Q:

What is a prime factor in mathematics?

A:

Quick Answer

Prime numbers that, when multiplied, equal another number are said to be the “prime factors” of that number. For example, 2 and 7 are the prime factors of the number 14.

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Full Answer

A prime number can only be multiplied by itself and the number 1. So, the number “8” is not prime because it’s possible to multiply “2” and “4” to produce the number 8. The number “7” is prime because no other whole numbers produce the number when multiplied together besides itself and the number 1. Determining prime factors of a number means breaking this number up into more numbers and then checking to see if those new numbers are prime. For example, the number “32” can be broken up into “8” and “4,” which when multiplied together make 32. But “8” and “4” aren’t prime numbers themselves. It’s necessary to break these numbers down further before they are prime factors. In this case, it takes four of the number “2” to make up the prime factors of number “32.” It’s also possible to write prime factors with an exponent if they include multiple of the same number. For example, the prime factors of 32 include “2” with an exponent of “4.”

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is 2 a prime number?

    A:

    Yes, 2 is a prime number. In fact, 2 is the only even number that is prime. A prime number is a number that has only two factors, the number 1 and itself.

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  • Q:

    Is 31 a prime number?

    A:

    31 is a prime number. This is due to the fact that it is only divisible by itself and the number one, which is the criteria for any prime number.

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  • Q:

    Is 39 a prime number?

    A:

    The number 39 is not a prime number. The definition of a prime number states that it is a number that only has one and itself as factors. Because 39's factors are one, three, 13 and 39, it does not conform to the definition of a prime number.

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  • Q:

    Is 93 a prime number?

    A:

    The number 93 is not a prime number; i'is a composite number. A prime number is any positive number that can only be divided evenly by the number 1 and itself; 93 can be evenly divided by 3 and 31.

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