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Ask Hans: What is a prime number?

Ask Hans · July 8th, 2008 · No Comments

“Ask Hans” is a question grab bag. Send in your questions about anything – love, life, religion, politics, raisins, and Internet fraud.

Question:

Dear Hans,

What is a prime number?

Signed,
Carrie Daone

Answer:

Carrie,

To answer your question specifically, a prime number is any number that is only completely divisible by 1 and itself. For example, the number 5 is divisible by only 5 (itself) and 1 (1) without any remainder. Here’s another example: 715,225,741 is prime too. That one is obvious I know, but only 715,225,741 and 1 are divisors into 715,225,741. Naturally, prime numbers are the basis of almost all encryption that computers use to secure our transactions to eBay and Capital One. Optimus Prime was not a prime number but rather a transformer. 867-5309 is also prime. Who knew that Tommy Tutone was a mathematician? I can also tell by your question that you are having relationship problems.

Thanks for your question,
Hans


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