Prime numbers are natural numbers not divisible by any smaller number other than 1. This tag is intended for questions about, related to, or involving prime numbers.

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The square roots of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals

I need to find a way of proving that the square roots of a finite set of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals. I've tried to solve the problem using ...
19
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9answers
4k views

Is there possibly a largest prime number?

Prime numbers are numbers with no factors other than one and itself. Factors of a number are always lower or equal to than a given number; so, the larger the number is, the larger the pool of ...
15
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4answers
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Simple explanation and examples of the Miller-Rabin Primality Test

Coming from an understanding of Fermat's primality test, I'm looking for a clear explanation of the Miller-Rabin primality test. Specifically: I understand that for some reason, having non-trivial ...
39
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7answers
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Is $1$ a prime number?

Is 1 classified as a prime number? And if so, why? If not, why not?
1
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1answer
506 views

If the order divides a prime P then the order is P (or 1)

I've just come up with this question as I'm studying for a number theory midterm. If $p$ and $q$ are different prime numbers, and it's known that $2^p \equiv 1 \bmod{q}$, then $q\equiv 1 \bmod{p}$. ...
21
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2answers
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Why are very large prime numbers important in cryptography?

Firstly, you guys are awesome, and I learn quite a bit just from reading the questions of others. Secondly, a friend asked me recently why large primes are important for data security, and I was ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Is there an intuitionist (i.e., constructive) proof of the infinitude of primes?

This question relates to a discussion on another message board. Euclid's proof of the infinitude of primes is an indirect proof (a.k.a. proof by contradiction, reductio ad absurdum, modus tollens). My ...
22
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3answers
2k views

Two Representations of the Prime Counting Function

The bounty for the best work out of Greg's answer, especially the "solving for $\pi^*(x;q,a)$ in terms of all $\Pi^*$ functions (tedious but possible)" part is over. Since Raymond's ...
15
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1answer
17k views

Finding a primitive root of a prime number

How would you find a primitive root of a prime number such as 761? How do you pick the primitive roots to test? Randomly? Thanks
38
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17answers
4k views

Different ways to prove there are infinitely many primes?

This is just a curiosity. I have come across multiple proofs of the fact that there are infinitely many primes, some of them were quite trivial, but some others were really, really fancy. I'll show ...
10
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3answers
474 views

How to prove Chebyshev's result: $\sum_{p\leq n} \frac{\log p}{p} \sim\log n $ as $n\to\infty$?

I saw reference to this result of Chebyshev's: $$\sum_{p\leq n} \frac{\log p}{p} \sim \log n \text{ as }n \to \infty,$$ and its relation to the Prime Number Theorem. I'm looking into an ...
6
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1answer
521 views

Summing over General Functions of Primes and an Application to Prime $\zeta$ Function

Along the lines of thought given here, is it in general possible to substitute a summation over a function $f$ of primes like the following: $$ \sum_{p\le x}f(p)=\int_2^x f(t) d(\pi(t))\tag{1} $$ and ...
11
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4answers
917 views

Proof that there are infinitely many prime numbers starting with a given digit string

To prove the following fact: given any sequence of digits in any base, eg 314159265358979323 base 10, there are infinitely many primes that start with these digits,eg when expressed in decimal they ...
7
votes
3answers
571 views

When do the multiples of two primes span all large enough natural numbers?

It is well-known that given two primes $p$ and $q$, $pZ + qZ = Z$ where $Z$ stands for all integers. It seems to me that the set of natural number multiples, i.e. $pN + qN$ also span all natural ...
2
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2answers
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Prime powers that divide a factorial [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How come the number $N!$ can terminate in exactly $1,2,3,4,$ or $6$ zeroes but never $5$ zeroes? If we have some prime $p$ and a natural number $k$, is there a formula ...
4
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4answers
1k views

How can we prove that among positive integers any number can have only one prime factorization?

I have read right from school that prime factorization is unique, but have never found proof for this. Can someone show me the proof?
37
votes
11answers
6k views

For any prime $p > 3$, why is $p^2-1$ always divisible by 24?

I know this is very basic and old hat to many, but I love this question and I am interested in seeing whether there are any proofs beyond the two I already know.
18
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6answers
3k views

Efficiently finding two squares which sum to a prime

The web is littered with any number of pages (example) giving an existence and uniqueness proof that a pair of squares can be found summing to primes congruent to 1 mod 4 (and also that there are no ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Every even integer can be expressed as the difference of two primes?

Every even integer can be expressed as the difference of two primes? If so, is there any elementary proof?
9
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3answers
307 views

Are there any Combinatoric proofs of Bertrand's postulate?

I feel like there must exist a combinatoric proof of a theorem like: There is a prime between $n$ and $2n$, or $p$ and $p^2$ or anything similar to this stronger than there is a prime between $p$ and ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Alternate definition of prime number

I know the definition of prime number when dealing with integers, but I can't understand why the following definition also works: A prime is a quantity $p$ such that whenever $p$ is a factor of ...
6
votes
2answers
598 views

Does the sum of reciprocals of primes converge?

Is this series known to converge, and if so, what does it converge to (if known)? Where $p_n$ is prime number n, and $p_1 = 2$, $$\sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{p_n}$$
113
votes
6answers
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Deleting any digit yields a prime… is there a name for this?

My son likes his grilled cheese sandwich cut into various numbers, the number depends on his mood. His mother won't indulge his requests, but I often will. Here is the day he wanted 100: But ...
11
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1answer
404 views

Find all primes $p$ such that $\dfrac{(2^{p-1}-1)}{p}$ is a perfect square

Find all primes $p$ such that $\dfrac{(2^{p-1}-1)}{p}$ is a perfect square. I tried brute-force method and tried to find some pattern. I got $p=3,7$ as solutions . Apart from these I have tried for ...
17
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4answers
8k views

Is there a known mathematical equation to find the nth prime?

I've solved for it making a computer program, but was wondering there was a mathematical equation that you could use to solve for the nth prime?
19
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5answers
2k views

Percentage of primes among the natural numbers

How high is the percentage of primes in $\mathbb{N}$? ($\mathbb{N} := \lbrace { 1, 2, 3, \ldots \rbrace }$ ; a prime is only divisible by itself and 1 in $\mathbb{N}$) The percentage has to be lower ...
60
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3answers
2k views

Least prime of the form $38^n+31$

I search the least n such that $$38^n+31$$ is prime. I checked the $n$ upto $3000$ and found none, so the least prime of that form must have more than $4000$ digits. I am content with a probable ...
30
votes
2answers
6k views

Yitang Zhang: Prime Gaps

Has anybody read Yitang Zhang's paper on prime gaps? Wired reports "$70$ million" at most, but I was wondering if the number was actually more specific. *EDIT*$^1$: Are there any experts here who ...
18
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12answers
18k views

Real world applications of prime numbers?

I am going through the problems from Project Euler and I notice a strong insistence on Primes and efficient algorithms to compute large primes efficiently. The problems are interesting per se, but I ...
16
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7answers
3k views

Prime dividing the binomial coefficients

It is quite easy to show that for every prime $p$ and $0<i<p$ we have that $p$ divides the binomial coefficient $\large p\choose i$; one simply notes that in $\large \frac{p!}{i!(p-i)!}$ the ...
7
votes
2answers
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Help understand the proof of infinitely many primes of the form $4n+3$

This is the proof from the book: Theorem. There are infinitely many primes of the form $4n+3$. Lemma. If $a$ and $b$ are integers, both of the form $4n + 1$, then the product $ab$ is also in ...
6
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3answers
899 views

Showing $x^8\equiv 16 \pmod{p}$ is solvable for all primes $p$

I'm still making my way along in Niven's Intro to Number Theory, and the title problem is giving me a little trouble near the end, and I was hoping someone could help get me through it. Now ...
12
votes
1answer
268 views

Chebyshev: Proof $\prod \limits_{p \leq 2k}{\;} p > 2^k$

How do I prove the following: $$\prod_{p \leq 2k} \; p > 2^k \text{ with } p \in \mathbb{P}$$ I tried induction, but I didn't know how to go on because I don't have a look at all numbers. ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

Rationals of the form $\frac{p}{q}$ where $p,q$ are primes in $[a,b]$

Consider the closed interval $[0,1]$, there is $\frac{2}{3} \in [0,1]$ where $p=2$ and $q=3$. Similarly consider $[2,3]$, one can have $\frac{5}{2} \in [2,3]$ where $p=5$ and $q=2$. Does every ...
5
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2answers
977 views

Proof that there are infinitely many primes of the form $4m+3$

I am reading a proof of there are infinitely many primes of the form $4m+3$, but have trouble understanding it. The proof goes like this: Assume there are finitely many primes, and take $p_k$ to be ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Sum of reciprocal prime numbers

How can the following equation be proven? $$ \forall n > 2 : \sum_{p \le n}{\frac1{p}} = C + \ln\ln n + O\left(\frac1{\ln n}\right), $$ where $p$ is a prime number. It's not homework; I just ...
6
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2answers
135 views

How to show that: $\gcd\left( {a^n-b^n \over a-b} ,a-b\right)=\gcd(n d^{n-1},a-b )$

How to show that: $$ \gcd\bigg( {a^n-b^n \over a-b} ,a-b\bigg )=\gcd(n d^{n-1},a-b ) $$ $a,b\in \mathbb Z$ where $d=\gcd(a,b)$? $\gcd$ is the greatest common divisor.
4
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3answers
544 views

Does the correctness of Riemann's Hypothesis imply a better bound on $\sum \limits_{p<x}p^{-s}$?

This is follow up question on this: How does $ \sum_{p<x} p^{-s} $ grow asymptotically for $ \mathrm{Re}(s) < 1 $? There it is stated that: $$ \sum_{p\leq x}p^{-s}= \mathrm{li}(x^{1-s}) + ...
5
votes
2answers
787 views

Generalizing values which Euler's-totient function does not take

I was reading about Euler's totient function on wikipedia, and it eventually led me to this book on google: Page 74 of the book, Prime numbers: the most mysterious figures in math By David G. Wells. ...
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2answers
822 views

Why do primes other than 2 and 5 divide infinitely many repunits?

I first noticed this is true for the integers of the sequence $9, 99, 999, 9999,\dots$, since for some term $a_n=10^n-1$ in the sequence and $p$ a prime other than $2$ or $5$, we have $a_n\equiv 0 ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Divisibility of prime numbers

I have this exercise in my worksheet in the discrete mathematics course.I don't understand the part that deals with prime numbers in integer-divisibility. "Show that for a prime number $p$, if a ...
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votes
3answers
548 views

Sum of primes up to p is multiple of p?

Is the sum of primes up to p a multiple of p? i.e Is 1+2+...+p divisible by p and how would you prove it?
70
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5answers
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What is the Riemann-Zeta function?

In laymen's terms, as much as possible: What is the Riemann-Zeta function, and why does it come up so often with relation to prime numbers?
23
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1answer
732 views

Are Primes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Assume the following process: Let's start with the set of primes $\{p_k\}$ Then we use the Euler product being equivalent to Riemann's Zeta function $$ \prod_{p \text{ prime}} \frac{1}{1-p^{-s}} = ...
45
votes
11answers
9k views

Why is Euclid's proof on the infinitude of primes considered a proof?

I've expressed Euclid's proof on the infinitude of primes on Mathematica: ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Primes of the form $n^2+1$ - hard?

I met a student that is trying to prove for fun that there are infinitely many primes of the form $n^2+1$. I tried to tell him it's a hard problem, but I lack references. Is there a paper/book ...
14
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2answers
453 views

Primes sum ratio

Let $$G(n)=\begin{cases}1 &\text{if }n \text{ is a prime }\equiv 3\bmod17\\0&\text{otherwise}\end{cases}$$ And let $$P(n)=\begin{cases}1 &\text{if }n \text{ is a prime ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Proving that there are infinitely many primes with remainder of 2 when divided by 3

I need to prove that there are infinitely many primes with remainder of 2 when divided by 3. I started out similarly to Euclid's classic proof of an infinite number of prime numbers: Suppose there is ...
12
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1answer
455 views

What is the probability that some number of the form $10223\cdot 2^n+1$ is prime?

I (David Speyer) took the liberty of doing a fairly major rewrite of this question. I hope I haven't gone too far, but I think there is an interesting question hiding here. Sierpinski proved that ...
14
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1answer
409 views

Is it possible to assign a value to the sum of primes?

It is possible, by means of zeta function regularization and the Ramanujan summation method, to assign a finite value to the sum of the natural numbers (here $n \to \infty $) : $$ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ...