7th Grade Math - Prime Factorization

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Prime numbers are always a mathematician favorite. In some sense they are the fundamental building blocks upon which all other whole numbers can be built. Basically, a prime number is a number that can't be factored into two numbers that are each smaller than the original. Otherwise, if a number can be factored into two smaller pieces, then it is called a composite number. Every single composite number can be written as a product of prime numbers. Prime Factorization is the process of finding what prime numbers you need to multiply together to get the original number.

Prime numbers come up often in Cryptography, the study of secret codes. The people who make or break secret codes often utilize prime factorization. Because very large numbers are very hard to factor, it can take a computer a long time to compute. This makes them very useful for security purposes. In fact, in 2009 several researchers factored a 232-digit number utilizing hundreds of machines over a span of 2 years. That's a long time for one number!

We are jumping into our 7th grade math curriculum with today's free video on Prime Factorization. Edward Burger takes you through the basics and then several examples to ensure your full understanding of today's subject. There happens to be a total of three lectures on the video, so make certain you click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture.


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This page contains a single entry by April Stockwell published on July 19, 2010 9:53 AM.

Pre-Algebra - The Coordinate Plane was the previous entry in this blog.

7th Grade Math - Least Common Multiple is the next entry in this blog.

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