The greatest common divisor of and GCD(), sometimes written , is the largest Divisor common to
and . Symbolically, let

(1) | |||

(2) |

Then the greatest common divisor is given by

(3) |

(4) |

(5) |

(6) |

(7) |

If and , then

(8) |

(9) |

(10) |

(11) |

The probability that two Integers picked at random are Relatively Prime is , where is the Riemann Zeta Function. Polezzi (1997) observed that , where is the number of Lattice Points in the Plane on the straight Line connecting the Vectors (0, 0) and (excluding itself). This observation is intimately connected with the probability of obtaining Relatively Prime integers, and also with the geometric interpretation of a Reduced Fraction as a string through a Lattice of points with ends at (1,0) and . The pegs it presses against give alternate Convergents of the Continued Fraction for , while the other Convergents are obtained from the pegs it presses against with the initial end at (0, 1).

Knuth showed that

(12) |

The extended greatest common divisor of two Integers and can be defined as the greatest common divisor of and which also satisfies the constraint for and given Integers. It is used in solving Linear Diophantine Equations.

**References**

Polezzi, M. ``A Geometrical Method for Finding an Explicit Formula for the Greatest Common Divisor.''
*Amer. Math. Monthly* **104**, 445-446, 1997.

© 1996-9

1999-05-25