Is Zero Prime or Composite?Date: 10/23/95 at 19:31:44 From: Andrew Cotton Subject: 7th Grade Math Question Hi, I am fairly new to teaching 7th grade math. We have been studying prime and composite numbers. I have had little difficulty explaining that "2" is a prime number and that "1" is neither prime nor composite. Then one bright student asked about the number"0." I was stumped and have not been successful at finding a solution. So, is "0" prime, composite, or neither? Thanks! Andy Cotton Date: 11/5/95 at 15:43:30 From: Doctor Jeremy Subject: Re: 7th Grade Math Question It is neither. It is not prime - lots of other numbers divide into it. (They all do, except for zero itself). But it is not composite - the only way you could get zero by multiplying primes together is if one of the primes were zero, which isn't the case. Often when defining prime and composite numbers, the fact that the number must be greater than one is part of the definition. -Doctor Jeremy, The Geometry Forum |
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