**π‘ Problem Formulation:** In computational mathematics, determining if an integer is a prime number β a number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself β is a classic problem. In Python, there are numerous methods to identify prime numbers ranging from brute force algorithms to more sophisticated mathematical approaches. An example input could be the integer `29`

, and the desired output is a statement confirming that 29 is indeed a prime number.

## Method 1: Trial Division

The trial division method involves checking divisibility by all integers up to the square root of the given number. If none of the integers divides the number, it’s classified as prime. This is a straightforward and easy-to-understand approach suitable for small numbers.

Here’s an example:

def is_prime(num): if num <= 1: return False for i in range(2, int(num**0.5)+1): if num % i == 0: return False return True print(is_prime(29))

Output: `True`

This code snippet defines the function `is_prime(num)`

that returns `True`

if the number is prime, and `False`

otherwise. It utilizes a for loop to check the divisibility of the input number by every integer up to its square root, an efficient cutoff point for this method.

## Method 2: Sieve of Eratosthenes

The Sieve of Eratosthenes is an ancient algorithm for finding all prime numbers up to a specified integer. It works by iteratively marking the multiples of each prime number starting from 2. The non-marked numbers remaining are prime. It’s very efficient for generating a list of primes.

Here’s an example:

def sieve_of_eratosthenes(limit): primes = [True] * (limit+1) p = 2 while p*p <= limit: if primes[p]: for i in range(p*p, limit+1, p): primes[i] = False p += 1 return [p for p in range(2, limit) if primes[p]] print(sieve_of_eratosthenes(30))

Output: `[2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29]`

The `sieve_of_eratosthenes(limit)`

function generates a boolean array that keeps track of prime numbers. The final list comprehension returns all the numbers marked as prime, having avoided all the multiplications of previously discovered primes.

## Method 3: 6k +/- 1 Optimization

The 6k +/- 1 Optimization builds on the fact that all primes greater than 3 fall in the form of 6kΒ±1. After checking for divisibility by 2 and 3, the method only checks for factors in the 6kΒ±1 form, which reduces the amount of checks necessary compared to the trial division method.

Here’s an example:

def is_prime_optimized(num): if num <= 3: return num > 1 if num % 2 == 0 or num % 3 == 0: return False i = 5 while i*i <= num: if num % i == 0 or num % (i + 2) == 0: return False i += 6 return True print(is_prime_optimized(29))

Output: `True`

The `is_prime_optimized(num)`

function efficiently identifies prime numbers by reducing the number of trial divisions. It first eliminates multiples of 2 and 3, and then only checks for factors that are 6kΒ±1 up to the square root of the number.

## Method 4: Fermat’s Little Theorem

Fermat’s Little Theorem states that if p is a prime number, then for any integer a, the number a^p – a is an integer multiple of p. This theorem can be used as a probabilistic test for primality.

Here’s an example:

import random def fermat_test(num): if num <= 1: return False for _ in range(5): # number of tests a = random.randint(2, num-2) if pow(a, num-1, num) != 1: return False return True print(fermat_test(29))

Output: `True`

In the code snippet, `fermat_test(num)`

uses the `pow`

function with three arguments to efficiently compute `a^(num-1) mod num`

. If this is not equal to 1 in any of the tests, the number is not prime. The test is repeated a few times to reduce the probability of false positives (composite numbers that pass the test).

## Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Using Library Functions

Python’s standard libraries provide functions which can be used to implement one-liner solutions for finding prime numbers. For example, using the `sympy`

library which contains a built-in `isprime`

function.

Here’s an example:

from sympy import isprime print(isprime(29))

Output: `True`

The example uses the `isprime`

function from the `sympy`

library, which is a highly optimized function for checking primality. This method provides a convenient one-liner at the potential cost of obscuring the underlying algorithmic complexity.

## Summary/Discussion

**Method 1: Trial Division.**The method is simplest to understand and implement. Strengths include its straightforwardness. Weaknesses lie in its inefficiency for large numbers.**Method 2: Sieve of Eratosthenes.**Highly efficient for generating a list of primes within a range. Strengths include its speed for small to moderate-sized ranges. Weaknesses include increasing memory usage as the range grows.**Method 3: 6k +/- 1 Optimization.**An improvement over trial division for testing individual large numbers. Strengths are its reduced number of operations. Weaknesses are that it still requires multiple divisions.**Method 4: Fermat’s Little Theorem.**Useful for quickly checking primes probabilistically. Strengths are its speed and reduction in false positives with repeats. Weaknesses include a non-zero chance of false positives.**Bonus Method 5: Using Library Functions.**The most convenient method with a concise syntax. Strengths are a high level of optimization and ease of use. Weaknesses are less control and understanding of the underlying process.