## Prime Number Days in 2013

August 6th, 2013 by Math Tricks | No Comments | Filed in Prime Numbers

2013 is a great year for prime numbers.  I have been periodically checking days in 2013 to see if they were prime, and then noting it on the Facebook page if they were.  I have been kicking myself because I have not come up with the idea of determining all of the prime number days in 2013 until now!  Ah well, better late then never – presenting . . .

## The BIG List of Prime Number Days in 2013

Did you know that New Year’s Eve 2013 is a prime number day?

Did you also know that there are several consecutive prime number days in 2013?

Here is a list that i generated of all the prime number days in 2013.  The format I searched is MMDDYY.  It is left to you as an exercise to find the prime number days in other standard formats – lol!

NOTE: Dates with an * indicate consecutive prime number days

January:

10313
10513
10613            1062013 is also prime!
11113
11213
11813
12113
12413
12613
12713

February:

20113
21013
21313
21613
21713
22013
22613

March:

30113
30313
30713
31013
31513
32213
32413
32713
33013 *
33113 *          3312013 is also prime!

April:

40213
40813
41113 *
41213 *
41413 *
41513 *
41813
42013
43013            4302013 is also prime!

May:

50513
51413            5142013 is also prime!
51613 *
51713 *
51913
52313
52813
53113

June:

60413
60913
61613
61813
62213

July:

70313            7032013 is also prime!
70913
71413
71713
72313
72613
73013            7302013 is also prime!

August:

80513            8052013 is also prime!
80713
81013
82013            8202013 is also prime!
82613
82813 *
82913 *

September:

90313
91513
91813
92413

October:

100213 *
100313 *          10032013 is also prime!
100613
100913
101113
101513            10152013 is also prime!
102013
102913

November:

110813
111913
112213
112913

December:

120413
120713            12072013 is also prime!
121013
121313
123113

## Prime Number Tricks

January 3rd, 2013 by Math Tricks | 3 Comments | Filed in Math Tricks, Prime Numbers

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One topic that I was introduced to in my elementary school days was the set of prime numbers.  I was given the standard definition of prime numbers that I was to commit to memory, and the composite-prime number lists discussed in class were mostly used as exercises in multiplication and division.  It really is a shame that the more mysterious aspects of prime numbers were not discussed, because it would have perked my interest in mathematics at the time.  I am not a school teacher, so I do not know how prime numbers are taught in schools today.  I can only hope that they are given more attention than when I was in school.  I will not talk about all of the remarkable properties of primes here – I am only going to show a couple of math tricks which are related to prime numbers.

Finite or Infinite Primes

If you are anything like me, you have probably spent many hours contemplating the prime numbers – the set of positive integers (not including 1, as I have to often remind others) that can only be evenly divisible by one or themselves.  A formal definition of a prime number can be stated as:

A number n is prime if it is greater than 1 and has no positive divisors except 1 and n

One of the standard questions one asks about prime numbers is, “How many prime numbers are there?”  The answer is that there are an infinite number of primes.  This was demonstrated by Euclid thousands of years ago.  He came up with a neat trick (described below) to demonstrate how there are an infinite number of primes.

If you take the first few primes and multiply them together, you will come up with a product which is a composite of each prime used, and thus is evenly divisible by each of those primes.  For example:

2 x 3 x 5 = 30

If you divide 30 by 2 or 3 or 5, you will not get a remainder.

Now, if you add 1 to the product, you will get a number that can NOT be evenly divisible by ANY of the primes used.  In fact, this new number can only be either a NEW prime number, or a product of two or more NEW prime numbers.

This is what Euclid did to show how there are an infinite number of primes.  The sequence of results is called the Euclid numbers: 1 + (product of the first n primes).  Applying this method for the first few primes we get:

1 + (2) = 3 (Prime)

1 + (2*3) = 7 (Prime)

1 + (2*3*5) = 31 (Prime)

1 + (2*3*5*7) = 211 (Prime)

1 + (2*3*5*7*11) = 2311 (Prime)

1 + (2*3*5*7*11*13) = 30031 (Not prime, but composed of the new primes 59 × 509)

1 + (2*3*5*7*11*13*17) = 510511 (Not prime, but composed of the new primes 19 × 97 × 277)

1 + (2*3*5*7*11*13*17*19) = 9699691 (Composed of the new primes 347 × 27953)

This method can be carried out ad infinitum, demonstrating the infinity of prime numbers.

Calculating Prime Numbers

An often-asked question is whether or not you can calculate the number of primes within a stretch of integers.  For instance, how many prime numbers are there from 1 to 3500?  To answer this question, I used Microsoft Access to separate the first 500 prime numbers from the OEIS A000040 (http://oeis.org/A000040) sequence (unverified):

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101, 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, 131, 137, 139, 149, 151, 157, 163, 167, 173, 179, 181, 191, 193, 197, 199, 211, 223, 227, 229, 233, 239, 241, 251, 257, 263, 269, 271, 277, 281, 283, 293, 307, 311, 313, 317, 331, 337, 347, 349, 353, 359, 367, 373, 379, 383, 389, 397, 401, 409, 419, 421, 431, 433, 439, 443, 449, 457, 461, 463, 467, 479, 487, 491, 499, 503, 509, 521, 523, 541, 547, 557, 563, 569, 571, 577, 587, 593, 599, 601, 607, 613, 617, 619, 631, 641, 643, 647, 653, 659, 661, 673, 677, 683, 691, 701, 709, 719, 727, 733, 739, 743, 751, 757, 761, 769, 773, 787, 797, 809, 811, 821, 823, 827, 829, 839, 853, 857, 859, 863, 877, 881, 883, 887, 907, 911, 919, 929, 937, 941, 947, 953, 967, 971, 977, 983, 991, 997, 1009, 1013, 1019, 1021, 1031, 1033, 1039, 1049, 1051, 1061, 1063, 1069, 1087, 1091, 1093, 1097, 1103, 1109, 1117, 1123, 1129, 1151, 1153, 1163, 1171, 1181, 1187, 1193, 1201, 1213, 1217, 1223, 1229, 1231, 1237, 1249, 1259, 1277, 1279, 1283, 1289, 1291, 1297, 1301, 1303, 1307, 1319, 1321, 1327, 1361, 1367, 1373, 1381, 1399, 1409, 1423, 1427, 1429, 1433, 1439, 1447, 1451, 1453, 1459, 1471, 1481, 1483, 1487, 1489, 1493, 1499, 1511, 1523, 1531, 1543, 1549, 1553, 1559, 1567, 1571, 1579, 1583, 1597, 1601, 1607, 1609, 1613, 1619, 1621, 1627, 1637, 1657, 1663, 1667, 1669, 1693, 1697, 1699, 1709, 1721, 1723, 1733, 1741, 1747, 1753, 1759, 1777, 1783, 1787, 1789, 1801, 1811, 1823, 1831, 1847, 1861, 1867, 1871, 1873, 1877, 1879, 1889, 1901, 1907, 1913, 1931, 1933, 1949, 1951, 1973, 1979, 1987, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2017, 2027, 2029, 2039, 2053, 2063, 2069, 2081, 2083, 2087, 2089, 2099, 2111, 2113, 2129, 2131, 2137, 2141, 2143, 2153, 2161, 2179, 2203, 2207, 2213, 2221, 2237, 2239, 2243, 2251, 2267, 2269, 2273, 2281, 2287, 2293, 2297, 2309, 2311, 2333, 2339, 2341, 2347, 2351, 2357, 2371, 2377, 2381, 2383, 2389, 2393, 2399, 2411, 2417, 2423, 2437, 2441, 2447, 2459, 2467, 2473, 2477, 2503, 2521, 2531, 2539, 2543, 2549, 2551, 2557, 2579, 2591, 2593, 2609, 2617, 2621, 2633, 2647, 2657, 2659, 2663, 2671, 2677, 2683, 2687, 2689, 2693, 2699, 2707, 2711, 2713, 2719, 2729, 2731, 2741, 2749, 2753, 2767, 2777, 2789, 2791, 2797, 2801, 2803, 2819, 2833, 2837, 2843, 2851, 2857, 2861, 2879, 2887, 2897, 2903, 2909, 2917, 2927, 2939, 2953, 2957, 2963, 2969, 2971, 2999, 3001, 3011, 3019, 3023, 3037, 3041, 3049, 3061, 3067, 3079, 3083, 3089, 3109, 3119, 3121, 3137, 3163, 3167, 3169, 3181, 3187, 3191, 3203, 3209, 3217, 3221, 3229, 3251, 3253, 3257, 3259, 3271, 3299, 3301, 3307, 3313, 3319, 3323, 3329, 3331, 3343, 3347, 3359, 3361, 3371, 3373, 3389, 3391, 3407, 3413, 3433, 3449, 3457, 3461, 3463, 3467, 3469, 3491, 3499, 3511, 3517, 3527, 3529, 3533, 3539, 3541, 3547, 3557, 3559, 3571

So, as you can see, there are nearly 500 prime numbers from 1 to 3500 (489 to be exact), or just about 14%.  Well, that is a lot of work to get the answer you seek.  It would be great if you can at least get an estimate of the number of primes present in a stretch of integers.  As it so happens, prime numbers have been studied for some time now, and there are ways of calculating the number of primes in a stretch of numbers very accurately.  For obtaining a very rough estimate on your calculator, there is a very simple formula you can use that was developed by Carl Friedrich Gauss during his investigations of the relation between logarithms and prime numbers:

Number of Primes from 1 to N ~= N/ln N

So in our example,

# Primes ~ 3500/ln (3500) = 3500/8.16052 = 429 prime numbers

Adrien-Marie Legendre, a contemporary of Gauss, was able to produce a simple formula which produced an even closer approximation:

Number of Primes ~ N/(ln N – 1.08366)

So in our example,

# Primes ~ 3500/(ln (3500) – 1.08366) = 3500/(8.16052 – 1.08366) = 494 prime numbers

I hope this has wetted your appetite for prime numbers.  They really are very interesting, and I am sure you will enjoy reading about them on your own.  Bon Appétit!