Permutations Destroying Arithmetic Progressions in Finite Cyclic Groups

  • Peter Hegarty
  • Anders Martinsson
Keywords: Permutation, Arithmetic progression, Finite cyclic group


A permutation $\pi$ of an abelian group $G$ is said to destroy arithmetic progressions (APs) if, whenever $(a, \, b, \, c)$ is a non-trivial 3-term AP in $G$, that is $c-b=b-a$ and $a, \, b, \, c$ are not all equal, then $(\pi(a), \, \pi(b), \pi(c))$ is not an AP. In a paper from 2004, the first author conjectured that such a permutation exists of $\mathbb{Z}_n$, for all $n \not\in \{2, \, 3, \, 5, \, 7\}$. Here we prove, as a special case of a more general result, that such a permutation exists for all $n \geq n_0$, for some explicitly constructed number $n_0 \approx 1.4 \times 10^{14}$. We also construct such a permutation of $\mathbb{Z}_p$ for all primes $p > 3$ such that $p \equiv 3 \; ({\hbox{mod $8$}})$.
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