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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45
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2answers
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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 ...
22
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
54
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10answers
3k views

Is $1$ a prime number?

Is 1 classified as a prime number? And if so, why? If not, why not?
16
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4answers
9k views

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 ...
48
votes
17answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
552 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 $q\equiv 1 \bmod{p}$. ...
16
votes
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
votes
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 ...
26
votes
2answers
11k views

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 ...
23
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5answers
12k 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?
22
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2answers
25k 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
20
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6answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
184 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.
80
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
661 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
356 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
554 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
717 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 $p_1 = 2$, $$\sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{p_n}$$
41
votes
13answers
9k 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.
7
votes
3answers
621 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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?
15
votes
2answers
2k 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?
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
433 views

Why do repunit primes have only a prime number of consecutive $1$s?

Repunit primes are primes of the form $\frac{10^n - 1}{9} = 1111\dots11 \space (n-1 \space ones)$. Each repunit prime is denoted by $R_i$, where $i$ is the number of consecutive $1$s it has. So far, ...
125
votes
6answers
23k views

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 ...
25
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15answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
491 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
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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 ...
14
votes
1answer
229 views

Prime pair points slope approaches 1

Take the list of primes, $$2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, \ldots$$ and create ordered $(x,y)$ pairs by grouping in sequence, $$(2, 3), (5, 7), (11, 13), ...
3
votes
3answers
849 views

$p=4n+3$ never has a Decomposition into $2$ Squares, right?

Primes of the form $p=4k+1\;$ have a unique decomposition as sum of squares $p=a^2+b^2$ with $0<a<b\;$, due to Thue's Lemma. Is it correct to say that, primes of the form $p=4n+3$, never have ...
4
votes
2answers
531 views

Show for prime numbers of the form $p=4n+1$, $x=(2n)!$ solves the congruence $x^2\equiv-1 \pmod p$. $p$ is therefore not a gaussian prime.

I need to show that for prime numbers of the form $p=4n+1$, $x=(2n)!$ solves the congruence $x^2 \equiv-1\pmod p$. I then need to show this implies p isn't a gaussian prime. I have started to solve ...
43
votes
5answers
4k views

Does every prime divide some Fibonacci number?

I am tring to show that $\forall a \in \Bbb P\; \exists n\in\Bbb N : a|F_n$, where $F$ is the fibonacci sequence defined as $\{F_n\}:F_0 = 0, F_1 = 1, F_n = F_{n-1} + F_{n-2}$ $(n=2,3,...)$. How can ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Show that product of primes, $\prod_{k=1}^{\pi(n)} p_k < 4^n$

This an interesting problem my friend has been working on for a while now (I just saw it an hour ago, but could not come up with anything substantial besides some PMI attempts). Here's the full ...
31
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 ...
7
votes
0answers
86 views

A little more on $\sqrt[3]{\cos\bigl(\tfrac{2\pi}7\bigr)}+\sqrt[3]{\cos\bigl(\tfrac{4\pi}7\bigr)}+\sqrt[3]{\cos\bigl(\tfrac{8\pi}7\bigr)}$

Using a special case of an identity by Ramanujan, we find that given the roots $x_i$ of $$x^3 + x^2 - (3 n^2 + n)x + n^3=0\tag1$$ which, since its discriminant is negative, always has three real ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Prove a number is composite

How can I prove that $$n^4 + 4$$ is composite for all $n > 5$? This problem looked very simple, but I took 6 hours and ended up with nothing :(. I broke it into cases base on quotient remainder ...
9
votes
1answer
470 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
283 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
289 views

Cramér's Model - “The Prime Numbers and Their Distribution” - Part 1

I was reading "The Prime Numbers and Their Distribution" by Gérald Tenenbaum and Michel Mendès France, the section about Cramér's Model, and I couldn't prove a couple of results. I would like to start ...
4
votes
3answers
579 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}) + ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Show that every prime $p>3$ is either of the form $6n+1$ or of the form $6n+5$

Show that every prime $p>3$ is either of the form $6n+1$ or of the form $6n+5$, where $n=0,1,2, \dots$
5
votes
2answers
917 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. ...