An Achilles number is a number that is powerful but not a perfect power. A positive integer n is a powerful number if, for every prime factor p of n, p2 is also a divisor. In other words, every prime factor appears at least squared in the factorization. All Achilles numbers are powerful. However, not all powerful numbers are Achilles numbers: only those that cannot be represented as mk, where m and k are positive integers greater than 1.
Achilles numbers were named by Henry Bottomley after Achilles, a hero of the Trojan war, who was also powerful but imperfect. Strong Achilles numbers are Achilles numbers whose Euler totients are also Achilles numbers.
A number n = p1a1p2a2…pkak is powerful if min(a1, a2, …, ak) ≥ 2. If in addition gcd(a1, a2, …, ak) = 1 the number is an Achilles number.
The Achilles numbers up to 5000 are:
The smallest pair of consecutive Achilles numbers is:
108 is a powerful number. Its prime factorization is 22 · 33, and thus its prime factors are 2 and 3. Both 22 = 4 and 32 = 9 are divisors of 108. However, 108 cannot be represented as mk, where m and k are positive integers greater than 1, so 108 is an Achilles number.
360 is not an Achilles number because it is not powerful. One of its prime factors is 5 but 360 is not divisible by 52 = 25.
Finally, 784 is not an Achilles number. It is a powerful number, because not only are 2 and 7 its only prime factors, but also 22 = 4 and 72 = 49 are divisors of it. It is a perfect power:
So it is not an Achilles number.
500 = 22 × 53 is a strong Achilles number as its Euler totient of 200 = 23 × 52 is also an Achilles number.