## Expressing Composite Numbers as Product of Prime Numbers

It is sometimes necessary to express a composite number as a product of prime numbers. As an example, the number 24 may be expressed as:

2 x 2 x 2 x 3

While smaller numbers may often be determined by inspection, a method for determining the product of prime numbers for larger numbers is presented.

- Using the original number continuously divide by the smallest prime number possible (e.g., 2, 3, 5, 7) until the number can no longer be reduced
- Collect the respective prime numbers, in addition to remaining prime number and express them as a product

Example:

Express the composite number 960 as a product of prime numbers.

Solution:

Resulting in 960 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 5

Resulting in 960 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 5