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September 1, 2015

Homework Help: prime numbers

Posted by kim on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 8:55pm.

Which of these is a prime number?
407, 409, 411, or 413

409

how did you get that?

Suppose you are given some number N. If x<sqrt[N] then N/x will be larger than sqrt[N]. This means that any factor of N must be smaller than or equal to the square root of N. This follows because if N has a factor larger than the square root of N 8other than N itself), then after dividing N by that number you would get a number smaller than the square root of N (that number is then not equal to 1). However, that number you get upon division will be a divisor of N too. That then contradicts the assumption that N has only divisors larger than the square root of N.

So, what you do is you check all the prime numbers till the square root of N to see if they divide N.

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