# Unique Sequence of Consecutive Odd Numbers which are Prime

## Theorem

Let $n \in \Z$ be an integer such that $n > 3$.

Then $n$, $n + 2$, $n + 4$ cannot all be prime.

That is, the only set of $3$ consecutive odd numbers all of which are prime is $\set {3, 5, 7}$.

## Proof

Let $n \in \Z_{>0}$.

For $n \le 3$ the cases can be examined in turn.

- $\set {3, 5, 7}$ is the set of three consecutive odd primes which is asserted as being the unique set of odd numbers all of which are prime.

Suppose $n > 3$.

If $n$ is even then it has $2$ as a divisor, and so the set $\set {n, n + 2, n + 4}$ contains only composite numbers.

So, suppose now that $n$ is an odd integer such that $n > 3$.

Any integer $n$ can be represented as either:

\(\ds n\) | \(=\) | \(\ds 3 k\) | ||||||||||||

\(\ds n\) | \(=\) | \(\ds 3 k + 1\) | ||||||||||||

\(\ds n\) | \(=\) | \(\ds 3 k + 2\) |

If $n = 3 k$, then $n$ is not prime because $3 \divides 3 k$.

If $n = 3 k + 1$, then $n + 2$ is not prime because $3 \divides 3 k + 3$.

If $n = 3 k + 2$, then $n + 4$ is not prime because $3 \divides 3 k + 6$.

Therefore no such $n$ exists for which $n$, $n + 2$, and $n + 4$ are all prime.

$\blacksquare$

## Also see

## Sources

- 1979: G.H. Hardy and E.M. Wright:
*An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $\text I$: The Series of Primes: $1.4$ The sequence of primes