Composite numbers are numbers which are made up of combined numbers and have clear and predictable patterns, based around the multiple of their factors.
Prime numbers however, are numbers that can only be divided by one and itself and as such have no factors, other than one and itself. Prime numbers fall between Composite numbers and appear where there are no factors. This relationship between Composite numbers and Prime numbers is useful in finding and predicting when and where Prime numbers will appear. Prime numbers can be regarded as the chaotic element of Composite numbers and just as in Fractals, there are some fascinating patterns which emerge when we look at Composite numbers and Prime numbers together.
We tend to think of Prime numbers as having their own pattern and much effort has gone into finding this pattern with mixed results. However, if we accept that Prime numbers fall between Composite numbers, we start to understand that the pattern of Prime number is in fact made of the multiple overlapping patterns of Composite numbers. It is very much like trying to understand an object by seeing its shadow. Only in this case, the shadow is cast by multiple objects and we are not so much interested in the shadow as the gaps between the shadows. It’s no wonder that people are fascinated by Prime numbers.
By colour coding each number by its lowest factor we can see the pattern of Composite numbers more clearly and distinguish these from Prime numbers.