Prime power

In mathematics, a prime power is a positive integer power of a single prime number. For example: 7 = 71, 9 = 32 and 32 = 25 are prime powers, while 6 = 2 × 3, 12 = 22 × 3 and 36 = 62 = 22 × 32 are not. (The number 1 is not counted as a prime power.) The prime powers are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 32, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 59, 61, 64, 67, 71, 73, 79, 81, 83, 89, 97, 101, 103, 107, 109, 113, 121, 125, 127, 128, 131, 137, 139, 149, 151, 157, 163, 167, 169, 173, 179, 181, 191, 193, 197, 199, 211, 223, 227, 229, 233, 239, 241, 243, 251, 256, ... (sequence A246655 in the OEIS)

The prime powers are those positive integers that are divisible by exactly one prime number; prime powers are also called primary numbers, as in the primary decomposition.

Properties

Algebraic properties

Prime powers are powers of prime numbers. Every prime power (except powers of 2) has a primitive root; thus the multiplicative group of integers modulo pn (or equivalently, the group of units of the ring Z/pnZ) is cyclic.

The number of elements of a finite field is always a prime power and conversely, every prime power occurs as the number of elements in some finite field (which is unique up to isomorphism).

Combinatorial properties

A property of prime powers used frequently in analytic number theory is that the set of prime powers which are not prime is a small set in the sense that the infinite sum of their reciprocals converges, although the primes are a large set.

Divisibility properties

The totient function (φ) and sigma functions (σ0) and (σ1) of a prime power are calculated by the formulas:

$\varphi (p^{n})=p^{n-1}\varphi (p)=p^{n-1}(p-1)=p^{n}-p^{n-1}=p^{n}\left(1-{\frac {1}{p}}\right),$ $\sigma _{0}(p^{n})=\sum _{j=0}^{n}p^{0\cdot j}=\sum _{j=0}^{n}1=n+1,$ $\sigma _{1}(p^{n})=\sum _{j=0}^{n}p^{1\cdot j}=\sum _{j=0}^{n}p^{j}={\frac {p^{n+1}-1}{p-1}}.$ All prime powers are deficient numbers. A prime power pn is an n-almost prime. It is not known whether a prime power pn can be an amicable number. If there is such a number, then pn must be greater than 101500 and n must be greater than 1400.

Popular media

In the 1997 film Cube, prime powers play a key role, acting as indicators of lethal dangers in a maze-like cube structure.