Irreducibility of the iterates of a quadratic polynomial over a field

Volume 93 / 2000

Mohamed Ayad, Donald McQuillan Acta Arithmetica 93 (2000), 87-97 DOI: 10.4064/aa-93-1-87-97


1. Introduction. Let K be a field of characteristic p ≥ 0 and let f(X) be a polynomial of degree at least two with coefficients in K. We set f₁(X) = f(X) and define $f_{r+1}(X) = f(f_r(X))$ for all r ≥ 1. Following R. W. K. Odoni [7], we say that f is stable over K if $f_r(X)$ is irreducible over K for every r ≥ 1. In [6] the same author proved that the polynomial f(X) = X² - X + 1 is stable over ℚ. He wrote in [7] that the proof given there is quite difficult and it would be of interest to have an elementary proof. In the sequel we shall use elementary methods for proving the stability of quadratic polynomials over number fields; especially the rational field, and over finite fields of characteristic p ≥ 3.


  • Mohamed Ayad
  • Donald McQuillan

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