Ladies and Gentlemen, the next number on the runway is truly perfect!

In the previous post, we looked at numbers that are amicable.  Along a similar line of thinking, let’s look at perfect numbers.  A small example of a perfect number is 6.  What makes it perfect?  Once again, I am going to ask you to take a minute and find the proper positive divisors of 6.  Go on!  I’ll give you time.  (Don’t peek until you are done!)

6:  1, 2, 3

Now, like we did previously, find the sum of these proper divisors.

1 + 2 + 3 = 6

Ta da!

The proper divisors of 6 add up to 6.  Cool!

Any positive integer that has proper divisors adding up to itself is a perfect number.  Can you think of others?  The first 4 were found over 2,000 years ago.  Current findings use a similar line of thinking to that for finding Mersenne primes.  Turns out that perfect numbers and Mersenne primes are closely related.  I will share more on that in the next post.  Until then, happy hunting!

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