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3 (THREE; /ˈθriː/ ) is a number , numeral , and glyph . It is the natural number following 2 and preceding 4 .

CONTENTS

* 1 Evolution of the glyph

* 1.1 Flat top 3

* 2 In mathematics

* 2.1 In numeral systems * 2.2 List of basic calculations

* 3 In science

* 3.1 In protoscience * 3.2 In pseudoscience

* 4 In philosophy

* 5 In religion

* 5.1 In Christianity
Christianity
* 5.2 In Judaism * 5.3 In Buddhism
Buddhism
* 5.4 In Shinto * 5.5 In Taoism
Taoism
* 5.6 In Hinduism * 5.7 In Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
* 5.8 In Norse mythology
Norse mythology
* 5.9 In other religions * 5.10 In esoteric tradition * 5.11 As a lucky or unlucky number

* 6 In sports * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links

EVOLUTION OF THE GLYPH

Three is the largest number still written with as many lines as the number represents. (The Ancient Romans usually wrote 4 as IIII, but this was almost entirely replaced by the subtractive notation IV in the Middle Ages.) To this day 3 is written as three lines in Roman and Chinese numerals
Chinese numerals
. This was the way the Brahmin
Brahmin
Indians wrote it, and the Gupta made the three lines more curved. The Nagari started rotating the lines clockwise and ending each line with a slight downward stroke on the right. Eventually, they made these strokes connect with the lines below, and evolved it to a character that looks very much like a modern 3 with an extra stroke at the bottom as ३. It was the Western Ghubar Arabs who finally eliminated the extra stroke and created our modern 3. (The "extra" stroke, however, was very important to the Eastern Arabs, and they made it much larger, while rotating the strokes above to lie along a horizontal axis, and to this day Eastern Arabs write a 3 that looks like a mirrored 7 with ridges on its top line): ٣

While the shape of the 3 character has an ascender in most modern typefaces , in typefaces with text figures the character usually has a descender , as, for example, in . In some French text-figure typefaces, though, it has an ascender instead of a descender.

FLAT TOP 3

A common variant of the digit 3 has a flat top, similar to the character Ʒ (ezh ). This form is sometimes used to prevent people from fraudulently changing a 3 into an 8. It is usually found on UPC-A barcodes and standard 52-card decks .

IN MATHEMATICS

3 is:

* a rough approximation of π (3.1415...) and a very rough approximation of e (2.71828..) when doing quick estimates. * the number of non-collinear points needed to determine a plane and a circle . * the first odd prime number and the second smallest prime. * the first Fermat prime (22n + 1). * the first Mersenne prime
Mersenne prime
(2n − 1). * the second Sophie Germain prime . * the second Mersenne prime
Mersenne prime
exponent. * the second factorial prime (2! + 1). * the second Lucas prime . * the second triangular number . It is the only prime triangular number. * the fourth Fibonacci number
Fibonacci number
. * the smallest number of sides that a simple (non-self-intersecting) polygon can have. * the only number for which n, n+10 and n+20 are prime.

Three is the only prime which is one less than a perfect square . Any other number which is n2 − 1 for some integer n is not prime, since it is (n − 1)(n + 1). This is true for 3 as well (with n = 2), but in this case the smaller factor is 1. If n is greater than 2, both n − 1 and n + 1 are greater than 1 so their product is not prime.

A natural number is divisible by three if the sum of its digits in base 10 is divisible by 3. For example, the number 21 is divisible by three (3 times 7) and the sum of its digits is 2 + 1 = 3. Because of this, the reverse of any number that is divisible by three (or indeed, any permutation of its digits) is also divisible by three. For instance, 1368 and its reverse 8631 are both divisible by three (and so are 1386, 3168, 3186, 3618, etc.). See also Divisibility rule . This works in base 10 and in any positional numeral system whose base divided by three leaves a remainder of one (bases 4, 7, 10, etc.).

Three of the five Platonic solids
Platonic solids
have triangular faces – the tetrahedron , the octahedron , and the icosahedron . Also, three of the five Platonic solids
Platonic solids
have vertices where three faces meet – the tetrahedron , the hexahedron (cube ), and the dodecahedron . Furthermore, only three different types of polygons comprise the faces of the five Platonic solids
Platonic solids
– the triangle , the square , and the pentagon .

There are only three distinct 4×4 panmagic squares .

According to Pythagoras
Pythagoras
and the Pythagorean school, the number 3, which they called triad, is the noblest of all digits, as it is the only number to equal the sum of all the terms below it, and the only number whose sum with those below equals the product of them and itself.

The trisection of the angle was one of the three famous problems of antiquity.

Gauss
Gauss
proved that every integer is the sum of at most 3 triangular numbers .

IN NUMERAL SYSTEMS

There is some evidence to suggest that early man may have used counting systems which consisted of "One, Two, Three" and thereafter "Many" to describe counting limits. Early peoples had a word to describe the quantities of one, two, and three but any quantity beyond was simply denoted as "Many". This is most likely based on the prevalence of this phenomenon among people in such disparate regions as the deep Amazon and Borneo jungles, where western civilization's explorers have historical records of their first encounters with these indigenous people.

LIST OF BASIC CALCULATIONS

MULTIPLICATION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 50 100 1000 10000

3 × X 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57 60 63 66 69 72 75 150 300 3000 30000

DIVISION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

3 ÷ X 3 1 .5 1 0 .75 0.6 0.5 0.428571 0.375 0.3 0.3

0.27 0.25 0.230769 0.2142857 0.2 0.1875 0.17647058823529411 0.16 0.157894736842105263 0.15

X ÷ 3 0.3 0.6 1 1.3 1.6 2 2.3 2.6 3 3.3

3.6 4 4.3 4.6 5 5.3 5.6 6 6.3 6.6

EXPONENTIATION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

3X 3 9 27 81 243 729 2187 6561 19683 59049

177147 531441 1594323 4782969 14348907 43046721 129140163 387420489 1162261467 3486784401

X3 1 8 27 64 125 216 343 512 729 1000

1331 1728 2197 2744 3375 4096 4913 5832 6859 8000

IN SCIENCE

* The Roman numeral III stands for giant star in the Yerkes spectral classification scheme . * Three is the atomic number of lithium . * Three is the ASCII
ASCII
code of "End of Text ". * Three is the number of dimensions that humans can perceive. Humans perceive the universe to have three spatial dimensions , but some theories, such as string theory , suggest there are more. * The triangle , a polygon with three edges and three vertices , is the most stable physical shape. For this reason it is widely utilized in construction, engineering and design. * The ability of the human eye to distinguish colors is based upon the varying sensitivity of different cells in the retina to light of different wavelengths . Humans being trichromatic , the retina contains three types of color receptor cells, or cones .

IN PROTOSCIENCE

* In European alchemy , the three primes (Latin: tria prima) were salt ( ), sulfur ( ) and mercury ( ). * The three doshas (weaknesses) and their antidotes are the basis of Ayurvedic medicine
Ayurvedic medicine
in India.

IN PSEUDOSCIENCE

* Three is the symbolic representation for Mu , Augustus Le Plongeon 's and James Churchward 's lost continent.

IN PHILOSOPHY

Main article: Trichotomy (philosophy)

* Philosophers such as Aquinas
Aquinas
, Kant , Hegel
Hegel
, and C. S. Peirce have made threefold divisions, or trichotomies , which have been important in their work. * Hegel
Hegel
's dialectic of Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis creates three-ness from two-ness.

IN RELIGION

See also: Triple deity
Triple deity

Many world religions contain triple deities or concepts of trinity, including:

* the Hindu
Hindu
Trimurti
Trimurti
* the Hindu
Hindu
Tridevi
Tridevi
* the Three Jewels
Three Jewels
of Buddhism
Buddhism
* the Three Pure Ones
Three Pure Ones
of Taoism
Taoism
* the Christian Holy Trinity
Trinity
* the Triple Goddess of Wicca
Wicca

The Shield of the Trinity
Trinity
is a diagram of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity
Trinity

IN CHRISTIANITY

* The threefold office of Christ is a Christian doctrine that Christ performs the functions of prophet , priest , and king . * The ministry of Jesus lasted approximately three years (27-30 AD). * During the Agony in the Garden
Agony in the Garden
, Christ asked three times for the chalice to be taken from his lips. * Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death (Sunday, April 9, 30 AD). * The devil tempted Jesus three times. * Saint Peter
Saint Peter
thrice denied Jesus and thrice affirmed his faith in Jesus * The Magi – wise men who were astronomers/astrologers from Persia – gave Jesus three gifts. * There are three Synoptic Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
and three epistles of John . * Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle
went blind for three days after his conversion to Christianity
Christianity
.

IN JUDAISM

* Noah
Noah
had three sons: Ham , Shem
Shem
and Japheth
Japheth
* The Three Patriarchs : Abraham
Abraham
, Isaac
Isaac
and Jacob
Jacob
* The prophet Balaam
Balaam
beat his donkey three times. * The prophet Jonah
Jonah
spent three days and nights in the belly of a large fish * Three divisions of the Written Torah
Torah
: Torah
Torah
(Five Book of Moses), Nevi\'im (Prophets), Ketuvim
Ketuvim
(Writings) * Three divisions of the Jewish people: Kohen
Kohen
, Levite , Yisrael * Three daily prayers : Shacharit
Shacharit
, Mincha
Mincha
, Maariv
Maariv
* Three Shabbat
Shabbat
meals * Shabbat
Shabbat
ends when three stars are visible in the night sky * Three Pilgrimage Festivals : Passover
Passover
, Shavuot
Shavuot
, Sukkot
Sukkot
* Three matzos on the Passover
Passover
Seder table * The Three Weeks , a period of mourning bridging the fast days of Seventeenth of Tammuz
Seventeenth of Tammuz
and Tisha B\'Av * Three cardinal sins for which a Jew must die rather than transgress: idolatry , murder , sexual immorality * Upsherin , a Jewish boy's first haircut at age 3 * A Beth din
Beth din
is composed of three members * Potential converts are traditionally turned away three times to test their sincerity * In the Jewish mystical tradition of the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
, it is believed that the soul consists of three parts, with the highest being neshamah ("breath"), the middle being ruach ("wind" or "spirit") and the lowest being nefesh ("repose"). Sometimes the two elements of Chayah ("life" or "animal") and Yechidah ("unit") are additionally mentioned. * In the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life (Hebrew: Etz ha-Chayim, עץ החיים) refers to a latter 3-pillar diagrammatic representation of its central mystical symbol, known as the 10 Sephirot .

IN BUDDHISM

* The Triple Bodhi
Bodhi
(ways to understand the end of birth) are Budhu, Pasebudhu, and Mahaarahath. * The Three Jewels
Three Jewels
, the three things that Buddhists take refuge in.

IN SHINTO

* The Imperial Regalia of Japan
Imperial Regalia of Japan
of the sword, mirror, and jewel.

IN TAOISM

* The Three Treasures (Chinese : 三寶; pinyin : sānbǎo; Wade–Giles : san-pao), the basic virtues in Taoism
Taoism
. * The Three Dantians * Three Lines of a Trigram * Three Sovereigns : Heaven Fu Xi
Fu Xi
(Hand – Head – 3º Eye), Humanity Shen Nong
Shen Nong
(Unit 69 ), Hell Nüwa
Nüwa
(Foot – Abdomen – Umbiculus).

IN HINDUISM

* The Trimurti
Trimurti
: Brahma
Brahma
the Creator, Vishnu
Vishnu
the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. * The three Gunas
Gunas
found in Samkhya
Samkhya
school of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy. * The three paths to salvation in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
named Karma Yoga , Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga
and Jnana Yoga
Jnana Yoga
.

IN ZOROASTRIANISM

* The three virtues of Humata, Hukhta and Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds) are a basic tenet in Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
.

IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY

Three is a very significant number in Norse mythology
Norse mythology
, along with its powers 9 and 27.

* Prior to Ragnarök
Ragnarök
, there will be three hard winters without an intervening summer, the Fimbulwinter . * Odin
Odin
endured three hardships upon the World Tree in his quest for the runes : he hanged himself, wounded himself with a spear, and suffered from hunger and thirst. * Bor had three sons, Odin
Odin
, Vili , and
.

IN OTHER RELIGIONS

* The Wiccan Rule of Three . * The Triple Goddess : Maiden, Mother, Crone; the three fates. * The sons of Cronus
Cronus
: Zeus
Zeus
, Poseidon
Poseidon
, and Hades
Hades
.

IN ESOTERIC TRADITION

* The Theosophical Society
Theosophical Society
has three conditions of membership . * Gurdjieff 's Three Centers and the Law of Three . * Liber AL vel Legis
Liber AL vel Legis
, the central scripture of the religion of Thelema
Thelema
, consists of three chapters, corresponding to three divine narrators respectively: Nuit , Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit . * The Triple Greatness of Hermes Trismegistus is an important theme in Hermeticism
Hermeticism
.

AS A LUCKY OR UNLUCKY NUMBER

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Three (三, formal writing: 叁, pinyin sān, Cantonese
Cantonese
: saam1) is considered a good number in Chinese culture
Chinese culture
because it sounds like the word "alive" (生 pinyin shēng, Cantonese: saang1), compared to four (四, pinyin: sì, Cantonese: sei1), which sounds like the word "death" (死 pinyin sǐ, Cantonese: sei2).

Counting to three is common in situations where a group of people wish to perform an action in synchrony : Now, on the count of three, everybody pull! Assuming the counter is proceeding at a uniform rate, the first two counts are necessary to establish the rate, and the count of "three" is predicted based on the timing of the "one" and "two" before it. Three is likely used instead of some other number because it requires the minimal amount counts while setting a rate.

In East and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, there is a widespread superstition that considers it inauspicious to take a photo with three people in it; it is professed that the person in the middle will die first.

There is another superstition that it is unlucky to take a third light , that is, to be the third person to light a cigarette from the same match or lighter. This superstition is sometimes asserted to have originated among soldiers in the trenches of the First World War when a sniper might see the first light, take aim on the second and fire on the third.

The phrase "Third time\'s the charm" refers to the superstition that after two failures in any endeavor, a third attempt is more likely to succeed. This is also sometimes seen in reverse, as in "third man gets caught".

Luck
Luck
, especially bad luck, is often said to "come in threes".

IN SPORTS

* In association football a team that wins three trophies in a season is said to have won a treble . * In baseball scorekeeping, "3" denotes the first baseman. * In basketball , the "3 position" is the small forward . * In bowling , three strikes bowled consecutively is known as a "turkey". * In professional wrestling , a pin is when one's shoulders are held the opponent's shoulders against the mat for a count of three. * A "threepeat " is a term for winning three consecutive championships. * A triathlon consists of three events: swimming, bicycling, and running. * In many sports a competitor or team is said to win a Triple Crown if they win three particularly prestigious competitions.

SEE ALSO

* Mathem