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Listed under:  Mathematics  >  Number (Mathematics)  >  Number operations  >  Multiplication  >  Factors
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What are factors?

What are factors? Watch as the jelly babies in this clip show you! What are the factors of 12? How many factors does the number 11 have? Try explaining to a friend what a prime number is.


BBC Bitesize: linear sequences - revision

These illustrated information sheets revise the definition of a sequence and the nth term. The method of finding the rule for the nth term is extended to more complicated sequences. Highest common factors and lowest common multiples of pairs of numbers are found. This resource is one of a series of online resources from ...

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Prime number keys

Have you ever wondered how modern day encryption works? How are messages and financial transactions kept hidden from cyber criminals and hackers? Listen to reporter Ruben Meerman and mathematician Simon Pampena discuss the largest prime number ever found and how prime numbers are used to encrypt electronic information.

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Prime numbers and unbreakable codes

Imagine if anyone was able to read all our secret, encrypted messages and information. Watch and find out how scientists at the Australian National University are developing a new encryption system using quantum physics and quantum computing.


The beauty of prime numbers

A prime number is a number that only has two factors: one and itself. Listen to Adam Spencer and Richard Glover discussing prime numbers. They cover how we define these numbers and how and why prime numbers are widely used in internet encryption.

Interactive resource

Circus towers: square stacks

Work out how many acrobats are needed to form square-shaped human towers. Start by building a square tower with four acrobats: two acrobats in the base layer and two acrobats standing on their shoulders. Examine a table and graph of the total number of acrobats in the towers. Predict the number of acrobats needed to build ...

Teacher resource

TIMES Module 19: Number and Algebra: multiples, factors and powers - teacher guide

This is a 33-page guide for teachers. It introduces the concepts of primes, composites, prime factorisation, factors, multiples, odd and even numbers, the least common multiple and the highest common factor.


BBC Bitesize: number patterns - revision

These illustrated information sheets review square, cube and triangular numbers and the concept of multiples as they can be useful in number patterns. Methods for finding the rule and hence the next term in a number sequence and a sequence of shapes are demonstrated and students engage in practising these types of questions. ...

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Patterns, primes and Pascal's Triangle

Are you intrigued by patterns? Check out Vi Hart as she explains how to visualise patterns in prime numbers, using Ulam's Spiral. Watch as Vi creates patterns, using Pascal's Triangle to explore relationships in number. See what happens when she circles the odd numbers. What rule does she use to create the final pattern?

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Be positive: rewriting a negative exponent

You can rewrite a number raised to a negative exponent as a positive exponent if you flip the number. See how it's done. Look at the pattern of raising a positive number less than one to an increasingly negative exponent.

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Flipping over reciprocals and negative exponents?

Can you work out numbers with a negative exponent (index)? Well, watch how you flip over a number raised to a negative exponent and change the exponent to a positive. See how to use the second index law too!

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Check out this amazing prime number pattern

Pierre de Fermat  was a French mathematician of the 17th century. He developed a theorem about certain prime numbers -  those that, when divided by four, have a remainder of one. See how you can rewrite these prime numbers as two square numbers.

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What are factors and multiples?

Some mathematical problems involve finding the highest common factor. For others you might need to find the lowest common multiple. Here are some examples that show you how to work these out. You'll also see the difference between factors and multiples.

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Euclid's proof of infinite primes

Want to know how Euclid, an ancient Greek mathematician, proved that there's an infinite number of prime numbers? Prime numbers multiplied together build other numbers. But what did Euclid add to show that not all primes can be listed? Try the exercise yourself. Can you come up with prime numbers?

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Primes: ancient building blocks of maths

It's believed that the ancient Greeks were first to understand the significance of prime numbers. Find out which mathematician in about 300 BCE worked out that there was an infinite number of primes.

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When knowing factors helps!

Do you know how to work out the factors of a number? Watch to see if this tip helps, using 24 as an example. Knowing about factors helps you identify a prime number and square numbers. Put your knowledge about factors into action.

Teacher resource

Fascinating prime numbers

Use this teaching resource to investigate prime numbers with your students. Go back in time to the ancient Greeks (around 300 BC) to find out how Euclid demonstrated that there is an infinite number of primes. Investigate ways to identify prime numbers using algebra and square numbers and how to represent large primes using ...

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Finding out about primes

A prime number has only two factors (one and itself). See how to identify prime numbers by writing out their factors. It's easy to see which numbers are prime numbers and which are not (composite numbers). The number 1 is not a prime number. There are several complex reasons for this, but this clip explains why it isn't ...

Teacher resource

reSolve: Prime factorisation

This sequence of four lessons explores prime factorisation. Students solve a puzzle using factor strings, play a dice game to learn about prime numbers, develop a method for finding all of the factors of a number, and engage in an investigation of highest common factors and lowest common multiples of two numbers, and how ...

Teacher resource

Prime, composite and square numbers

These resources and tasks focus on prime and composite numbers and can be used to support an inquiry into prime numbers and factors.