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Prime Even Numbers

by

Karl Zimmermann
Union College

February 2, 2009
4:30 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 in Bailey 204


Abstract:

It's often useful to write an integer $n > 1$, as a product of primes, $n = p_1^{k_1} p_2^{k_2 }\cdots p_r^{k_r}$. According to the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, this is always possible, and in addition, the factorization is unique. In this talk, I'll illustrate what uniqueness means in this context, and give an elementary example of a number system in which unique factorization fails to hold. At the end of the talk, I'll mention the role that uniqueness of factorization played in 350 years of attempts to prove Fermat's Last Theorem.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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