prime $p\approx N^{2/3}$.

Essentially solved by Nguyen and Vu [NgVu10], who proved that $\lvert A\rvert\ll N^{1/3}(\log N)^{O(1)}$.

See also [438].

This question was asked by Erdős to a young Terence Tao in 1985. We thank Tao for sharing this memory and a letter of Erdős describing the problem.

OPEN

Let $g(n)$ be maximal such that in any set of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ with no four points on a line there exists a subset on $g(n)$ points with no three points on a line. Estimate $g(n)$.

The trivial greedy algorithm gives $g(n)\gg n^{1/2}$. A similar question can be asked for a set with no $k$ points on a line, searching for a subset with no $l$ points on a line, for any $3\leq l<k$.

Erdős thought that $g(n) \gg n$, but in fact $g(n)=o(n)$, which follows from the density Hales-Jewett theorem proved by Furstenberg and Katznelson [FuKa91] (see [185]).

OPEN

Let $G_1$ and $G_2$ be two graphs with chromatic number $\aleph_1$. Must there be a graph $H$ with chromatic number $4$ which appears as a subgraph of both $G_1$ and $G_2$? Is there such an $H$ with chromatic number $\aleph_0$?

Erdős also asks about finding a common subgraph $H$ (with chromatic number either $4$ or $\aleph_0$) in any finite collection of graphs with chromatic number $\aleph_1$.

Every graph with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ contains all sufficiently large odd cycles (which have chromatic number $3$), see [594]. This was proved by Erdős, Hajnal, and Shelah [EHS74]. Erdős writes that 'probably' every graph with chromatic number $\aleph_1$ contains as subgraphs all graphs with chromatic number $4$ with sufficiently large girth.

OPEN

For which graphs $G_1,G_2$ is it true that

- for every $n\geq 1$ there is a graph $H$ without a $G_1$ but if the edges of $H$ are $n$-coloured then there is a monochromatic copy of $G_2$, and yet
- for every graph $H$ without a $G_1$ there is an $\aleph_0$-colouring of the edges of $H$ without a monochromatic $G_2$.

Erdős and Hajnal originally conjectured that there are no such $G_1,G_2$, but in fact $G_1=C_4$ and $G_2=C_6$ is an example. Indeed, for this pair Nešetřil and Rödl established the first property and Erdős and Hajnal the second (in fact every $C_4$-free graph is a countable union of trees).

Whether this is true for $G_1=K_4$ and $G_2=K_3$ is the content of [595].

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph on at most $\aleph_1$ vertices which contains no $K_4$ and no $K_{\aleph_0,\aleph_0}$ (the complete bipartite graph with $\aleph_0$ vertices in each class). Is it true that
\[\omega_1^2 \to (\omega_1\omega, G)^2?\]
What about finite $G$?

Erdős and Hajnal proved that $\omega_1^2 \to (\omega_1\omega,3)^2$. Erdős originally asked this with just the assumption that $G$ is $K_4$-free, but Baumgartner proved that $\omega_1^2 \not\to (\omega_1\omega, K_{\aleph_0,\aleph_0})^2$.

SOLVED

Let $G$ be a (possibly infinite) graph and $A,B$ be disjoint independent sets of vertices. Must there exist a family $P$ of disjoint paths between $A$ and $B$ and a set $S$ which contains exactly one vertex from each path in $P$, and such that every path between $A$ and $B$ contains at least one vertex from $S$?

Sometimes known as the Erdős-Menger conjecture. When $G$ is finite this is equivalent to Menger's theorem. Erdős was interested in the case when $G$ is infinite.

This was proved by Aharoni and Berger [AhBe09].

OPEN

Let $e(n,r)$ be minimal such that every graph on $n$ vertices with at least $e(n,r)$ edges, each edge contained in at least one triangle, must have an edge contained in at least $r$ triangles. Let $r\geq 2$. Is it true that
\[e(n,r+1)-e(n,r)\to \infty\]
as $n\to \infty$? Is it true that
\[\frac{e(n,r+1)}{e(n,r)}\to 1\]
as $n\to \infty$?

OPEN

For which limit ordinals $\alpha$ is it true that if $G$ is a graph with vertex set $\alpha$ then $G$ must have either an infinite path or independent set on a set of vertices with order type $\alpha$?

A problem of Erdős, Hajnal, and Milner [EHM70], who proved this is true for $\alpha < \omega_1^{\omega+2}$.

Larson [La90] proved this is true for all $\alpha<2^{\aleph_0}$ assuming Martin's axiom.

OPEN

Let $(A_i)$ be a family of sets with $\lvert A_i\rvert=\aleph_0$ for all $i$, such that for any $i\neq j$ we have $\lvert A_i\cap A_j\rvert$ finite and $\neq 1$. Is there a $2$-colouring of $\cup A_i$ such that no $A_i$ is monochromatic?

A problem of Komjáth. The existence of such a $2$-colouring is sometimes known as Property B.

OPEN

Let $(A_i)$ be a family of countable sets such that $\lvert A_i\cap A_j\rvert \neq 2$ for all $i\neq j$. Is there some $C$ such that $\cup A_i$ can always be coloured with at most $C$ colours so that no $A_i$ is monochromatic?

A problem of Komjáth. If instead we have $\lvert A_i\cap A_j\rvert \neq 1$ then Komjáth showed that this is possible with at most $\aleph_0$ colours.

SOLVED

Is there some function $f(n)\to \infty$ as $n\to\infty$ such that there exist $n$ distinct points on the surface of a two-dimensional sphere with at least $f(n)n$ many pairs of points whose distances are the same?

See also [90]. This was solved by Erdős, Hickerson, and Pach [EHP89]. For $D>1$ and $n\geq 2$ let $u_D(n)$ be such that there is a set of $n$ points on the sphere in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with radius $D$ such that there are $u_D(n)$ many pairs which are distance $1$ apart (so that this problem asked for $u_D(n)\geq f(n)n$ for some $D$).

Erdős, Hickerson, and Pach [EHP89] proved that $u_{\sqrt{2}}(n)\asymp n^{4/3}$ and $u_D(n)\gg n\log^*n$ for all $D>1$ and $n\geq 2$ (where $\log^*$ is the iterated logarithm function).

This lower bound was improved by Swanepoel and Valtr [SwVa04] to $u_D(n) \gg n\sqrt{\log n}$. The best upper bound for general $D$ is $u_D(n)\ll n^{4/3}$.

SOLVED

Given any $n$ distinct points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ let $f(n)$ count the number of distinct lines determined by these points. What are the possible values of $f(n)$?

A question of Grünbaum. The Sylvester-Gallai theorem implies that if $f(m)>1$ then $f(m)\geq n$. Erdős showed that, for some constant $c>0$, all integers in $[cn^{3/2},\binom{n}{2}]$ are possible except $\binom{n}{2}-1$ and $\binom{n}{2}-3$.

Solved (for all sufficiently large $n$) completely by Erdős and Salamon [ErSa88]; the full description is too complicated to be given here.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph with $n$ vertices and at least $n^2/4$ edges. Are there at least $2n^2/9$ edges of $G$ which are contained in a $C_5$?

Erdős [Er97d] stated that, under the same assumptions, there at least $2n^2/9$ edges of $G$ which are contained in some odd cycle. He wrote that a positive answer to this question would follow if we knew that $G$ must contain a triangle such that there at least $n/2-O(1)$ vertices joined to at least two vertices of the triangle.

Erdős and Faudree observed that every graph with $2n$ vertices and at least $n^2+1$ edges has a triangle whose vertices are joined to at least $n+2$ vertices.

SOLVED

Let $f(n)$ be minimal such that if the edges of $K_{2^n+1}$ are coloured with $n$ colours then there must be a monochromatic odd cycle of length at most $m$. Estimate $f(n)$. Does $f(n)\to \infty$ as $n\to \infty$?

A problem of Erdős and Graham. The edges of $K_{2^n}$ can be $n$-coloured to avoid odd cycles of any length. It can be shown that $C_5$ and $C_7$ can be avoided for large $n$.

Day and Johnson [DaJo17] have shown that \[f(n)\geq 2^{c\sqrt{\log n}}\] for some constant $c>0$.

OPEN

For a graph $G$ let $\tau(G)$ denote the minimal number of vertices that include at least one from each maximal clique of $G$ (sometimes called the clique transversal number).

Estimate $\tau(G)$. In particular, is it true that if $G$ has $n$ vertices then \[\tau(G) \leq n-c\sqrt{n\log n}\] for some absolute constant $c>0$?

A problem of Erdős, Gallai, and Tuza, who proved that
\[\tau(G) \leq n-\sqrt{2n}+O(1).\]

This would be best possible, since there exist triangle-free graphs with all independent sets of size $O(\sqrt{n\log n})$, which follows from the lower bound for $R(3,k)$ by Kim [Ki95] (see [165]).

Indeed, Erdős, Gallai, and Tuza speculate that if $f(n)$ is the largest $k$ such that every triangle-free graph on $n$ vertices contains an independent set on $f(n)$ vertices, then $\tau(G)\leq n-f(n)$.

In [Er94] and [Er99] Erdős asks for a weaker upper bound $\tau(G) \leq n-\omega(n)\sqrt{n}$ for any $\omega(n)\to \infty$.

See also [611], this entry and and this entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

For a graph $G$ let $\tau(G)$ denote the minimal number of vertices that include at least one from each maximal clique of $G$ (sometimes called the clique transversal number).

Is it true that if all maximal cliques in $G$ have at least $cn$ vertices then $\tau(G)=o_c(n)$?

Similarly, estimate for $c>0$ the minimal $k_c(n)$ such that if every maximal clique in $G$ has at least $k_c(n)$ vertices then $\tau(G)<(1-c)n$.

A problem of Erdős, Gallai, and Tuza [EGT92], who proved for the latter question that $k_c(n) \geq n^{c'/\log\log n}$ for some $c'>0$, and that if every clique has size least $k$ then $\tau(G) \leq n-(kn)^{1/2}$. Bollobás and Erdős proved that if every maximal clique has at least $n+3-2\sqrt{n}$ vertices then $\tau(G)=1$ (and this threshold is best possible).

See also [610] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a connected graph with $n$ vertices, minimal degree $d$, and diameter $D$. Show if that $G$ contains no $K_{2r}$ and $(r-1)(3r+2)\mid d$ then
\[D\leq \frac{2(r-1)(3r+2)}{(2r^2-1)d}n+O(1),\]
and if $G$ contains no $K_{2r+1}$ and $3r-1 \mid d$ then
\[D\leq \frac{3r-1}{rd}n+O(1).\]

A problem of Erdős, Pach, Pollack, and Tuza.

OPEN

Let $n\geq 3$ and $G$ be a graph with $\geq 2n+1$ vertices and $\binom{2n+1}{2}-\binom{n}{2}-1$ edges. Must $G$ be the union of a bipartite graph and a graph with maximum degree less than $n$?

Faudree proved that this is true if $G$ has $2n+1$ vertices.

OPEN

Let $f(n,k)$ be minimal such that there is a graph with $n$ vertices and $f(n,k)$ edges where every set of $k+2$ vertices induces a subgraph with maximum degree at least $k$. Determine $f(n,k)$.

SOLVED

Does there exist some constant $c>0$ such that if $G$ is a graph with $n$ vertices and $\geq (1/8-c)n^2$ edges then $G$ must contain either a $K_4$ or an independent set on at least $n/\log n$ vertices?

A problem of Erdős, Hajnal, Simonovits, Sós, and Szemerédi [EHSSS93]. In other words, if $\mathrm{rt}(n;k,\ell)$ is the Ramsey-Turán number then is it true that
\[\mathrm{rt}(n; 4,n/\log n)< (1/8-c)n^2?\]
Erdős, Hajnal, Sós, and Szemerédi [EHSS83] proved that for any fixed $\epsilon>0$
\[\mathrm{rt}(n; 4,\epsilon n)< (1/8+o(1))n^2.\]
Sudakov [Su03] proved that
\[\mathrm{rt}(n; 4,ne^{-f(n)})=o(n^2)\]
whenever $f(n)/\sqrt{\log n}\to \infty$.

Resolved by Fox, Loh, and Zhao [FLZ15] who showed that the answer is no; in fact they prove that \[\mathrm{rt}(n; 4, ne^{-f(n)})\geq (1/8-o(1))n^2\] whenever $f(n) =o(\sqrt{\log n/\log\log n})$.

See also [22] and the entry in the graphs problem collection.

OPEN

Let $r\geq 3$. For an $r$-uniform hypergraph $G$ let $\tau(G)$ denote the covering number (or transversal number), the minimum size of a set of vertices which includes at least one from each edge in $G$.

Determine the best possible $t$ such that, if $G$ is an $r$-uniform hypergraph $G$ where every subgraph $G'$ on at most $3r-3$ vertices has $\tau(G')\leq 1$, we have $\tau(G)\leq t$.

Erdős, Hajnal, and Tuza [EHT91] proved that this $t$ satisfies
\[\frac{3}{16}r+\frac{7}{8}\leq t \leq \frac{1}{5}r.\]

OPEN

Let $r\geq 3$. If the edges of $K_{r^2+1}$ are $r$-coloured then there exist $r+1$ vertices with at least one colour missing on the edges of the induced $K_{r+1}$.

In other words, there is no balanced colouring. A conjecture of Erdős and Gyárfás [ErGy99], who proved it for $r=3$ and $r=4$ (and observered it is false for $r=2$), and showed this property fails for infinitely many $r$ if we replace $r^2+1$ by $r^2$.

SOLVED

For a triangle-free graph $G$ let $h_2(G)$ be the smallest number of edges that need to be added to $G$ so that it has diameter $2$ and is still triangle-free. Is it true that if $G$ has maximum degree $o(n^{1/2})$ then $h(G)=o(n^2)$?

A problem of Erdős, Gyárfás, and Ruszinkó [EGR98]. Simonovits showed that there exist graphs $G$ with maximum degree $\gg n^{1/2}$ and $h_2(G)\gg n^2$.

Erdős, Gyárfás, and Ruszinkó [EGR98] proved that if $G$ has no isolated vertices and maximum degree $O(1)$ then $h_2(G)\ll n\log n$.

Alon has observed this problem is essentially identical to [134], and his solution in this note also solves this problem in the affirmative.

See also [619].

OPEN

For a triangle-free graph $G$ let $h_r(G)$ be the smallest number of edges that need to be added to $G$ so that it has diameter $r$.

Is it true that there exists a constant $c>0$ such that if $G$ is connected then $h_4(G)<(1-c)n$?

OPEN

If $G$ is a graph on $n$ vertices without a $K_4$ then how large a triangle-free induced subgraph must $G$ contain?

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph on $n$ vertices, $\alpha_1(G)$ be the maximum number of edges that contain at most one edge from every triangle, and $\tau_1(G)$ be the minimum number of edges that contain at least one edge from every triangle.

Is it true that \[\alpha_1(G)+\tau_1(G) \leq \frac{n^2}{4}?\]

A problem of Erdős, Gallai, and Tuza [EGT96], who observe that this is probably quite difficult since there are different examples where equality hold: the complete graph, the complete bipartite graph, and the graph obtained from $K_{m,m}$ by adding one vertex joined to every other.

OPEN

Let $G$ be a regular graph with $2n$ vertices and degree $n+1$. Must $G$ have $\gg 2^{2n}$ subsets that are on a cycle?

A problem of Erdős and Faudree. Erdős writes 'it is easy to see' that there are at least $(\frac{1}{2}+o(1))2^{2n}$ sets that are not on a cycle. If the regularity condition is replaced by minimum degree $n+1$ then the answer is no.

OPEN

Let $X$ be a set of cardinality $\aleph_\omega$ and $f$ be a function from the finite subsets of $X$ to $X$ such that $f(A)\not\in A$ for all $A$. Must there exist an infinite $Y\subseteq X$ that is independent - that is, for all finite $B\subset Y$ we have $f(B)\not\in Y$?

OPEN

Let $X$ be a finite set of size $n$ and $H(n)$ be such that there is a function $f:P(X)\to X$ so that for every $Y\subseteq X$ with $\lvert Y\rvert \geq H(n)$ we have
\[\{ f(A) : A\subseteq Y\}=X.\]
Prove that
\[H(n)-\log_2 n \to \infty.\]

A problem of Erdős and Hajnal [ErHa68] who proved that
\[\log_2 n \leq H(n) < \log_2n +(3+o(1))\log_2\log n.\]
Even the weaker statement that for $n=2^k$ we have $H(n)\geq k+1$ is open.

For this weaker statement, Erdős and Gyárfás conjecture the stronger form that if $\lvert X\rvert=2^k$ then, for any $f:P(X)\to X$, there must exist some $Y\subset X$ of size $k$ such that \[\#\{ f(A) : A\subseteq Y\}< 2^k-k^C\] for every $C$ (with $k$ sufficiently large depending on $C$).

OPEN

Let $k\geq 4$ and $g_k(n)$ denote the largest $m$ such that there is a graph on $n$ vertices with chromatic number $k$ and girth $m$. Does
\[\lim_{n\to \infty}\frac{g_k(n)}{\log n}\]
exist?

OPEN

Let $\omega(G)$ denote the clique number of $G$ and $\chi(G)$ the chromatic number. If $f(n)$ is the maximum value of $\chi(G)/\omega(G)$, as $G$ ranges over all graphs on $n$ vertices, then does
\[\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{f(n)}{n/(\log n)^2}\]
exist?

Tutte and Zykov [Zy52] independently proved that for every $k$ there is a graph with $\omega(G)=2$ and $\chi(G)=k$. Erdős [Er61d] proved that for every $n$ there is a graph on $n$ vertices with $\omega(G)=2$ and $\chi(G)\gg n^{1/2}/\log n$, whence $f(n) \gg n^{1/2}/\log n$.

Erdős [Er67c] proved that \[f(n) \asymp \frac{n}{(\log n)^2}\] and that the limit in question, if it exists, must be in \[(\log 2)^2\cdot [1/4,1].\]

OPEN

Let $G$ be a graph with chromatic number $k$ containing no $K_k$. If $a,b\geq 2$ and $a+b=k+1$ then must there exist two disjoint subgraphs of $G$ with chromatic numbers $\geq a$ and $\geq b$ respectively?

This property is sometimes called being $(a,b)$-splittable. A question of Erdős and Lovász (often called the Erdős-Lovász Tihany conjecture). Erdős [Er68b] originally asked about $a=b=3$ which was proved by Brown and Jung [BrJu69] (who in fact prove that $G$ must contain two vertex disjoint odd cycles).

Balogh, Kostochka, Prince, and Stiebitz [BKPS09] have proved the full conjecture for quasi-line graphs and graphs with independence number $2$.

OPEN

The list chromatic number $\chi_L(G)$ is defined to be the minimal $k$ such that for any assignment of a list of $k$ colours to each vertex of $G$ (perhaps different lists for different vertices) a colouring of each vertex by a colour on its list can be chosen such that adjacent vertices receive distinct colours.

Determine the minimal number of vertices $n(k)$ of a bipartite graph $G$ such that $\chi_L(G)>k$.

A problem of Erdős, Rubin, and Taylor [ERT80], who proved that
\[2^{k-1}<n(k) <k^22^{k+2}.\]
They also prove that if $m(k)$ is the size of the smallest family of $k$-sets with property B (i.e. there is a set which intersects each member of the member yet does not contain any of them) then $m(k)\leq n(k)\leq m(k)$.

Erdős, Rubin, and Taylor [ERT80] proved $n(2)=6$ and Hanson, MacGillivray, and Toft [HMT96] proved $n(3)=14$ and \[n(k) \leq kn(k-2)+2^k.\]

SOLVED

The list chromatic number $\chi_L(G)$ is defined to be the minimal $k$ such that for any assignment of a list of $k$ colours to each vertex of $G$ (perhaps different lists for different vertices) a colouring of each vertex by a colour on its list can be chosen such that adjacent vertices receive distinct colours.

Does every planar bipartite graph $G$ have $\chi_L(G)\leq 3$?

SOLVED

The list chromatic number $\chi_L(G)$ is defined to be the minimal $k$ such that for any assignment of a list of $k$ colours to each vertex of $G$ (perhaps different lists for different vertices) a colouring of each vertex by a colour on its list can be chosen such that adjacent vertices receive distinct colours.

Does every planar graph $G$ have $\chi_L(G)\leq 5$? Is this best possible?

OPEN

A graph is $(a,b)$-choosable if for any assignment of a list of $a$ colours to each of its vertices there is a subset of $b$ colours from each list such that the subsets of adjacent vertices are disjoint.

If $G$ is $(a,b)$-choosable then $G$ is $(am,bm)$-choosable for every integer $m\geq 1$.

A problem of Erdős, Rubin, and Taylor [ERT80]. Note that $G$ is $(a,1)$-choosable corresponds to being $a$-choosable, that is, the list chromatic number satisfies $\chi_L(G)\leq a$.

OPEN

Let $t\geq 1$ and $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ be such that whenever $a,b\in A$ with $b-a\geq t$ we have $b-a\nmid b$. How large can $\lvert A\rvert$ be? Is it true that
\[\lvert A\rvert \leq \left(\frac{1}{2}+o_t(1)\right)N?\]

Asked by Erdős in a letter to Ruzsa in around 1980. Erdős observes that when $t=1$ the maximum possible is
\[\lvert A\rvert=\left\lfloor\frac{N+1}{2}\right\rfloor,\]
achieved by taking $A$ to be all odd numbers in $\{1,\ldots,N\}$. He also observes that when $t=2$ there exists such an $A$ with
\[\lvert A\rvert \geq \frac{N}{2}+c\log N\]
for some constant $c>0$: take $A$ to be the union of all odd numbers together with numbers of the shape $2^k$ with $k$ odd.

SOLVED

Suppose $G$ is a graph on $n$ vertices which contains no complete graph or independent set on $\gg \log n$ many vertices. Must $G$ contain $\gg n^{5/2}$ induced subgraphs which pairwise differ in either the number of vertices or the number of edges?

A problem of Erdős, Faudree, and Sós, who proved there exist $\gg n^{3/2}$ many such subgraphs, and note that $n^{5/2}$ would be best possible.

This was proved by Kwan and Sudakov [KwSu21].

SOLVED

If $G$ is a graph on $n$ vertices which contains no complete graph or independent set on $\gg \log n$ vertices then $G$ contains an induced subgraph on $\gg n$ vertices which contains $\gg n^{1/2}$ distinct degrees.

A problem of Erdős, Faudree, and Sós.

This was proved by Bukh and Sudakov [BuSu07].

Jenssen, Keevash, Long, and Yepremyan [JKLY20] have proved that there must exist an induced subgraph which contains $\gg n^{2/3}$ distinct degrees (with no restriction on the number of vertices).

OPEN

Let $S$ be a family of finite graphs such that for every $n$ there is some $G_n\in S$ such that if the edges of $G_n$ are coloured with $n$ colours then there is a monochromatic triangle.

Is it true that for every infinite cardinal $\aleph$ there is a graph $G$ of which every finite subgraph is in $S$ and if the edges of $G$ are coloured with $\aleph$ many colours then there is a monochromatic triangle.

Erdős writes 'if the answer is affirmative many extensions and generalisations will be possible'.

OPEN

Let $f(n;t)$ be minimal such that if a $t$-uniform hypergraph on $n$ vertices contains at least $f(n;t)$ edges then there must be four edges $A,B,C,D$ such that
\[A\cup B= C\cup D\]
and
\[A\cap B=C\cap D=\emptyset.\]
Estimate $f(n;t)$ - in particular, is it true that for $t\geq 3$
\[f(n;t)=(1+o(1))\binom{n}{t-1}?\]

For $n=2$ this is asking for the maximal number of edges on a graph which contains no $C_4$, and so $f(n;2)=(1+o(1))n^{3/2}$.

Füredi proved that $f(n;3) \ll n^2$ and $f(n;3) > \binom{n}{2}$ for infinitely many $n$. More generally, Füredi proved that \[f(n;t) \ll \binom{n}{t-1}.\]

OPEN

Let $f(k,r)$ be minimal such that if $A_1,A_2,\ldots$ is a family of sets, all of size $k$, such that for every collection of $r$ of the $A_is$ there is some pair $\{x,y\}$ which intersects all of the $A_j$, then there is some set of size $f(k,r)$ which intersects all of the sets $A_i$. Is it true that
\[f(k,7)=(1+o(1))\frac{3}{4}k?\]
Is it true that for any $r\geq 3$ there exists some constant $c_r$ such that
\[f(k,r)=(1+o(1))c_rk?\]

A problem of Erdős, Fon-Der-Flaass, Kostochka, and Tuza [EFKT92], who proved that $f(k,3)=2k$ and $f(k,4)=\lfloor 3k/2\rfloor$ and $f(k,5)=\lfloor 5k/4\rfloor$, and further that $f(k,6)=k$.

SOLVED

If $\mathbb{N}$ is 2-coloured then must there exist a monochromatic three-term arithmetic progression $x,x+d,x+2d$ such that $d>x$?

Erdös writes 'perhaps this is easy or false'. It is not true for four-term arithmetic progressions: colour the integers in $[3^{2k},3^{2k+1})$ red and all others blue.

Ryan Alweiss has provided the following simple argument showing that the answer is yes: suppose we have some red/blue colouring without this property. Without loss of generality, suppose $1$ is coloured red, and then either $3$ or $5$ must be blue.

Suppose first that $3$ is blue. If $n\geq 6$ is red then (considering $1,n,2n-1$) we deduce $2n-1$ is blue, and then (considering $3,n+1,2n-1$) we deduce that $n+1$ is red. In particular the colouring must be eventually constant, and we are done.

Now suppose that $5$ is blue. Arguing similarly (considering $1,n,2n-1$ and $5,n+2,2n-1$) we deduce that if $n\geq 8$ is red then $n+2$ is also red, and we are similarly done, since the colouring must be eventually constant on some congruence class modulo $2$.

OPEN

Let $\tau(n)$ count the number of divisors of $n$. Is there some $n>24$ such that
\[\max_{m<n}(m+\tau(m))\leq n+2?\]

A problem of Erdős and Selfridge. This is true for $n=24$. The $n+2$ is best possible here since
\[\max(\tau(n-1)+n-1,\tau(n-2)+n-2)\geq n+2.\]

In [Er79] Erdős says 'it is extremely doubtful' that there are infinitely many such $n$, and in fact suggets that \[\lim_{n\to \infty}\max_{m<n}(\tau(m)+m-n)=\infty.\]

In [Er79d] Erdős says it 'seems certain' that for every $k$ there are infinitely many $n$ for which \[\max_{n-k<m<n}(m+\tau(m))\leq n+2,\] but 'this is hopeless with our present methods', although it follows from Schinzel's Hypothesis H.

See also [413].

OPEN

Is it true that, for any two primes $p,q$, there exists some integer $n$ such that the largest prime factor of $n$ is $p$ and the largest prime factor of $n+1$ is $q$?

Erdős writes 'it is probably hopelessly difficult to decide about the truth of this conjecture'. The number of solutions is finite for any fixed $p,q$ since the largest prime factor of $n(n+1)$ tends to $\infty$ (Mahler [Ma35] showed that this is $\gg \log\log n$, see [368]).

More generally, one can ask about whether for any primes $p_1,\ldots,p_k$ there exists some $n$ such that the largest prime factor of $n+i$ is $p_i$. Erdős writes this is 'clearly impossible' if the $p_i$ are the first $k$ primes and $k$ is sufficiently large, but does not know what happens if all of the primes are sufficiently large compared to $k$.

OPEN

Let $f(m)$ be such that if $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}$ has $\lvert A\rvert=m$ then every interval in $[1,\infty)$ of length $2N$ contains $\geq f(m)$ many distinct integers $b_1,\ldots,b_r$ where each $b_i$ is divisible by some $a_i\in A$, where $a_1,\ldots,a_r$ are distinct.

Estimate $f(m)$. In particular is it true that $f(m)\ll m^{1/2}$?

Erdős and Sarányi [ErSa59] proved that $f(m)\gg m^{1/2}$.

SOLVED

Let $f_k(n)$ denote the smallest integer such that any $f_k(n)$ points in general position in $\mathbb{R}^k$ contain at $n$ which determine a convex polyhedron. Is it true that
\[f_k(n) > (1+c_k)^n\]
for some constant $c_k>0$?

The function when $k=2$ is the subject of the Erdős-Klein-Szekeres conjecture, see [107]. One can show that
\[f_2(n)>f_3(n)>\cdots.\]
The answer is no, even for $k=3$: Pohoata and Zakharov [PoZa22] have proved that
\[f_3(n)\leq 2^{o(n)}.\]

OPEN

Let $x_1,\ldots,x_n\in \mathbb{R}^2$ and let $R(x_i)=\#\{ \lvert x_j-x_i\rvert : j\neq i\}$, where the points are ordered such that
\[R(x_1)\leq \cdots \leq R(x_n).\]
Let $\alpha_k$ be minimal such that, for all large enough $n$, there exists a set of $n$ points with $R(x_k)<\alpha_kn^{1/2}$. Is it true that $\alpha_k\to \infty$ as $k\to \infty$?

It is trivial that $R(x_1)=1$ is possible, and that $R(x_2) \ll n^{1/2}$ is also possible, but we always have
\[R(x_1)R(x_2)\gg n.\]
Erdős originally conjectured that $R(x_3)/n^{1/2}\to \infty$ as $n\to \infty$, but Elekes proved that for every $k$ and $n$ sufficiently large there exists some set of $n$ points with $R(x_k)\ll_k n^{1/2}$.

OPEN

Let $x_1,\ldots,x_n\in \mathbb{R}^2$ and let $R(x_i)=\#\{ \lvert x_j-x_i\rvert : j\neq i\}$, where the points are ordered such that
\[R(x_1)\leq \cdots \leq R(x_n).\]
Let $g(n)$ be the maximum number of distinct values the $R(x_i)$ can take. Is it true that $g(n) \geq (1-o(1))n$?

Erdős and Fishburn proved $g(n)>\frac{3}{9}n$ and Csizmadia proved $g(n)>\frac{7}{10}n$. Both groups proved $g(n) < n-cn^{2/3}$ for some constant $c>0$.

OPEN

Let $x_1,\ldots,x_n\in \mathbb{R}^2$ be such that no circle whose centre is one of the $x_i$ contains three other points. Are there at least
\[(1+c)\frac{n}{2}\]
distinct distances determined between the $x_i$, for some constant $c>0$ and all $n$ sufficiently large?

A problem of Erdős and Pach. It is easy to see that this assumption implies that there are at least $\frac{n-1}{2}$ distinct distances determined by every point.

OPEN

Is it true that if $A\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ is a set of $n$ points such that every subset of $4$ points determines at least $5$ distances then $A$ must determine $\gg n^2$ distances?

A problem of Erdős and Gyárfás. Erdős could not even prove that the number of distances is at least $f(n)n$ where $f(n)\to \infty$.

More generally, one can ask how many distances $A$ must determine if every set of $p$ points determines at least $q$ points.

See also [657].

OPEN

Is it true that if $A\subset \mathbb{R}^2$ is a set of $n$ points such that every subset of $3$ points determines $3$ distinct distances (i.e. $A$ has no isosceles triangles) then $A$ must determine at least $f(n)n$ distinct distances, for some $f(n)\to \infty$?

In [Er73] Erdős attributes this problem (more generally in $\mathbb{R}^k$) to himself and Davies. In [Er97e] he does not mention Davis, but says this problem was investigated by himself, Füredi, Ruzsa, and Pach.

In [Er73] Erdős says it is not even known in $\mathbb{R}$ whether $f(n)\to \infty$. Straus has observed that if $2^k\geq n$ then there exist $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^k$ which contain no isosceles triangle and determine at most $n-1$ distances.

See also [656].

SOLVED

Let $\delta>0$ and $N$ be sufficiently large depending on $\delta$. Is it true that if $A\subseteq \{1,\ldots,N\}^2$ has $\lvert A\rvert \geq \delta N^2$ then $A$ must contain the vertices of a square?

A problem of Graham, if the square is restricted to be axis-aligned. (It is unclear whether in [Er97e] had this restriction in mind.)

This qualitative statement follows from the density Hales-Jewett theorem proved by Furstenberg and Katznelson [FuKa91]. A quantitative proof (yet with very poor bounds) was given by Solymosi [So04].

OPEN

Is there a set of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ such that every subset of $4$ points determines at least $3$ distances, yet the total number of distinct distances is
\[\ll \frac{n}{\sqrt{\log n}}?\]

Erdős believed this should be possible, and should imply effective upper bounds for [658] (presumably the version w