What is the smallest prime?
Abstract
What is the first prime? It seems that the number two should be the obvious answer, and today it is, but it was not always so. There were times when and mathematicians for whom the numbers one and three were acceptable answers. To find the first prime, we must also know what the first positive integer is. Surprisingly, with the definitions used at various times throughout history, one was often not the first positive integer (some started with two, and a few with three). In this article, we survey the history of the primality of one, from the ancient Greeks to modern times. We will discuss some of the reasons definitions changed, and provide several examples. We will also discuss the last significant mathematicians to list the number one as prime.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 September 2012
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1209.2007
 Bibcode:
 2012arXiv1209.2007C
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  History and Overview;
 Mathematics  Number Theory;
 11A41 (Primary) 11A51;
 01A55 (Secondary)
 EPrint:
 11 pages, 5 figures