## factor

### In mathematics, factoring refers to the process of breaking down a given number or expression into smaller, more manageable factors

In mathematics, factoring refers to the process of breaking down a given number or expression into smaller, more manageable factors. Factors are the numbers or expressions that, when multiplied together, yield the original number or expression.

Factoring can be done in several contexts:

1. Factoring integers: This involves finding the prime factors of a given integer. A prime factor is a number that is only divisible by 1 and itself. For example, the number 12 can be factored into 2 × 2 × 3, where 2 and 3 are the prime factors of 12.

2. Factoring polynomials: Polynomials are algebraic expressions that consist of variables, constants, and operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and exponentiation. Factoring polynomials involves finding its factors, which are other polynomials that, when multiplied together, yield the original polynomial. For example, the polynomial x^2 – 4 can be factored as (x – 2)(x + 2).

3. Factoring quadratic expressions: Quadratic expressions are polynomials of degree 2. Factoring quadratic expressions involves breaking them down into two binomial factors. For example, the quadratic expression x^2 – 5x + 6 can be factored as (x – 2)(x – 3).

Factoring is an important concept in mathematics as it helps simplify complex expressions and equations, allowing us to solve problems more easily. It is also a fundamental step in many mathematical operations such as simplifying fractions, solving quadratic equations, and finding common denominators.

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