Math Problem Quickie: Prime Number Fun on Your Wedding Day

This is the first in the Math Problem Quickies series.

The bride wanted to have all the tables labeled with prime numbers. She used all the primes through 43. Each table was set for 10 people. How many guests could come to the wedding?

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4 Responses to Math Problem Quickie: Prime Number Fun on Your Wedding Day

  1. Ok, so I have a great track record of forgetting if “1” is a prime. I know the definition of a prime (divisible by only 1 and the number, itself), but must they be DIFFERENT numbers?

    Thought about looking it up, but thought this could be a didactic experience. I’m sure putting this out there will solicit an academic response.

    Always up for a learning experience!

    • Oops. Forgot to answer the question.

      Like calling someone new and saying “Looking forward to hearing from you” without leaving your number, or (my personal favorite) “It’s really important you read over the attached documents and get back to me ASAP,” then forgetting to attach it to the email.

      IFF “1” is a prime, then I’d say 150 folks. If not, 140. Good times!

  2. Here’s an easy way to remember that 1 is not a prime: A prime is a positive integer with exactly two divisors. The number 1, of course, has only one divisor (itself), and all composite numbers have more than two divisors. Only primes have exactly two.

    • Indeed, Brad. Thanks!

      I like to think of one as being super cool (kind of like zero) and if he was also prime, that would make him have too many good things. Nobody, and no number, should have too many good things!

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