Algebra, General

Types of Numbers, part II

In the previous post we talked about how numbers have a varied social life, and they belong to different groups, like our chess clubs or gyms. In this post we’ll take a look at how we group numbers.

One of the most interesting groups of numbers is the prime number set, which is actually a subset of the natural numbers. A prime is a natural number with exactly two distinct natural-number divisors: one and itself. To make it more clear, a prime is a natural number that is evenly divisible only by one and itself. That is to say that if you divide a prime number by any other natural number you will get a fraction or decimal. We have a few conditions: a negative number cannot be a prime; and one itself is not a prime.

On the opposite part of the fence there are the composite numbers. A composite number is a natural number that has a positive divisor other than one and itself, which means that composite numbers are all the natural numbers that are not prime, except one. The number one is neither prime, nor a composite.

Also, I told you guys in the previous post that some numbers are perfect. Sounds nice, huh?  Well a ‘perfect’ number is one for which the sum of all its proper divisors (whole number divisors) is equal to the number. Let’s take 6 as an example; it’s divisors are: one, two and three; if we sum them up we have 6! These perfect numbers are quite rare and really cool. The next perfect number is 28, which has the following divisors: 1, 2, 4,7,14; summing them up we have 28! And so on.. The next perfect number would be 496, and after that it’s 8128.

I’ll come back tomorrow with more neat numbers! Cheers!



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