Communications in Number Theory and Physics

Volume 16 (2022)

Number 2

Diophantine equations with sum of cubes and cube of sum

Pages: 401 – 434



Bogdan A. Dobrescu (Particle Theory Department, Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Patrick J. Fox (Particle Theory Department, Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois, U.S.A.)


We solve Diophantine equations of the type $a(x^3+y^3+z^3)=(x+y+z)^3$, where $x$, $y$, $z$ are integer variables, and the coefficient $a \neq 0$ is rational. We show that there are infinite families of such equations, including those where $a$ is any cube or certain rational fractions, that have nontrivial solutions. There are also infinite families of equations that do not have any nontrivial solution, including those where $1/a=1-24/m$ with restrictions on the integer $m$. The equations can be represented by elliptic curves unless $a=9$ or $1$, and any elliptic curve of nonzero $j$-invariant and torsion group $\mathbb{Z}/3k\mathbb{Z}$ for $k=2,3,4$, or $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \times \mathbb{Z}/6\mathbb{Z}$ corresponds to a particular $a$. We prove that for any $a$ the number of nontrivial solutions is at most $3$ or is infinite, and for integer $a$ it is either $0$ or $\infty$. For $a=9$, we find the general solution, which depends on two integer parameters. These cubic equations are important in particle physics, because they determine the fermion charges under the $U(1)$ gauge group.


cubic Diophantine equations, elliptic curves, primitive solutions, Fibonacci numbers

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

Primary 11D25. Secondary 11D45, 11D85, 11G05.

This work was supported by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Received 30 September 2021

Accepted 8 March 2022

Published 27 April 2022