Question:

What is the least common multiple of 12 and 4?

Answer:

The least common multiple for the numbers 12 and 4 is the number 12

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Elementary arithmetic

Elementary arithmetic is the simplified portion of arithmetic which includes the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Elementary arithmetic starts with the natural numbers and the written symbols (digits) which represent them. The process for combining a pair of these numbers with the four basic operations traditionally relies on memorized results for small values of numbers, including the contents of a multiplication table to assist with multiplication and division.


Least common multiple

In arithmetic and number theory, the least common multiple (also called the lowest common multiple or smallest common multiple) of two integers a and b, usually denoted by LCM(a, b), is the smallest positive integer that is divisible by both a and b. Since division of integers by zero is undefined, this definition has meaning only if a and b are both different from zero. However, some authors define lcm(a,0) for all a, which is the result of taking the lcm to be the least upper bound in the lattice of divisibility.

The LCM is familiar from grade-school arithmetic as the "least common denominator" (LCD) that must be determined before fractions can be added, subtracted or compared.


Number theory

Number theory (or arithmetic) is a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers, sometimes called "The Queen of Mathematics" because of its foundational place in the discipline. Number theorists study prime numbers as well as the properties of objects made out of integers (e.g., rational numbers) or defined as generalizations of the integers (e.g., algebraic integers).

Integers can be considered either in themselves or as solutions to equations (Diophantine geometry). Questions in number theory are often best understood through the study of analytical objects (e.g., the Riemann zeta function) that encode properties of the integers, primes or other number-theoretic objects in some fashion (analytic number theory). One may also study real numbers in relation to rational numbers, e.g., as approximated by the latter (Diophantine approximation).

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to arithmetic:

Arithmetic – oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of operations that combine numbers. In common usage, it refers to the simpler properties when using the traditional operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with smaller values of numbers.

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