Q:

# What are the factors of 16?

A:

The factors of 16 are 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16. The number 16 has the uncommon trait of having an odd number of factors because it's a square number.

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Credit: cgpgrey CC-BY 2.0

Sixteen is the square of 4. It is also a composite number, which is any number that has a factor other than itself and 1. Sixteen factors down to four twos, making it a powerful number. A powerful number is a number that has identical factors when factored.

Sixteen, being the fourth power of two, has significance in many fields as weights and data units. There are 16 ounces in a pound, and 16 bit processors were popular in the 1980s before they were phased out by 32 bit processors. Base 16 is used in the hexadecimal system (1 through F), which is used in computing and coding.

Sixteen has several applications in society as well. It is a convenient number for use in sports and competition as it creates an equal distribution of brackets in a tournament, like in the NBA's Sweet Sixteen. Sixteen is an age with many rites of passages in a variety of cultures across Europe and the Americas, such as with consent and driver's education.

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