The MULTIPLES of a number are what you get when you multiply that number by an integer. To put it more simple, multiples are just a number’s times table.
So the multiples of 8 are 8, 16, 24, 32 etc.
NOTE: Every number is also its own multiple – so you can see above that 8 is a multiple of 8 (it’s just 8 x 1).
The FACTORS of a number are all the numbers that divide into it.
So the factors of 8 are 1, 2, 4, 8.
Also remember that two minus numbers multiplied together make a positive number. So -2 x -4 = 8. This means that the factors of 8 are also -1, -2, -4 and -8.
You might be asked about the highest common factors and lowest common multiples of numbers in the exam which we also have a revision page on.
A PRIME FACTOR of a number is, as you’d expect, a prime number that divides into it. This is important as you could be asked to express a number as a “product of prime factors” and in such a case you can use the factor tree method to find which prime factors multiply together to make the number in the question.
Example: Express 42 as a product of prime factors.
So here’s how you do it:
- Start by writing the number at the top of the tree.
- Split it out into two factors nygoodhealth.com (any you like, here we chose 2 and 21, but we could have chosen 6 and 7)
- Keep splitting each number until you come to a prime number
- The answer is the prime numbers you find multiplied together
ANSWER: 42 = 2 x 3 x 7
Right now you’re probably thinking “When would this ever be useful!”. Well, finding prime numbers is incredibly important to cryptography – the study of code braking and in fact prime factorisation played a huge part in the code breaking efforts of Alan Turing in the Second World War. So maths can be cool right? *coughs*