# Elementary proof

## From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In mathematics, an **elementary proof** is a mathematical proof that only uses basic techniques. More specifically, the term is used in number theory to refer to proofs that make no use of complex analysis. Historically, it was once thought that certain theorems, like the prime number theorem, could only be proved by invoking "higher" mathematical theorems or techniques. However, as time progresses, many of these results have also been subsequently reproven using only elementary techniques.

While there is generally no consensus as to what counts as elementary, the term is nevertheless a common part of the mathematical jargon. An elementary proof is not necessarily simple, in the sense of being easy to understand or trivial. In fact, some elementary proofs can be quite complicated — and this is especially true when a statement of notable importance is involved.^{[1]}