The new school year is underway and students are back in the thick of math lessons. To make sure you get off to a great start now seems like the perfect time to go over one of the most fundamental concepts in mathematics: natural numbers. Very few topics are as important to other concepts in math as natural numbers, and natural numbers can demonstrate some of the most fascinating aspects of mathematics.
From simple counting to identifying some of the most inexplicable and amazing sequences in the natural world, natural numbers are key. Natural numbers will appear time and again during a child’s journey in math class and it is vitally important that everyone understands precisely what natural numbers are and how we can use them properly.
Let’s review what exactly natural numbers are, trace their impact on the subject of math, and discover some incredible groups and sequences about natural numbers.
What are Natural Numbers?
Natural numbers are the bedrock of mathematics. We can’t do too much without them. The first natural number is 1 and they continue infinitely. You may also know them as whole numbers, or integers. As you all know, we use these numbers several times every day for simple tasks and calculations.
If you think back to the days when you learned to start counting, natural numbers were the first numbers you could have used. No matter how high you count, there will always be more and more natural numbers to discover. Counting is the simplest way to use natural numbers, and we all do this every day.
How do we count the items in our shopping cart? And how do we rank our favorite songs, movies, or sports? We use natural numbers to do these things. Of course, we can use natural numbers in far more interesting ways, but the simplicity of these counting numbers is what makes them so useful, even when what we’re doing isn’t particularly fascinating.
Notable Natural Numbers, Patterns, and Sequences
There are patterns all throughout nature and natural numbers are no different. Nature even appears quite clearly in the term “natural numbers”. Here are some of the most interesting sets of natural numbers, and some mind-boggling sequences and patterns that we can see in the natural world.
Natural numbers like to stick together. Not just when we’re counting up in order, either. Natural numbers that go through operations will turn into different natural numbers. Let’s say we want to perform the operation 7 + 6. Our answer will be 13, another natural number.
The same can be said for multiplication. If we multiply 15 by 6 our answer is 90, another natural number. Natural numbers clearly like to stay connected, but be careful – this doesn’t always work for all operations, such as division.
Next, we need to talk about one particular set of natural numbers: prime numbers. Prime numbers are unique in mathematics because they can only be divided by themselves or the number 1. The list of prime numbers starts 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 13, 17, and so on. Test yourself now on your understanding of prime numbers and try to list all the primes between 1 and 100. Hint: there are 25 in total!
The Fibonacci Sequence
Now that we’ve seen one of the most interesting sets of natural numbers, it’s time that we turned to an incredible sequence of natural numbers that appears and reappears in our world. This sequence starts with 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the two previous numbers.
It may not look like much, but the Fibonacci sequence is a fascinating sequence that appears time and again in our natural world. Many mathematicians, scientists, and others have been completely unstuck as to what the sequence could mean and why it is so prevalent in nature.
At Online Math Center
At the Online Math Center, we are primed to give your child the best math education that they can get outside of their classroom lessons. A comprehensive math education goes far beyond the four walls of a school classroom. The best math students have taken advantage of individual math lessons, or specific classes focused on helping students achieve a particular goal.
We have an experienced team of expert math tutors who are ready and willing to provide fantastic one-to-one tutoring lessons, classes to help kids prepare for the Math SAT or any upcoming math competitions, as well as classes tailored to your child’s needs and to plug any gaps in their knowledge that may have developed over the years.