In mathematics, a divisor of an integer , also called a factor of , is an integer that may be multiplied by some integer to produce . In this case, one also says that is a multiple of An integer is divisible or evenly divisible by another integer if is a divisor of ; this implies dividing by leaves no remainder.
An integer n is divisible by a nonzero integer m if there exists an integer k such that . This is written as
Divisors can be negative as well as positive, although sometimes the term is restricted to positive divisors. For example, there are six divisors of 4; they are 1, 2, 4, −1, −2, and −4, but only the positive ones (1, 2, and 4) would usually be mentioned.
1, −1, n and −n are known as the trivial divisors of n. A divisor of n that is not a trivial divisor is known as a non-trivial divisor (or strict divisor). A nonzero integer with at least one non-trivial divisor is known as a composite number, while the units −1 and 1 and prime numbers have no non-trivial divisors.
There are divisibility rules that allow one to recognize certain divisors of a number from the number's digits.
There are some elementary rules:
If is a prime number and then or .
A positive divisor of which is different from is called a proper divisor or an aliquot part of . A number that does not evenly divide but leaves a remainder is sometimes called an aliquant part of .
An integer whose only proper divisor is 1 is called a prime number. Equivalently, a prime number is a positive integer that has exactly two positive factors: 1 and itself.
The total number of positive divisors of is a multiplicative function , meaning that when two numbers and are relatively prime, then . For instance, ; the eight divisors of 42 are 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21 and 42. However, the number of positive divisors is not a totally multiplicative function: if the two numbers and share a common divisor, then it might not be true that . The sum of the positive divisors of is another multiplicative function (e.g. ). Both of these functions are examples of divisor functions.
If the prime factorization of is given by
then the number of positive divisors of is
and each of the divisors has the form
where for each
For every natural , .
where is Euler–Mascheroni constant. One interpretation of this result is that a randomly chosen positive integer n has an average number of divisors of about . However, this is a result from the contributions of numbers with "abnormally many" divisors.
In definitions that include 0, the relation of divisibility turns the set of non-negative integers into a partially ordered set: a complete distributive lattice. The largest element of this lattice is 0 and the smallest is 1. The meet operation ∧ is given by the greatest common divisor and the join operation ∨ by the least common multiple. This lattice is isomorphic to the dual of the lattice of subgroups of the infinite cyclic group .