# Q: What is the prime factorization of the number 123?

A:
• The prime factors are: 3 x 41
• or also written as { 3, 41 }
• Written in exponential form: 31 x 411

## Why is the prime factorization of 123 written as 31 x 411?

### What is prime factorization?

Prime factorization or prime factor decomposition is the process of finding which prime numbers can be multiplied together to make the original number.

### Finding the prime factors of 123

To find the prime factors, you start by dividing the number by the first prime number, which is 2. If there is not a remainder, meaning you can divide evenly, then 2 is a factor of the number. Continue dividing by 2 until you cannot divide evenly anymore. Write down how many 2's you were able to divide by evenly. Now try dividing by the next prime factor, which is 3. The goal is to get to a quotient of 1.

#### If it doesn't make sense yet, let's try it...

Here are the first several prime factors: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29...

Let's start by dividing 123 by 2

123 ÷ 2 = 61.5 - This has a remainder. Let's try another prime number.
123 ÷ 3 = 41 - No remainder! 3 is one of the factors!
41 ÷ 3 = 13.6667 - There is a remainder. We can't divide by 3 evenly anymore. Let's try the next prime number
41 ÷ 5 = 8.2 - This has a remainder. 5 is not a factor.
41 ÷ 7 = 5.8571 - This has a remainder. 7 is not a factor.
41 ÷ 11 = 3.7273 - This has a remainder. 11 is not a factor.
...
Keep trying increasingly larger numbers until you find one that divides evenly.
...
41 ÷ 41 = 1 - No remainder! 41 is one of the factors!

The orange divisor(s) above are the prime factors of the number 123. If we put all of it together we have the factors 3 x 41 = 123. It can also be written in exponential form as 31 x 411.

### Factor Tree

Another way to do prime factorization is to use a factor tree. Below is a factor tree for the number 123.

 123 3 41

### More Prime Factorization Examples

 121 122 124 125 112 21 x 611 22 x 311 53

Try the factor calculator

### Explore more about the number 123:

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