ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

diophantine equation

Hello there! A diophantine equation is a math problem where you are trying to find a whole number solution (or more than one solution) for an equation.

Let's try a simple example with the diophantine equation: 2x + 3y = 10.

To solve this equation, you need to find two whole numbers (like 1, 2, 3, etc.) that you can plug into x and y to make the equation true.

So let's start by trying out some values. We can use x = 1 and see what y needs to be to make the equation true.

2(1) + 3y = 10

2 + 3y = 10

3y = 8

y = 8/3

Uh oh, y isn't a whole number! That means this solution doesn't work.

Let's try another value for x. This time, we'll use x = 2.

2(2) + 3y = 10

4 + 3y = 10

3y = 6

y = 2

Great! This time we got a whole number for y, so the solution (x=2, y=2) works.

Diophantine equations can get a lot more complicated, but the goal is always the same--find whole number solutions for an equation. Happy problem-solving!
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