Pollock's conjectures

Pollock's conjectures are two closely related unproven[1] conjectures in additive number theory. They were first stated in 1850 by Sir Frederick Pollock,[2][3] better known as a lawyer and politician, but also a contributor of papers on mathematics to the Royal Society. These conjectures are a partial extension of the Fermat polygonal number theorem to three-dimensional figurate numbers, also called polyhedral numbers.

The numbers that are not the sum of at most 4 tetrahedral numbers are given by the sequence 17, 27, 33, 52, 73, ..., (sequence A000797 in the OEIS) of 241 terms, with 343867 being almost certainly the last such number.[4]


  1. ^ Deza, Elena; Deza, Michael (2012). Figurate Numbers. World Scientific. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Frederick Pollock (1850). "On the extension of the principle of Fermat's theorem on the polygonal numbers to the higher order of series whose ultimate differences are constant. With a new theorem proposed, applicable to all the orders". Abstracts of the Papers Communicated to the Royal Society of London. 5: 922–924. JSTOR 111069.
  3. ^ a b Dickson, L. E. (June 7, 2005). History of the Theory of Numbers, Vol. II: Diophantine Analysis. Dover. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-486-44233-0.
  4. ^ a b Weisstein, Eric W. "Pollock's Conjecture". MathWorld.
  5. ^ Elessar Brady, Zarathustra (2016). "Sums of seven octahedral numbers". Journal of the London Mathematical Society. Second Series. 93 (1): 244–272. arXiv:1509.04316. doi:10.1112/jlms/jdv061. MR 3455791.