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ON RELATIVE CLASS NUMBER AND CONTINUED FRACTIONS

  • Received : 2014.08.14
  • Published : 2015.09.30

Abstract

The relative class number $H_d(f)$ of a real quadratic field $K=\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{m})$ of discriminant d is the ratio of class numbers of $O_f$ and $O_K$, where $O_K$ denotes the ring of integers of K and $O_f$ is the order of conductor f given by $\mathbb{Z}+fO_K$. In a recent paper of A. Furness and E. A. Parker the relative class number of $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{m})$ has been investigated using continued fraction in the special case when $(\sqrt{m})$ has a diagonal form. Here, we extend their result and show that there exists a conductor f of relative class number 1 when the continued fraction of $(\sqrt{m})$ is non-diagonal of period 4 or 5. We also show that there exist infinitely many real quadratic fields with any power of 2 as relative class number if there are infinitely many Mersenne primes.

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