Prime Factorization is expressing a number as a product of its prime factors. For example, the prime factorization of the number 18 can be written as or .
To find the prime factorization for a given postive integer, we use what is called a factor tree, which looks like this for the number 12:
The prime factors are represented by the circled values, 2, 2, and 3. So for 12, the prime factorization is , or .
If a number’s only factors are only 1 and itself, then that number is a prime number and no further factorization is possible.