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“Prime Curios: The Dictionary of Prime Number Trivia “Book Review

One author views prime numbers as an area of research; for the other they’re simply fun. Their combined efforts produced a 235-page dictionary of interesting prime number facts recorded as brief entries.

Chris Caldwell is an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee-Martin and G. L. Honaker is responsible for maintaining Prime Pages website.

Prime Numbers

Mathematicians often refer to prime numbers as the building blocks for all other numbers. As the foundation of number theory, their properties have many real-life applications: cryptography, cycles and helping us understand how other numbers multiply together are just some of these ways they come in handy! Plus they’re great fun!

Determining whether a number is prime can be accomplished using several simple rules. First, it cannot be written as the product of two distinct positive integers. Second, only one of those numbers should be divisible by it without division by any other number. Thirdly, and finally, its value must include three or more digits.

Eratosthenes first identified prime numbers around 300 B.C by devising his “sieve of Eratosthenes.” This method, consisting of all numbers except 1, and marking them either prime (in dark colors) or composite (light colors), before encircling 2 and crossing out all its multiples (4, 6, 8, etc). Eventually only prime numbers remain.

This method remains popular today and has been extended to larger numbers. It is known by several names such as sieve of Eratosthenes, twin primes and alternating primes; and provides an effective means of testing whether a number is prime. Furthermore, it can be used to quickly determine its square root or solve complex mathematical puzzles such as Goldbach conjecture which proposes that all even numbers greater than 2 can be expressed as sum of two primes.


Factorial functions can be found across numerous areas of mathematics, especially algebra and permutation and combination. They count the different ways objects can be arranged; for instance 3 objects could be arranged 6 ways (3!). Their symbolic representation is an exclamation point and their calculation involves multiplying all natural numbers up to and including their target value with simple formula.

First step to finding a factorial is identifying its value by multiplying itself. Once this value has been identified, add it to its base number to form its product before multiplying again to produce its final form and dividing by base to find value of result.

Mathematicians have addressed numerous factorials-related problems, such as Stirling’s approximation and Legendre’s formula, using algorithms. Furthermore, they have devised ways of quickly computing large factorials using these approaches.

Factorials can be seen used in numerous activities, from card tricks and stage “mind reading” to coin and match games, counting out puzzles, geometric dissections and geometric dissections. Renowned puzzle expert Martin Gardner noted that although these tricks may appear like simple sleight of hand they actually demonstrate principles from probability theory, sets, number theory, statistics and other branches of mathematics. As factorials form the core of numerous mathematical concepts like algebra, geometry, number theory and statistics it is essential that you comprehend their foundation before trying to comprehend more complex ones later on.

Fibonacci Numbers

Fibonacci Numbers are a sequence of numbers which occur naturally throughout nature, starting with zero and one, where every subsequent number represents the sum of two preceding ones, for instance starting with 1 and 3, moving on to 3 and 5, etc. They were named after an Italian mathematician named Fibonacci who discovered them around 13th Century; his book Liber Abaci first introduced this fascinating series of numbers to Western audiences.

Fibonacci numbers appear frequently in nature, especially those which feature some sort of spiral structure such as leaves on flowers or branches of trees growing helically; similarly hurricanes or the galaxies in space.

The Fibonacci sequence has become widely known as nature’s secret code or universal law, appearing all throughout nature and even our bodies, from flowers, pinecones, hurricane spirals and chambers in nautilus shells – to even human spines where this sequence exists in its arrangement of 53 bones in our backbones!


Congruence refers to any relationship of equality on an object. Two geometric figures may be considered congruent if their shapes and sizes match exactly. For instance, two triangles may be considered congruent if their sides and angles are equal, as are two line segments with ends meeting at one single point; such relationships can usually be represented using symbols representing shape similarity such as tildes “” for similarity in shape and a vertical line to indicate size equality.

Congruence in algebra refers to an object’s relationship of equality with itself; for instance, its normal subgroup can be defined as all its members that are congruent to its identity element; this group displaystyle G’s congruences are then also called normal subgroup. A congruence can also be defined in category theory as an object which forms an equivalence class with respect to an operation such as addition or multiplication.

There exist various other types of equivalence relations on various algebraic structures, such as congruences. They can be defined on groups, rings, vector spaces, modules, semigroups and lattices – and used to define operations of arithmetic on these algebraic structures – such as modular arithmetic where congruences form an essential concept within modular arithmetic where the related operations take place on the quotient ring of integers.

Prime Factorization

Factorisation (also spelled factorisation or factoring) is the practice of selecting multiple prime numbers that multiply to create the target number, either through repeated division or using a “factor tree.” A number cannot be expressed more than once as an expression product and all its factors must consist solely of primes; since trivial factors of any number include itself and 1. Therefore, factorizations of 12 can either use two x 3 factorization or 12×1 as valid strategies but both should not be counted towards its totality as these cannot be considered valid factorizations of 12. The word factor derives from Latin factum meaning something made or done; hence its origination into English language usage by scientists studying its name!