Re: prime numbers and African artifact

David L Burkhead (
7 Jul 1995 21:37:38 GMT

In article <> (Rob Freundlich) writes:
>In article <>,
> (Timothy D. Shoppa) wrote:
>>In article <>,
> (Jeffrey Shallit) writes...
>>> "A piece of bone found in Africa and dated at around 8,500 B.C.
>>>has engraved markings containing what appear to be representations of
>>>the numbers 11, 13, 17, and 19, all of which are prime numbers ..."
>>What? They left out 9, 15, and 21, some of the most useful prime numbers
>>of all! :^)
>No, no, no. Those are the *even* numbers! The primes are 1, 4, 9, 16, 25,
>36, etc.

*Is there a mathematician in the house???*

Well, I'm not a mathematician, but as a Physicist in Training
(Undergraduate senior), I sometimes play one on Usenet. ;)

In basic terms a prime number is a positive integer, excluding
one, that can only be evenly (no fractions or remainders) divided by
itself and one. The first few primes are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 19,
23, and so on.

For those who care: it is known that the number of primes is
infinite and there is no largest prime number (which are, I think,
just different ways of saying the same thing).

David L. Burkhead

Spacecub - The Artemis Project - Artemis Magazine

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