Primes

Primes

Basic

Numbers which have two, and only two, factors are called prime numbers.

• 0 has no factors, and is not a prime number

• 1 has only 1 factor, and is not a prime number

• 2 has two factors (1 and 2) and is a prime number. It is the only even prime number

• 3 is a prime number, as it has factors of 1 and 3

• 4 is not a prime number, as it has three factors: 1, 2 and 4.

The other prime numbers below 20 are: 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 and 19.

To work out whether a number is prime, divide by each of the prime numbers starting with 2.  If it is not divisible by any of these numbers, it is a prime number.

Examples

1. What is the next prime number after 20?

Answer: 23

21 can be divided by 3 (3 x 7 = 21); 22 can be divided by 2 (2 x 11 = 22), but 23 can only be divided by 1 and 23.

2. Is 49 a prime number?

Answer: No

It is divisible by 1, 7 and 49.  As it has three factors, it is not a prime number.