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Why Prime Numbers?

Date: 10/21/2001 at 13:10:52
From: Veen Wong
Subject: Prime Numbers

What are prime numbers used for in math?

Date: 10/21/2001 at 21:11:23
From: Doctor Paul
Subject: Re: Prime Numbers

Prime numbers constitute the "building blocks" of all integers because 
each integer has a unique prime factorization - that is, every integer 
can be factored into a product of powers of prime numbers.

For example:

84 = 2*2*3*7

This property of prime numbers is called the Fundamental Theorem of 
Arithmetic. If you want more information about it, try searching our 
archives for "Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic" (that exact phrase):

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- Doctor Paul, The Math Forum
Associated Topics:
Elementary Prime Numbers
Middle School Prime Numbers

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