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What Are Prime Numbers And How To Use Them?

By Ava, published on 26/02/2019 Blog > Academia > Maths > When Is A Number A Prime Number?

Have you ever heard a mathematician speak? It is like they are speaking another language. Pythagorean theorem, equivalent fractions, differential equations, probability, algebra, geometry, square roots, trigonometry (trig.), decimal places, negative numbers. Wow!! Sounds like they are having word problems but they certainly don’t need math help. But any serious learner of maths will understand at least some of what they are saying. To all the non-math enthusiasts or those who know just basic math; however, it may just sound like gibberish.

The number of sense behind those words opens up to you if you just take the time to study a little bit of their background. Math is full of rich and vibrant history, where the special number Pi, the e of Euler, the history number i, and of course the golden ratio. Where discovered and expanded upon by the greatest mathematicians of the time. Building upon the principles of Addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. The great masters created mathematical concept, formulas, sequences and number systems to bring logic to the world as we know it.

These discoveries are the pillars of the world as we know it today. Maths has laid the foundations for the modernity that we have come to know and love. Computers, cars, the internet, banking, trade, telling time, and all numbers as we know them to include our own DNA is working based on equations and formulas as discovered by genius mathematicians.

As a math student, you have to understand that your acquisition of mathematical concepts isn’t just arbitrary information. But you are learning what is essentially an ancient language, one which is used to make sense of the world around us. Your math learning during your mathematics education should be seen as a discovery.

The math curriculum is full of opportunities to learn from kindergarten when you have introduced to your times tables, dividing, adding and subtracting. To high school when you continue to develop with math problems made up of sequences, fractions algebraic equations and other number systems. College math opens up your understanding further with advanced quadratic equations, Exponent numbers, Graphing, Inequalities, Algebra trigonometry, Quadratic equation and more.

If you are serious about your math practice, you will be aiming for mastery. While this can be stressful especially when a concept seems difficult to grasp. It is important to remember how much you have learnt already, math concepts like whole numbers and even counting were once foreign to you but given time you had success and risen above the core standards of the curriculum.

Let’s Learn math and some more of its number patterns, let’s take a look at the prime numbers.

mathematicians have a language in maths Have you ever heard a mathematician speak? Photo Source: Unsplash

How Do You Define A Prime Number?

prime number is a natural number that is only divisible (equally without creating decimals or rounding) by 1 and itself.  According to this definition, 0 and 1 are not prime numbers since 0 is divisible by all positive numbers, and 1 is only divisible by a single positive number.

For example:

2 is a prime number because the factors of 2 are 1 and 2

4 is not a prime number because it can also because dividing it by 2. Therefore the factors of 4 are too many – 1, 2 and 4

Prime numbers are considered a key foundation of arithmetic and mathematics.  This is due to the fact that all numbers are either a prime number or they can be calculated by multiplying prime numbers with each other.

For example:

  • 84, is not a prime number but can be made by 2x2x3x7.

What Are The Prime Numbers?

Thanks to Euclid’s theorem on prime numbers, we know that prime numbers. Like many special numbers continue infinitely, so there is no finite exhaustive list of prime numbers. However, it is possible to recite the prime numbers by defining an opening and a closing point.

For example:

There are 25 prime numbers from 0 to 100: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97.

This list is short enough for you to memorise it and look like a math master to your math tutor when they next ask you about the numbers. If you can remember this list, it will also give you an easy foundation to create the rest of the prime numbers.

Math brings logic to the world as we know it. The great masters created mathematical concept, formulas, sequences and number systems. Photo Source: Unsplash

How To Calculate Prime Numbers

  1. To find out if a number is a prime number you can first divide it by 2. Which is easy to do for almost all numbers that you will come across. If the answer is a whole number, then it can’t be a prime number.
  2. If the number is not even then follow the same procedure with the prime numbers 3, 5, 7, 11

For example:

Let’s check if 13 is a prime number using this method.

  • 13/2=6.5 (the answer is not a whole number therefore we continue)
  • Let’s following the sequence with 3, 5, 7, 11
  • It is safe to say that 13 is a Prime number as we know.

Let’s check with a number we don’t know

  • 891 looks like a good number
  • 891/2= 445.5 then 891/3=297
  • Well, it is not a prime number since when divided by 3 it became a whole number.
  • When I check the Prime number chart the last prime number in the 800’s is 887 so It works.

So this is an easy way to work it out.

Learn more easy ways around maths problems from a reputable maths tutor near me.

Cool Math Games To Memorize Prime Numbers Easily?

This is a bit of mental math that will not require much of your math skill, but it will need you to use your memory. While you can get this on printable worksheets and keep them with you in a discrete place. It is always better to actually learn your math facts so that when you are in the classroom, you can be actually learning math and not searching for your notes or placeholders in textbooks. This can be used to memorize anything.

It has been recognized that in order to retain a memory of anything that the thing should have some meaning to you. Words often have much more meaning than a series of numbers.

For example, we can develop a personalised memory system by associating numbers with words if you can make them somehow related to the number this can help you to remember their meaning:

  • 0 to Zara,
  • 1 to Hun
  • 2 to blue,
  • 3 to tree,
  • 4 to poor,
  • 5 to hive,
  • 6 to sticks
  • 7 to heaven,
  • 8 to gate,
  • 9 to peg.

By saying the primes aloud, you will see that you will associate the sound with the corresponding number.

Give free rein to your imagination by using this math game, creating stories from the names and objects. Now let’s see what the first example will give us:

  • Blue tree hive heaven = 2, 3, 5, 7,
  • A blue tree with a hive grew to heaven

If you repeat this, then you would have created a great memory system that will help the math skills that you can use for any complex numbers sequence in math. Just multiply the exercise to cover high numbers or work out a system for 1-9. There are many memory techniques like this that you can use to help you remember long sequences of numbers.

math s part of our world These discoveries are the pillars of the world as we know it today. Photo Source: Unsplash

Cool Math: Prime Fact That You May Not Get In Your Math Class

All prime numbers end in 1, 3, 7 or 9 apart from 2 and 5. Each of these endings has a 25% chance of showing up, and if you know the previous number in the prime sequence, you should also know that these numbers do not like to show up in doubles. So if you have 11, you would get another number ending in 1 again for a few digits. Easy to understand? I hope so, why not take a look and try to find your own pattern.

Games On: Learning Fun With Maths

Having fun and mathematics don’t sound like they go together, but When you are having happy, you retain knowledge longer and learn faster. If you can remember your first math teacher may have used math games, singing or videos to help you enjoy solving your time’s tables, basic sums, calculus, adding and subtracting. As we grow up, we get much more serious about math and somehow lose the fun aspect of the subject.

Solving math problems the fun way with jigsaw puzzles and quizzes. Is an engaging way to study math.

Great Ideas To Bring Math Fun Back Into Your Learning:

  • Don’t study alone. Tutoring other students at school in exchange for credit to be tutored could be a great way to study with other budding mathematicians.
  • Math online: Watch fun math videos, search for free online math blogs, join math forums on facebook,
  • Mobile maths: Play online math games via mobile apps. Sudoku is fun
  • Meet up with your friends: create a free math study group.
  • Download: free math worksheets or math sheets
  • Hire a math tutor: develop a lesson plan with them to meet your needs and have fun.
  • Record: the Math tutorials that your teacher give you and listen to it later when you are more relaxed.

Have fun mathematically, take lots of math courses, ignore the decimal places, call your tutors, experiment with square roots, check for symmetry, divide negative numbers, sing your homework, solve problems, think outside of the triangles and above the number line.

Follow the math curriculum or core standards but don’t be glued to them. It is ok to be creative, it how all of the most famous mathematicians in history discovered modern day maths. Learn all you need to know and invent the rest.

You can read more about the special and rare perfect numbers next

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