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Mathematics  1998 

The Least Prime Primitive Root and the Shifted Sieve

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We derive, for all prime moduli p except those in a very thin set, an upper bound for the least prime primitive root (mod p) of order of magnitude a constant power of log p. The improvement over previous results, where the upper bound was log p to an exponent tending to infinity with p, lies in the use of the linear sieve (a particular version called the shifted sieve) rather than Brun's sieve. The same methods allow us to rederive a conditional result of Shoup on the least prime primitive root (mod p) for all prime moduli p, assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis. We also extend both results to composite moduli q, where the analogue of a primitive root is an element of maximal multiplicative order (mod q).


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