Prime Factorization is a mathematical function utilized to segregate a composite number into its prime factors. Composite numbers can be divided by more than just 1 and itself to result in a whole number. Prime numbers can just be divided by 1 and themselves, for instance 2, 3, 5, and 7.

By finding the prime factors of a number, we can simplify fractions and equations, in addition understand the characteristics of that number. Let’s get a closer look.

## Ways for Finding Prime Factorization

There are two primary methods for working out prime factorization. You can utilize a factor tree, or you could factor by dividing by prime numbers. One as well as the other techniques will yield you the exact answer.

### Factor Tree Method

The initial method is utilizing a factor tree. To make a factor tree:

Initiate by writing the number you are trying to factor at the top of the page.

Underneath, make branches for the factors.

Proceed by creating branches and factoring before you attain a prime number.

Here’s an instance of the thinking process:

We recognize that 6 * 6 = 36.

Is 6 a prime number? No. 2 * 3 = 6.

Are 2 and 3 prime numbers? Yes. We are done here.

The prime factorization of 36 will be 2 x 2 x 3 x 3. To visualize this process, we could make a factor tree for 36 as follows.

As demonstrated, the prime factorization of 36 is comprehended by multiplying the prime factors at the bottom of the tree, that is 2 * 3 * 2 * 3.

### Division Method

The next method for finding the prime factorization of a number is to initiate using a list of prime numbers. Note down the value you are attempting to factor. Next, divide the number by a prime number which divides evenly into it. It’s most convenient to initiate with the initial few prime numbers, like 2, 3, and 5.

Let’s utilize the division method for prime factorization of 36.

What is a prime number that divides into 36? 2 → 2 * 18 = 36

Is 18 a prime number? Nope.

What is a prime number that divides into 18? 2 → 2 * 9 = 18

Is 9 a prime number? No.

What is a prime number that divides into 9? 3 → 3 * 3 = 9

Is 3 a prime number? Yes. We are done here.

The prime factorization of 36 is 2 * 2 * 3 * 3, and here’s a depiction.

Using both process, we established the prime factorization for 36 is 2 * 2 * 3 * 3.

## Examples of Prime Factorization

Despite the fact that we’ve earlier worked through a few examples, let’s do one more using both processes.

Let’s use a factor tree to figure out the prime factorization of 100.

We know that 4 * 25 = 100.

2 * 2 = 4, and 2 is a prime number. 5 * 5 = 25, and 5 is a prime number. we are done here.

The prime factorization of 100 is 2 * 2 * 5 * 5.

Let’s test the division process:

What is the prime factorization for 100?

What is a prime number that divides into 100? 2 * 50 = 100

Is 50 a prime number? Nope.

What is a prime number which divides into 50? 2 * 25 = 50

Is 25 a prime number? No.

What is a prime number which divides into 25? 5 * 5 = 25

Is 5 a prime number? Yes. We are done.

The prime factorization of 100 is 2 * 2 * 5 * 5.

## Applications of Prime Factorization

Prime factorization has many real-life uses in mathematics. One of the major uses is streamlining fractions. By working out the prime factorization of the numerator and denominator of a fraction, you can cancel out common prime factors and clarify the fraction.

For instance, the fraction 8/24 can be simplified by finding the prime factorization of both values. 8 = 2 * 2 * 2 and 24 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3. By canceling out the common prime factor of 2, we are left with the clarified fraction of 1/3.

To check how this works, let's employ prime factorization to streamline the fraction 8/24. First, work on prime factorization of the numerator and denominator.

8 = 2 * 2 * 2

24 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3

Subsequently, we cancel out any common prime factors among the numerator and denominator.

8/24 = 2 * 2 * 2 / 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 = 1/3

After canceling out the common prime factors of 2, we are left with the streamlined fraction of 1/3.

Prime factorization also plays a crucial part in computer science and cryptography. As you progress in advanced math and science studies, you will figure out additional utilizations for prime factorization and be glad you are a pro.

## It’s Prime Time to Advance Your Math Abilities

Prime factorization is an essential concept in mathematics that enables us to streamline equations and fractions, moreover learn the characteristics of a value. By practicing and understanding the methods and applications of prime factorization, we could improve our mathematical skills and analytical abilities.

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