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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Is $7$ the only prime followed by a cube?

I discovered this site which claims that "$7$ is the only prime followed by a cube". I find this statement rather surprising. Is this true? Where might I find a proof that shows this? In my ...
129
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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 ...
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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?
86
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Infiniteness of non-twin primes.

Well, we all know the twin prime conjecture. There are infinitely many primes $p$, such that $p+2$ is also prime. Well, I actually got asked in a discrete mathematics course, to prove that there are ...
82
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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 ...
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Why 1 is not considered to be a prime number?

Why $1$ is not considered to be a prime number? Or why definition of prime numbers is given for integers greater than $1$?
63
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$x$, $y$, $x+y$ and $x-y$ are prime numbers. What is their sum?

Here is the question: The $x$, $y$, $x−y$ and $x+y$ are all positive prime integers. What is the sum of all the four integers? Well, I just put some values and I got the answer. $x=5$, $y=2$, ...
58
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17answers
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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 ...
57
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13answers
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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: ...
56
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How did Euler prove the Mersenne number $2^{31}-1$ is a prime so early in history?

I read that Euler proved $2^{31} -1$ is prime. What techniques did he use to prove this so early on in history? Isn't very large number stuff done with computers? Do you know if Euler had a team of ...
55
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2answers
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Does $\lfloor \sqrt{p} \rfloor$ generate all natural numbers?

Our algebra teacher usually gives us a paper of $20-30$ questions for our homework. But each week, he tells us to do all the questions which their number is on a specific form. For example, last ...
54
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8answers
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The myth of no prime formula?

Terence Tao claims: For instance, we have an exact formula for the $n^\text{th}$ square number – it is $n^2$ – but we do not have a (useful) exact formula for the $n^\text{th}$ ...
54
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Do we have negative prime numbers?

Do we have negative prime numbers? $..., -7, -5, -3, -2, ...$
54
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$5^n+n$ is never prime?

In the comments to the question: If $(a^{n}+n ) \mid (b^{n}+n)$ for all $n$, then $ a=b$, there was a claim that $5^n+n$ is never prime (for integer $n>0$). It does not look obvious to prove, nor ...
52
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Is this of any real importance to the mathematical scientific community?

I'm a 31 year old engineer, and I've recently came up with a way to exactly predict the probability of the number of prime numbers between two different integers. For example using my way, the number ...
52
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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 ...
50
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Why are primes considered to be the “building blocks” of the integers?

I watched the video of Terence Tao on Stephen Colbert the other day (here), and he stated, like many mathematicians do, that the primes are the building blocks of the integers. I've always had ...
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Does the string of prime numbers contain all natural numbers?

Does the string of prime numbers $$2357111317\ldots$$ contain every natural number as its sub-string?
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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 ...
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How to understand and appreciate the prime number industry?

Why would I want to buy prime numbers? There is a website (found it!) selling a table of 400 digit primes for twenty dollars. Like an updated version of this. I have a layman's idea that prime numbers ...
45
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14answers
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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.
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Proof that every number ≥ $8$ can be represented by a sum of fives and threes.

Can you check if my proof is right? Theorem. $\forall x\geq8, x$ can be represented by $5a + 3b$ where $a,b \in \mathbb{N}$. Base case(s): $x=8 = 3\cdot1 + 5\cdot1 \quad \checkmark\\ x=9 = 3\cdot3 ...
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Eyebrow-raising pattern of number of primes between terms of the Fibonacci number sequence?

So, $$1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21...$$ Any connection to primes?...it appears not. However, in between the Fibonacci numbers are how much primes? Let's see: 1 and 1 ZERO 1 and 2 NADA 2 and 3 ZILCH 3 and 5 ZIP ...
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1answer
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Sums of prime powers

You are given positive integers N, m, and k. Is there a way to check if $$\sum_{\stackrel{p\le N}{p\text{ prime}}}p^k\equiv0\pmod m$$ faster than computing the (modular) sum? For concreteness, you ...
41
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1answer
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Estimate for $n$th prime

A good approximation I have found for $p_{n}$ is \begin{align} \int_{2}^{n}\log (x \log (x \log (x)))\ dx\\ \end{align} and seems to be a better estimate than $n \log (n)$. The error term seems to ...
40
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3answers
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Is $n! + 1$ often a prime?

Related to this question, I wonder how often $n!+1$ is a prime? There is a related OEIS sequence A002981, however, nothing is said if the sequence is finite or not. Does anybody know more about it?
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Is ${F_{n}}^2 - 28$ always a composite number?

The problem is as follows: Prove or disprove that if ${F_{n}}$ is $n$-th Fibonacci number, and $n>5$, than $${F_{n}}^2 - 28$$ cannot be a prime. I came across this problem accidentally ...
37
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2answers
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Prime powers, patterns similar to $\lbrace 0,1,0,2,0,1,0,3\ldots \rbrace$ and formulas for $\sigma_k(n)$

Some time ago when decomponsing the natural numbers, $\mathbb{N}$, in prime powes I noticed a pattern in their powers. Taking, for example, the numbers $\lbrace 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 ...
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What is an odd prime?

I heard the term "odd prime" often. Isn't it redundant? If $n$ is even then $2$ divides $n$ so it's not prime. Why is "odd" emphasized?
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If a prime number is reversed, and then appended to itself, why is the result always a composite number?

$2 \Rightarrow 22$ which is a composite number. $37 \Rightarrow 3773$ which is a composite number. $523 \Rightarrow 523325$ which is a composite number. $8123 \Rightarrow 81233218$ which is a ...
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Is $2^{218!} +1$ prime?

Prove that $2^{218!} +1$ is not prime. I can prove that the last digit of this number is $7$, and that's all. Thank you.
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2answers
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Proof that $123456789098765432111$ is prime?

The mathematician Charles Weibel asks on his home page the following "fun question": How can you prove that 123456789098765432111 is a prime number? (He notes the fact $$12345678987654321 = ...
36
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1answer
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Generalizing Ramanujan's proof of Bertrand's Postulate: Can Ramanujan's approach be used to show a prime between $4x$ and $5x$ for $x \ge 3$

Perhaps, I've been thinking too long about Ramanujan's proof, but it appears to me that his argument can be generalized beyond $x$ and $2x$. My argument below attempts to show that for $x \ge 1331$, ...
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Small primes attract large primes

$$ \begin{align} 1100 & = 2\times2\times5\times5\times11 \\ 1101 & =3\times 367 \\ 1102 & =2\times19\times29 \\ 1103 & =1103 \\ 1104 & = 2\times2\times2\times2\times ...
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Is the number $-1$ prime?

From my understanding it's not prime because it's not greater than $0$. So my followup question is why did mathematicians exclude $-1$? The definition of prime is having only two factors. $-1 \cdot ...
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Could G. H. Hardy make a product of two primes so big he couldn't find out which?

This question of course began as a slightly irreverent play on the riddle, "Can God make a stone so big He can't lift it?" Then I wondered about the answer. Is it possible to exhibit a number that is ...
31
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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 ...
31
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Do we really know the reliability of PrimeQ[n] (for $n>10^{16}$)?

The algorithm Mathematica uses for its PrimeQ function is described on MathWorld. That web page says PrimeQ uses, "the multiple ...
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Are all prime numbers finite?

If we answer false, then there must be an infinite prime number. But infinity is not a number and we have a contradiction. If we answer true, then there must be a greatest prime number. But Euclid ...
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Are weird numbers more rare than prime numbers?

By taking a look at the first few weird numbers: $$(70, 836, 4030, 5830, 7192, 7912, 9272, 10430)$$ It is certain that prime numbers occurs more often within this range of numbers. But are weird ...
30
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2answers
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Proof of no prime-representing polynomial in 2 variables

In "The New Book of Prime Number Records", Ribenboim reviews the known results on the degree and number of variables of prime-representing polynomials (those are polynomials such that the set of ...
30
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1answer
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Very tight prime bounds

Is it possible that $$\left|\operatorname{li}(n)-\sum_{k=1}^{\lfloor\log(n)\rfloor}\dfrac{\pi(n^{1/k})}{k}-\log(2)-\dfrac{1}{2}\right|<\dfrac{2\sqrt{n}}{e\log(n)}?$$ Since $$ ...
29
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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
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Can a Mersenne number ever be a Carmichael number?

Can a Mersenne number ever be a Carmichael number? More specifically, can a composite number $m$ of the form $2^n-1$ ever pass the test: $a^{m-1} \equiv 1 \mod m$ for all intergers $a >1$ ...
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Are Mersenne prime exponents always odd?

I have been researching Mersenne primes so I can write a program that finds them. A Mersenne prime looks like $2^n-1$. When calculating them, I have noticed that the $n$ value always appears to be ...
28
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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 ...
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How do you prove that a prime is the sum of two squares iff it is congruent to 1 mod 4?

It is a theorem in elementary number theory that if $p$ is a prime and congruent to 1 mod 4, then it is the sum of two squares. Apparently there is a trick involving arithmetic in the gaussian ...
28
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3answers
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Sequence of numbers with prime factorization $pq^2$

I've been considering the sequence of natural numbers with prime factorization $pq^2$, $p\neq q$; it begins 12, 18, 20, 28, 44, 45, ... and is A054753 in OEIS. I have two questions: What is the ...
27
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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 ...
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How to force prime numbers into a line?

Inspired by an article on Prime Spiral and Hough transform I tried to analyze patterns created by plotting numbers on spiral (Archimedean?). $$x = \cos( angle ) * radius$$ $$y = \sin( angle ) * ...