## Saturday, May 08, 2010

### Saturday Trivia

The answer to yesterday's question is:
George and Gracie.

Today's question is:
What is the smallest prime number?

Anonymous said...

2

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

The smallest prime is 2. 1 is not prime because of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. (Look it up.)

Ellen K said...

You know I stink at math: 2?

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

2

maxutils said...

Dpends on whether you use the real definition, or the newfangled one. If it's no factors other than one and itself, it's one. If you prefer the abomination "exactly two distinct factors", it's 2.

Darren said...

There's only one correct definition, max.

PeggyU said...

2

Jamie said...

2

Forest said...

The smallest prime is 2.

maxutils said...

Actually Darren, that's not quite true. The new definition is now accepted as true, but back in my school days the other was accepted and taught. I had never heard of the new definition until I started teaching. And, as one whose first love is not math, the older one is much less awkward verbally, and adds very little. Yes, you can write 6 as 2x3 or 1x2x3, or 1x1x2x3, but why would you? It would be just as easy to ask for the simplest prime factorization, and leave 1 prime.
I accept the distinction, but I don't have to ike it. Check Wikepedia, prime numbers, primality of one.

Jamie said...

I would argue that even if you use the definition "one and itself" the AND implies there must be two factors. You probably wouldn't be okay with someone saying they are going to no stores, other than Target and Target. Using "and" implies a second, different item. Therefore 1 does not fit that definition of a prime number.

maxutils said...

A legit interpretation, which nonetheless doesn't change the fact that when that definition was used,one was considered prime. Just another example of lies I was taught in math class, like, "you can't have less than zero" or you can't take the square root of a negative number" or "some quadratic equations have no solutions"

Darren said...

I tell even my low-level algebra students that if the discriminant of a quadaratic equation is negative that there's no *real* answer. I also say that *in Algebra 1* we don't take the square root of a negative number.

I don't lie to my students.

maxutils said...

Didn't suggest you did . . . the lies come largely from our less mathemetically trained compatriots in the lower levels.. .that's where my experience came from.