# The secrets of special numbers

Teacher III, Panitan National High School

WHAT are the secrets of special numbers? What makes them special? The reason why they are called special numbers is because they form special mathematical pattern.

It’s defined simply, but there is always that hesitation when learning a mathematical pattern or learning Math in general. But in life and always, for every problem, there is a resolution.

I n Math, for every equation there i s a corresponding solution. What are special numbers and their secrets? In the history of Mathematics, the following items are considered special numbers: palindromes, prime numbers, square and square roots, exponents and powers, factors and multiples, and infinite numbers.

Palindromes are special numbers because they can be read in the same order in either forward or reverse direction. A good example of this kind of special number is 232 where 2 comes first and last such that whether we start from either left to right or right to left the value remains same.

In contrast, 561 is not a palindrome because if we read this from right to left, the number would be 165. This is the same when it comes to words such as racecar and phrases like stack cats. Whether you start from the last letter backwards, it will read the same.

Prime numbers are numbers that can only be divided by itself and 1 (one) to leave a whole number ( integer) answer. Examples of prime numbers include 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, and 29, but

there are an infinite amount of larger prime numbers too. 7 is a prime number since it can only be divided by itself or 1 to leave a whole number.

Examples: 7 ÷ 7 = 1 and 7 ÷ 1 = 7. If you divide 7 by any other number the answer is not a whole number. Examples: 7 ÷ 2 = 3.5 and 7 ÷ 5 = 1.4. Nine (9) is not a prime number. 9 can be divided by itself, 1 and 3 to leave a whole number. Examples: 9 ÷ 9 = 1 and 9 ÷ 1 = 9 and 9 ÷ 3 = 3. Two (2) is the only even prime number. All other even numbers, of course, are divisible by 2.

Square and square roots are also considered as special numbers. The square of a number is the number that you get if you multiply that number by itself. It is written as x2 For example: 52 = 5 x 5 = 25.

Square numbers are used in area calculations as well as other areas of mathematics. Suppose you want to paint a wall which is 5 meters high by 5 meters wide. Multiply 5m × 5m to give you 25m2. You would need to buy enough paint for 25m2.

The square root of a number is the number that is squared to obtain that number. The square root symbol is √ Square roots are easier to understand with examples: √25 = 5, i.e. 5 is the square root of 25 since 5 x 5 = 25 √4 = 2, i.e. 2 is the square root of 4 since 2 x 2 =4. Not all numbers have a whole square root. For example, √13 is 3.60555.

Exponents and powers are also another set of special numbers. Squares are particular types of