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Hey kids! I'm a Prime Number and I'm here today to tell you why I'm so great. You'll learn all about me and my extra-cool friends: what makes us special, what you can do with us, and why you should remember us years from now when you've forgotten everything else you ever learned in math class besides basic addition and subtraction.
Prime Numbers Are Special
When you get right down to it kids, there's just one thing that makes us Prime Numbers special: the fact that we can only be divided into whole numbers by dividing into ourselves, or the number one. That's it. It's something all the other loser (I mean, non-prime) numbers can't do. Booo-yah. So, if you're a Prime Number like me (the Number Eleven), you can only divide me into another Eleven or into One, and still get a whole number for a quotient (that's fancy Prime-Number talk for "answer" to a division problem). There are lots of other Prime Numbers, but we aren't all-inclusive: 2, 3, 5, 7, 13... and after that, I forget. But we really are special.
Prime Numbers Are So Special, It Takes Special People to Remember Us
You ever see that movie "Rainman" about that retard (I think they called him an "Idiot Savant")? It takes special people like him to recognize special numbers like us Prime Numbers. That's because there's no rhyme or reason to figuring out which numbers are prime. There's no secret formula. There's no "Prime Number Button" on your fancy TI-85 calculator. You either have to memorize us, or you have to be really special and just be able to "know" us when you see us. There are lots of numbers that sound like they would be Prime Numbers, but aren't (yeah, I'm talking to you, 147). To be known as a part of this special club, you got to have the special people out there doing the recognizing.
Prime Numbers Are Lot More Special Than Regular Odd Numbers
It's a common misconception that any old odd number is a Prime Number. As my friend 147 can tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of odd numbers that can be divided by numbers besides one and themselves, and still come out even. Mr. 147, for example, can be divided by 7 evenly, and so is not a Prime Number. Again, us Prime Numbers, we're a breed all our own.
Prime Numbers Are So Special, They Can Even Be Even Numbers
I know kids, I know: first, I tell you not all odd numbers are Prime Numbers. What's next? Soon, I'll be telling you there are even numbers that are Prime Numbers. Well, that's the crazy news I'm here to tell you about right now! Take a look at Mr. 2. He's an even number. But he's still a Prime Number. It's nuts, I know. But it's true - being an even number does NOT mean you can't be a Prime Number. So, we Prime Numbers really are in a class all by ourselves: we can be anything!
What You Can Do with Prime Numbers
There are lots of things you can do with Prime Numbers. Add us, subtract us, multiply us - when it comes to these things, we are just like normal, everyday numbers. Just don't try to divide us by any number other than one or ourselves, and expect to get a whole number as an answer! That is one thing we Prime Numbers just won't do. Don't say I didn't warn you. I mean it. Try it, kids, and Number 13 will kick your ass.
Why You Should Remember Prime Numbers
Well, there's the obvious reason: us Prime Numbers, we got the coolest name in the Number Kingdom. You ever hear of that tough robot, Optimus Prime? Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret: he's named after us! That's right, the toughest robot in the universe is named after the coolest numbers in existence. I'm telling you kids, we are PRIME. First-rate. Top-notch. Ain't nothin' primer than prime.