A Multiplication Based Logic Puzzle

919 is a prime number, but if you had 919 little squares, they could be formed into this fabulous shape:

This hexagon is made from 18 concentric hexagons using the pattern yellow, green, blue, purple, red, and orange repeated. You can easily count that there are 3 × 6 hexagons. (Yes, that’s counting the yellow square in the center as a hexagon because 1 is the first centered hexagonal number.) Here’s why prime number 919 is a centered hexagonal number:

919 = 1 + 6 + 12 + 18 + 24 + 30 + 36 + 42 + 48 + 54 + 60 + 66 + 72 + 78 + 84 + 90 + 96 + 102, the number of squares contained in those concentric hexagons listed in order from smallest to largest . Thus,
919 = 1 + 6(1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17) = 1 + 6(153)

919 is a centered hexagonal number because 919 – 1 is 918. What was special about 918? Well, consecutive numbers, 17 and 18, are two of its factors. That made the 17th triangular number a factor of 918. Because 918 is 6 times a triangular number (153), the next number, 919, is a centered hexagonal number.

919 is the 18th centered hexagonal number because 817 (the 17th centered hexagonal number) plus 6(17) = 919.

919 is the 18th centered hexagonal number because 630 (the 18th hexagonal number) plus 17² = 919:

919 is also the 18th centered hexagonal number because 18³ – 17³ = 919. Even though the difference of two cubes can always be factored, 919 is still a prime number because
18³ – 17³ = (18 – 17)(18² + (17)(18) + 17²) = (1)(919)

919 is not only the 18th centered hexagonal number, but it is a palindrome in base 10 and two other bases:

414 in BASE 15

171 in BASE 27

919 uses its same digits, 199, in BASE 26

  • 919 is a prime number.
  • Prime factorization: 919 is prime.
  • The exponent of prime number 919 is 1. Adding 1 to that exponent we get (1 + 1) = 2. Therefore 919 has exactly 2 factors.
  • Factors of 919: 1, 919
  • Factor pairs: 919 = 1 × 919
  • 919 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √919 ≈ 30.31501

How do we know that 919 is a prime number? If 919 were not a prime number, then it would be divisible by at least one prime number less than or equal to √919 ≈ 30.3. Since 919 cannot be divided evenly by 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, or 29, we know that 919 is a prime number.

 

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