**The prime factorization of 96 is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3.** In exponential form, this is 2^{5} x 3.

Prime factorization is a process for finding which prime numbers can be multiplied together to make a number; prime numbers are numbers that can only by divided by 1 and themselves. Dividing 96 by the smallest prime number, 2, results in the factor of 48. One can continue this process of dividing 48 by 2 until the only remaining factor is 3, which is also a prime number. At this point the process is done, with the resulting equation of 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 = 96.