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Edit made on November 24, 2008 by ColinWright at 15:12:34
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If a positive number N can be written as a product of positive numbers i.e. N = p x q then p and q are called factors of N.
By analogy, other mathematical objects: polynomials, matrices etc. can have factors.
The fundamental theorem of arithmetic says that the prime factors of a number are, up to reordering, unique.