In mathematics, an integer sequence is a sequence (i.e., an ordered list) of integers.
An integer sequence may be specified explicitly by giving a formula for its nth term, or implicitly by giving a relationship between its terms. For example, the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, … (the Fibonacci sequence) is formed by starting with 0 and 1 and then adding any two consecutive terms to obtain the next one: an implicit description. The sequence 0, 3, 8, 15, … is formed according to the formula n2 − 1 for the nth term: an explicit definition.
A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. A natural number greater than 1 that is not a prime number is called a composite number. For example, 5 is prime because only 1 and 5 evenly divide it, whereas 6 is composite because it has the divisors 2 and 3 in addition to 1 and 6. The fundamental theorem of arithmetic establishes the central role of primes in number theory: any integer greater than 1 can be expressed as a product of primes that is unique up to ordering. The uniqueness in this theorem requires excluding 1 as a prime because one can include arbitrarily-many instances of 1 in any factorization, e.g., 3, 1 × 3, 1 × 1 × 3, etc. are all valid factorizations of 3.
The property of being prime (or not) is called primality. A simple but slow method of verifying the primality of a given number n is known as trial division. It consists of testing whether n is a multiple of any integer between 2 and . Algorithms much more efficient than trial division have been devised to test the primality of large numbers. Particularly fast methods are available for numbers of special forms, such as Mersenne numbers. As of February 2013[update], the largest known prime number has 17,425,170 decimal digits.
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).