The dictionary meaning of prime is ‘Of first importance’ or ‘Of the best quality, excellent’ etc. What is so great about prime numbers? A number is said to be a prime if it is divisible only by 1 and itself. 5, for example, is a prime number because it is divisible only by 1 and 5. The number 4 can be divided by 1, 4 AND 2. So it is not a prime number. Numbers that are not primes are said to be composite numbers. The fundamental theorem of Arithmetic states that all numbers are either primes or a product of a unique combination of primes. So in a way the prime numbers are the building blocks for all numbers. Hence the name Prime.
Prime numbers have various applications, but perhaps the best reason why Mathematicians study them is that they are extremely basic and mysterious at the same time. It’s amazing how little we know about primes after reflecting on them for thousands of years.
Prime numbers were first studied extensively by Greek mathematicians. Euclid, a Greek Mathematician who lived around 300 BC and was known as the …show more content…
13 and 17 are both prime numbers. Mathematicians believe that their prime-number lifespan is not a coincidence, but has evolved as an effort to avoid predators. By emerging every 13 or 17 years, cicadas minimize the chance that their lifespans will be multiples of life-cycles of birds and other creatures that prey on them!
Many artists and writers have been inspired by prime numbers. The French composer Olivier Messiaen used prime numbers to create music! He used short themes with lengths given by different prime numbers to create unpredictable rhythms. In his science fiction novel Contact, NASA scientist Carl Sagan suggested that prime numbers could be used as a means of communicating with aliens. This was based on the assumption that intelligent aliens who could receive messages would be aware of prime