- Lesson_plan_1.3.doc
- 2012_NZMOC
- Lecture 16
- The History of the Primality of One
- GREMath_Session01
- Pearson Maths 7 Sb
- ON THREE NUMERICAL FUNCTIONS
- GeneralizedPartitions and NewIdeas OnNumberTheory and Smarandache Sequences, by A.Murthy,C.Ashbacher
- anoys
- Lesson_plan_1.5.doc
- Bases for the Natural Numbers
- construct-a-concept lesson plan for prime numbers
- Factors From GMAT.docx
- HW 6
- 8-PrimeNumbers
- Entrance Survey Mat233 (Responses)
- HCF & LCM
- On Smarandache friendly numbers
- Laplace_Table.pdf
- 9
- Allsorts
- Discrete Math Courses
- stained glass project example
- signal_flo w_graphs.pptx
- Resvision Questions for Homework
- Number Systems
- Laplace_Table.pdf
- 13-1
- mordell.pdf
- csat
- fasc5
- ALGEBRA-19-01-15
- BUENAprograma Curricular Multigrado 2007
- Acidos_nucleicos_lectrura_
- 2da 1 . Clase a Primera Unidad Lectura
- Razaprox Libro Muy Bueno Aproximación a La Serteza
- 6ta. Semana Segunda Unidad Membrana Citoplasmatica Citoplasma Lectura 2008
- MK2011 Levels12 Answers
- Biologia Celular Citologia y Teoria Celular Lectura 2008
- 6th Class IAMO
- 23_cap10
- Lab Oratorios
- Promedios Galois
- archivo15
- 09._Tricomoniasis_lectura_.pdf
- se_ps5
- Bielementos Biomoleculas Inorganicas Agua Sales Minerales Biomoleculas Organicas Carbohidratos Le
- Microsoft Word - Direct3D.doc - Nacho
- aplicaciondelaaritmetica
- CALENDARIO DE JUNIO.docx
- Geometria Analitica.pdf
- Convocatoria+Premio+TWAS+2014
- Biomoleculas Organicas Lipidos Proteinas Enzimas Lectura
- La Biologia y Los Seres Vivos Lectura
- horario-1-m_i.pdf
- Calorimetria.doc
- QuesInformacion.pdf
- Mini
- Alex Word
- 832

**From the very beginning of mathematics, people have been interested in the myste-
**

rious objects known as prime numbers. Although at ﬁrst they can seem so simple,

there are many seemingly simple problems about them that have remained unsolved

for hundreds of years.

DEFINITION Prime Number

A prime number is a positive integer that has exactly two positive divisors, 1 and

itself.

The ﬁrst 10 prime numbers are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29

EXERCISE 1 List the next 10 prime numbers.

Solution: 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71

How did you ﬁgure these out? There are numerous diﬀerent methods for doing this.

The most basic one is trial and error. That is, take the next number x and determine

if it is divisible by any prime number less than or equal to

√

x.

A better method for determining all prime numbers from 2 to a given number n is

the Sieve of Erastothenes.

Algorithm

1. Make a list of all integers 2 to n.

2. Circle the ﬁrst number in the list that has not been crossed out.

3. Cross out all multiples of this number from the list.

4. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until all numbers are crossed out or circled.

5. The circled numbers are all the primes from 2 to n.

1

2

EXERCISE 2 Use the Sieve to ﬁnd all prime numbers from 2 to 196. (handout)

Notice that the Sieve is relying on the fact that every integer greater than 1 is either

a prime number or a composite number. Let us now prove that this is true.

THEOREM 1 Every integer greater than 1 is a prime number or a product of

prime numbers.

Proof: Suppose that the result is false. Then there exists some numbers that are not

prime and cannot be written as a product of prime numbers. Let n be the smallest

such number. Since n is not prime, that means it has two positive divisors other than

1 and itself. Say n = rs. But, since r and s are smaller than n, they must either

be prime or can be written as a product of prime numbers. But this means that n

can also be written as a product of prime numbers. This contradicts our assumption.

Hence, the result is true.

What do we call a positive integer that is not prime? This is actually a bit of a trick

question. A positive integer greater than 1 that is not prime is called composite.

What about 1? The number 1 is very special and is called a unit.

We can in fact prove a very important result that is slightly stronger.

THEOREM 2 Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic

Every integer greater than 1 is either prime or can be written as a unique product

(up to order) of prime numbers.

EXAMPLE 1 For the ﬁrst few numbers we have

2 prime

3 prime

4 = 2 ×2

5 prime

6 = 2 ×3

7 prime

8 = 2

3

9 = 3

2

10 = 2 ×5

11 prime

12 = 2

2

×3

The product of prime numbers which makes up a number is called the prime fac-

torization of the number. Recall, to ﬁnd the prime factorization of a number we

often use a factor tree to help us.

3

EXAMPLE 2 Find the prime factorization of 1000.

Solution: We have 1000 = 40 ×25 = (8 ×5) ×(5 ×5) = 2

3

×5

3

.

EXERCISE 3 Find the prime factorization for the following numbers: 210, 4725,

10!

Solution: 210 = 2 ×3 ×5 ×7

4725 = 3

3

×5

2

×7

10! = 2

8

×3

4

×5

2

×7

We will look a little more at prime factorizations next class.

The Number of Primes

A natural question to ask is if there is a largest prime number. Does the fact that

every integer larger than 1 is either prime or can be written as a product of primes

indicate that there are inﬁnitely many primes? No, it doesn’t. Perhaps all very large

numbers are just written as a product of lots of primes. Moreover, notice that our

table of primes less than 196 seems to show that the primes numbers become less

dense. For example, there are 10 primes numbers between 1 and 30, only 8 primes

numbers between 150 and 190, and there are no primes between 19610 and 19660.

Despite the fact that the prime numbers do become less dense, their density never

goes to 0. The most famous proof that there are inﬁnitely many primes is found in

Euclid’s Elements.

THEOREM 3 There are inﬁnitely many prime numbers.

Proof: Assume there are ﬁnitely many primes, say p

1

, p

2

, . . . , p

n

. Consider the num-

ber p

1

· · · p

n

+ 1. This number is not on our list of primes, so it must be composite.

But, it is not a multiple of any of our prime numbers either. This contradicts the fact

that every integer is either prime or can be written as a product of primes. Hence,

there must be inﬁnitely many primes.

Note that the number p

1

· · · p

n

+ 1 may be prime or composite. For example,

2 ×3 ×5 ×7 ×11 + 1 = 2311 is prime, but

2 ×3 ×5 ×7 ×11 ×13 + 1 = 59 ×509

4

Distribution of Prime Numbers

We have just proven that even though the prime numbers are becoming less dense, we

can always keep ﬁnding another prime number. Some mathematicians are interested

in the distance between consecutive prime numbers. We now look at the two extreme

cases.

Twin Prime Conjecture

If you look at your table of primes less than 196 you will see that every once in awhile

there are two primes numbers which are 2 apart. For example, 3 and 5, 71 and 73,

191 and 193 (and many more). Two primes numbers p and q are called twin primes

if p −q = 2.

It is conjectured that there are inﬁnitely many twin primes (called, the Twin Prime

Conjecture). The largest twin primes found as of August 2009 were

65516468355 ×2333333 ±1.

EXERCISE 4 List all of the twin primes less than 196.

Large Gaps

On the other hand, we also see from our table that the space between consecutive

prime numbers can continue to get larger. We call the distance between two consec-

utive prime numbers a prime gap. For example, the prime gap between 11 and 13

is 2, while the prime gap between 31 and 37 is 6. The largest prime gap under 20 is

4, while there is a prime gap of size 6 from 23 to 29. The ﬁrst occurrence of a prime

gap of size n is called a maximal gap.

The ﬁrst few maximal gaps are:

size prime numbers

1 2, 3

2 3, 5

4 7, 11

6 23, 29

EXERCISE 5 Find the next two maximal gaps.

As we expect, we can make prime gaps arbitrarily large. We will leave the proof of

this as an exercise.

5

An Interesting Unsolved Problem

From all this we see that, using multiplication, the prime numbers are the “building

blocks” of the positive integers greater than 1. What about for addition?

EXAMPLE 3 For the ﬁrst few numbers we have

2 prime

3 prime

4 = 2 + 2

5 prime

6 = 3 + 3

7 prime

8 = 3 + 5

9 = 2 + 2 + 5 = 3 + 3 + 3

10 = 5 + 5 = 3 + 7

11 prime

12 = 5 + 7

13 prime

14 = 3 + 11 or 7 + 7

It has been proven that every integer greater than 4 can be written as a sum of at

most seven primes. However, some mathematicians are interested in trying to prove

a stronger result called Goldbach’s Conjecture: “Every even integer greater than 4

can be written as a sum of two primes.”

If you try many examples, you quickly see that this should be true. Moreover, you

begin to see that as you choose larger numbers, there becomes multiple ways of writing

the numbers as a sum of two primes (for example, 10 and 14 can be written as a sum

of two primes in two ways). However, despite the overwhelming evidence we still do

not know if this conjecture is true or not. It is possible that there is some very large

even integer that cannot be written as a sum of two primes. If you are able to prove

Goldbach’s Conjecture or to ﬁnd an even integer that cannot be written as a sum of

two prime numbers, then you will be famous! Note that as of Nov 6, 2010 all even

integers less than 2 ×10

18

have already been checked!

Problems

1. Modify your Sieve to make a list all of the prime numbers from 197 to 250.

2. We deﬁne Ω(n) to be the number of prime factors of the number n. For example

Ω(8) = 3 since 8 = 2

3

Ω(9) = 2 since 9 = 3

2

Ω(10) = 2 since 10 = 2 ×5

Ω(11) = 1 since 11 is prime

Ω(180) = 5 since 180 = 2

2

×3

2

×5

(a) Find Ω(n) for n = 2, . . . , 20.

(b) Find Ω(100), Ω(400), and Ω(800).

(c) Show that Ω(mn) = Ω(m) + Ω(n)

(d) Find Ω(210000).

(e) Find Ω(20!).

3. For any positive integer n there is a prime gap of length at least n. [Hint: Think

of how to make n numbers in a row that are all composite.]

4. Observe that 10 is the smallest even number that can be written as a sum of

two prime numbers in two diﬀerent ways. Find the smallest even number that

can be written as a sum of two primes in three diﬀerent ways and the smallest

even number that can be written as a sum of two primes in four diﬀerent ways.

5. Explain why if Goldbach’s Conjecture is true, then every integer greater than

5 can be written as a sum of three primes.

- Lesson_plan_1.3.docUploaded byConrod Pitter
- 2012_NZMOCUploaded byJoaquim Marques
- Lecture 16Uploaded byEric Parker
- The History of the Primality of OneUploaded byPetro Vouris
- GREMath_Session01Uploaded byBajak Andras
- Pearson Maths 7 SbUploaded bySharmila Sathiaselan
- ON THREE NUMERICAL FUNCTIONSUploaded byRyanElias
- GeneralizedPartitions and NewIdeas OnNumberTheory and Smarandache Sequences, by A.Murthy,C.AshbacherUploaded bymarinescu
- anoysUploaded byNaveen Kumar
- Lesson_plan_1.5.docUploaded byConrod Pitter
- Bases for the Natural NumbersUploaded byJacob Richey
- construct-a-concept lesson plan for prime numbersUploaded byapi-121560518
- Factors From GMAT.docxUploaded byGilbert Dasas
- HW 6Uploaded bygrondo4
- 8-PrimeNumbersUploaded bycaca
- Entrance Survey Mat233 (Responses)Uploaded bycapapa
- HCF & LCMUploaded byPeiEnOng
- On Smarandache friendly numbersUploaded byRyanElias
- Laplace_Table.pdfUploaded bythanu
- 9Uploaded byLuis Fuentes
- AllsortsUploaded bynazri8002
- Discrete Math CoursesUploaded bybmenot2
- stained glass project exampleUploaded byapi-237333666
- signal_flo w_graphs.pptxUploaded byshareena Iftikhar
- Resvision Questions for HomeworkUploaded byVishal Jalan
- Number SystemsUploaded byJyoti Sukhija
- Laplace_Table.pdfUploaded byVignesh Velmurugan
- 13-1Uploaded byksr131
- mordell.pdfUploaded byAbhishek Singh
- csatUploaded bymuss

- fasc5Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- ALGEBRA-19-01-15Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- BUENAprograma Curricular Multigrado 2007Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Acidos_nucleicos_lectrura_Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 2da 1 . Clase a Primera Unidad LecturaUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Razaprox Libro Muy Bueno Aproximación a La SertezaUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 6ta. Semana Segunda Unidad Membrana Citoplasmatica Citoplasma Lectura 2008Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- MK2011 Levels12 AnswersUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Biologia Celular Citologia y Teoria Celular Lectura 2008Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 6th Class IAMOUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 23_cap10Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Lab OratoriosUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Promedios GaloisUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- archivo15Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 09._Tricomoniasis_lectura_.pdfUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- se_ps5Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Bielementos Biomoleculas Inorganicas Agua Sales Minerales Biomoleculas Organicas Carbohidratos LeUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Microsoft Word - Direct3D.doc - NachoUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- aplicaciondelaaritmeticaUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- CALENDARIO DE JUNIO.docxUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Geometria Analitica.pdfUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Convocatoria+Premio+TWAS+2014Uploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Biomoleculas Organicas Lipidos Proteinas Enzimas LecturaUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- La Biologia y Los Seres Vivos LecturaUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- horario-1-m_i.pdfUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Calorimetria.docUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- QuesInformacion.pdfUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- MiniUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- Alex WordUploaded byLlosemi Ls
- 832Uploaded byLlosemi Ls