Most people know that the 3 digit number is the number 1 through 9. It’s the same as the 1 to 9 grid of our brain. It’s not a surprise that the 3 digit number is the smallest number.
A lot of people are surprised that the number 3 is also the smallest three digit number. The 3 digit number contains the number 3, which is the smallest 3 digit number.
It’s weird that the number 3 is the smallest number. Because the number 3 is the smallest number, it makes sense that the number 3 is the smallest three digit number. 3 is the smallest number, so it makes sense that 3 is the smallest 3 digit number.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll try to explain: A prime number is one that can be written in only one way. This is what I mean by prime. There’s a really cool way to tell if a number is a prime number. You can split it in half and see if that works. A number that’s prime, in other words, has no prime factor(s). Because of this, a prime number must have a 1 or 2 in it somewhere.
The way we tell if a number is a prime number is we split it in half and see if that works. For example, 5 is prime, but 5/2 is not. We need one more prime number to make 5/2 a prime number. This is also why the smallest prime number is 3. 3 is the smallest prime number, but because 3 is the simplest number to split, we don’t need a whole bunch of factors to make it prime.
The reason the smallest prime number is 3 is we split it in half. So the numbers that go on the end have 3 factors, the numbers that go on the start have 2 factors, and the other two factors are still left over. So the smallest prime number is 3 because it has 2 factors and the smallest factors are one factor each.
The smallest prime number has 3 factors, so it is the smallest 3 digit number. This is why we call the smallest prime number a “prime number.” This is something we take for granted, but when we encounter a number that has only two factors we are usually pretty surprised.
Some people call a number that has only two factors a trinomial. If you look up a trinomial in the Wikipedia entry on trinomials, you see that the two factors are two different numbers. In this case, the two factors are 3 and 6.
A prime number has more than two factors. A prime number has fewer factors than a prime number.