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In mathematics, we start with the natural numbers (or more simply the 'counting' numbers) and learn how to count, starting with 1 and moving up the positive number line. But something special about counting numbers is usually overlooked- primes.    Looking at the naturals, we have {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ... }  all the way to infinity.    Now if you pick a number, any number, and analyze it, you can see its basic properties such as its factors or its multiples. Let's take the number 4 for example.    4 is a multiple of 2, which means it can be divided by a number other than itself and 1. We write "2|4" meaning "two divides four."    Obviously, most other numbers have these factors and are built on them. But there is a type of number that you may be familiar with but not realize its significance in mathematics. One of the most interesting things in mathematics, though a basic concept,... read more

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