# Primary mathematics/Factors and primes

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**Factors** are factorizations, which is to say the dividing functions of a number.

100 = 10 x 10 88 = 8 x 11

**Prime factors** are factors which are **prime numbers**

55 = 5 x 11 100 = 2 x 5 x 2 x 5

Because 2, 5, and 11 cannot be divided by any number but 1 and itself, these numbers are called *prime*. Prime numbers are an important part of mathematics, and the problem of factoring large numbers into primes remains fundamental to the study of computer science.
Factoring a number like 64 often requires more than one step:

64 = 2 x 32 (32 is not prime) or = 2 x 2 x 16 (16 is not prime) or = 2 x 2 x 2 x 8 (8 is not prime) or = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 4 (4 is not prime) or = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2