Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from john, a student:

the first 5 prime numbers are 2,3,5,7,11. which is the smallest number that has these prime factors.

Hi John. There is a theorem in mathematics called "The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic" which sounds quite important (because it is) but it simply states that every positive whole number above 1 can be uniquely written as the product of a set of prime factors.

Any number which has your set of prime numbers therefore, must be a multiple of the smallest number! So the answer to your question is just the product of those primes. Multiply it out!

Stephen La Rocque.

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