# Prime Numbers

## Prime Numbers In Modern Life

A question one might ask at this point is "How is any of this important?" Believe it or not, theories about prime numbers play an important role in big money banking around the world.

Computers use large numbers to protect money transfers between bank accounts. Cryptographers, people who specialize in creating and cracking codes, who can factor one of those large numbers are able to transfer money around without the consent of the bank. This results in computerized bank robbery at the international level.

Knowing how to protect these accounts relies on prime numbers, as well as other theories involving factoring. As more and more of the world uses this method of protecting its money, the value of facts concerning primes grows every day.

## Resources

### Books

Karush, William. Dictionary of Mathematics. Webster's New World Printing, 1989.

Weisstein, Eric W. The CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics. New York: CRC Press, 1998.

## KEY TERMS

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Carmichael numbers

—Some numbers that have qualities of primes, but are not prime.

Euclid

—Greek scientist credited with the first theories of prime numbers.

Factors

—Numbers that when multiplied equal the number to which they are factors.

Sieve of Eratosthenes

—One method for locating primes.

Twin primes

—Prime numbers that appear as consecutive odd integers.