### Abstract:

In 1878, Lucas \cite{lucas} investigated the sequences $(\ell_n)_{n=0}^\infty$ where
$$\ell_n=\frac{\alpha^n-\beta^n}{\alpha-\beta},$$
$\alpha \beta$ and $\alpha+\beta$ are coprime integers, and where $\beta/\alpha$ is not a root of unity. Lucas sequences are divisibility sequences; if $m|n$, then $\ell_m|\ell_n$, and more generally, $\gcd(\ell_m,\ell_n)=\ell_{\gcd(m,n)}$ for all positive integers $m$ and $n$.
Matijasevic utilised this divisibility property of Lucas sequences in order to resolve Hilbert's 10th problem.
\noindent In 1930, Lehmer \cite{lehmer} introduced the sequences $(u_n)_{n=0}^\infty$ where
\begin{eqnarray*}
u_n& = & \frac{\alpha^{n}-\beta^n}{\alpha^{\epsilon(n)}-\beta^{\epsilon(n)}},\\
\epsilon(n)&=&\left\{\begin{array}{ll} 1, \hspace{.1in}\mbox{if}\hspace{.1in}n\equiv 1 \pmod 2;\\ 2, \hspace{.1in}\mbox{if}\hspace{.1in}n\equiv 0\pmod 2;\end{array}\right.
\end{eqnarray*}
$\alpha \beta$ and $(\alpha +\beta)^2$ are coprime integers, and where $\beta/\alpha$ is not a root of unity. The sequences $(u_n)_{n=0}^\infty$ are known as Lehmer sequences, and the terms of these sequences are known as Lehmer numbers. Lehmer showed that his sequences had similar divisibility properties to those of Lucas sequences, and he used them to extend the Lucas test for primality.
\noindent We define a prime divisor $p$ of $u_n$ to be a primitive divisor of $u_n$ if $p$ does not divide
$$(\alpha^2-\beta^2)^2u_3\cdots u_{n-1}.$$
Note that in the list of prime factors of the first $n-1$ terms of the sequence $(u_n)_{n=0}^\infty$, a primitive divisor of $u_n$ is a new prime factor.
\noindent We let
\begin{eqnarray*}
\kappa& = & k(\alpha \beta\max\{(\alpha-\beta)^2,(\alpha+\beta)^2\}),\\
\eta & = & \left\{\begin{array}{ll}1\hspace{.1in}\mbox{if}\hspace{.1in}\kappa\equiv 1\pmod 4,\\
2\hspace{.1in}\mbox{otherwise},\end{array}\right.
\end{eqnarray*}
where $k(\alpha \beta \max\{(\alpha-\beta)^2,(\alpha+\beta)^2\})$ is the squarefree kernel of $\alpha \beta \max\{(\alpha-\beta)^2,(\alpha+\beta)^2\}$. On the one hand, building on the work of Schinzel \cite{schinzelI}, we prove that if $n>4$, $n\neq 6$, $n/(\eta \kappa)$ is an odd integer, and the triple $(n,\alpha,\beta)$, in case $(\alpha-\beta)^2>0$, is not equivalent to a triple $(n,\alpha,\beta)$ from an explicit table, then the $n$th Lehmer number $u_n$ has at least two primitive divisors. Moreover, we prove that if $n\geq 1.2\times 10^{10}$, and $n/(\eta \kappa)$ is an odd integer, then the $n$th Lehmer number $u_n$ has at least two primitive divisors.
On the other hand, building on the work of Stewart \cite{stewart77}, we prove that there are only finitely many triples $(n,\alpha,\beta)$, where $n>6$, $n\neq 12$, and $n/(\eta \kappa)$ is an odd integer, such that the $n$th Lehmer number $u_n$ has less than two primitive divisors, and that these triples may be explicitly determined. We determine all of these triples $(n,\alpha,\beta)$ up to equivalence explicitly when $66$, $n\neq 12$, are best possible, subject to the truth of two plausible conjectures.