Blumenthal, Leonard M. Formerly, Department of Mathematics, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
- Additional Readings
One of the fundamental operations of arithmetic and algebra. The use of the symbol ×, commonly employed in arithmetic to denote multiplication, is attributed to the English mathematician William Oughtred (1574–1660). Because of its resemblance to the letter x, it is rarely used in algebra, where multiplication is frequently denoted by a dot (as in a · b) or, most often, merely by juxtaposition of letters (for example, ab). Multiplication of numbers (real or complex) is associative, a(bc) = (ab)c; commutative, ab = ba; and distributive with respect to addition, a(b + c) = ab + ac; but the term has been extended to denote binary operations on many other kinds of objects, and these operations need not possess all the properties of ordinary multiplication listed above (for example, multiplication of matrices is not commutative). Much effort was formerly expended in the computation and design of multiplication tables, and the related endeavor of tables of prime numbers. (A whole number is a prime if it is not exactly divisible by any whole number other than itself and 1.) The largest known prime (as of July 2011) is the number 243,112,609–1, which has 12,978,179 digits. This prime was discovered in 2008 by implementing a sophisticated prime discovery algorithm on a computer. All of the largest known primes are numbers of the form 2p − 1, where p itself is a prime number. Prime numbers of this form are called Mersenne numbers. See also: Addition; Algebra; Division; Numbering systems; Number theory; Subtraction
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information