What does factor mean in math?

2 Answers

Oddman Profile
Oddman answered
A dictionary definition is "one of two or more numbers, algebraic expressions, or the like, that when multiplied together produce a given product." That is the definition of the noun. Factor can also be a verb, in which case it means "resolve into factors."

For example, we can factor the expression 2x^2 + 10x - 12 as 2(x+6)(x-1).

Sometimes the word "factor" is used interchangeably with the word "divisor". Though it can be listed among the divisors, we usually do not show "1" as a factor of a number or expression. Generally, a factor is considered to be different from 1 or the whole.

For example,
The factors of 26 are 2 and 13.
The divisors of 26 are 1, 2, 13, and 26.
John McCann Profile
John McCann answered
A multiplicative portion of a number.

2 and 4 are factors of 8

sqrt(8)

can be factored thus

sqrt(22 * 2

bringing out 2 from under the radical

2sqrt(2)

Oddman would be the expert here. Perhaps he will see this and comment.

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