Applications of prime numbers

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2012-08

Authors

Schuler, Paul Lavelle

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Abstract

This report explores the historical development of three areas of study regarding prime numbers. The attempt to find an efficient and useful function to generate primes could be a helpful tool in the improvement of encryption. The difficulty of factoring large numbers allows the Rivest, Shamir and Adleman algorithm to be effective for public key cryptography. The distribution of primes is examined through discussion of the prime number theorem and the Riemann hypothesis. A brief case for integrating elementary number theory in secondary curriculum is also included.

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