In number theory, the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, also called the unique factorization theorem or the unique-prime-factorization theorem, states that every integer greater than 1 either is prime itself or is the product of prime numbers, and that this product is unique, up to the order of the factors. For example,
The theorem is stating two things: first, that 1200 can be represented as a product of primes, and second, no matter how this is done, there will always be four 2s, one 3, two 5s, and no other primes in the product.
The requirement that the factors be prime is necessary: factorizations containing composite numbers may not be unique (e.g., 12 = 2 × 6 = 3 × 4).
This theorem is one of the main reasons why 1 is not considered a prime number: if 1 were prime, then factorization into primes would not be unique; for example, 2 = 2×1 = 2×1×1 = ......LESS
Now in its second edition, this textbook provides an introduction and overview of number theory based on the density and properties of the prime numbers. This unique approach offers both a firm background in the standard material of number theory, as well as an overview of the entire discipline. All of the essential topics are covered, such as the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, theory of congruences, quadratic reciprocity, arithmetic functions, and the distribution of primes. New in this edition are coverage of p-adic numbers, Hensel's lemma, multiple zeta-values, and elliptic curve methods in primality testing.
Key topics and features include: