What Is the Prime Factorization of 72?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 2:35:38 PM ET
prime-factorization-72
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The prime factorization of 72 is 23x 32, or 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3. The prime factorization of a number involves determining the factors of a number that are also prime numbers and multiply together to equal the original number.

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To determine the prime factorization of 72, the number should be broken down one step at a time by the lowest factor available, which in this case is 2: 72 = 36 x 2. Since 36 is not a prime number, the process should be repeated until all prime numbers are obtained: 36/2 = 18 x 2. Continuing on, 18/2 = 9, and 9/3 = 3. Combining all of the prime factors together, 72 is equal to 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3.