# Euler criterion

If an integer $a$ is not divisible by a prime number $p>2$, then the congruence $$a^{(p-1)/2} \equiv \left({\frac{a}{p}}\right) \pmod p$$ holds, where $\left({\frac{a}{p}}\right)$ is the Legendre symbol. Thus, the Euler criterion gives a necessary and sufficient condition for a number $a \not\equiv 0 \pmod p$ to be a quadratic residue or non-residue modulo $p$. It was proved by L. Euler in 1761 (see [1]).

Euler also obtained a more general result: A number $a \not\equiv 0 \pmod p$ is a power residue of degree $n$ modulo a prime number $p$ if and only if $$a^{(p-1)/\delta} \equiv 1 \pmod p$$ where $\delta = \mathrm{hcf}(p-1,n)$.

Both these assertions carry over easily to the case of a finite field.

#### References

 [1] L. Euler, "Adnotationum ad calculum integralem Euleri" G. Kowalewski (ed.) , Opera Omnia Ser. 1; opera mat. , 12 , Teubner (1914) pp. 493–538 [2] I.M. Vinogradov, "Elements of number theory" , Dover, reprint (1954) (Translated from Russian)