# What does “prime” mean in this context?

In a lecture video the instructor introduced the quadratic probing method for hash tables. The formula he gave was the following:

$$h(k,i) = (h'(k) + c_1 + c_2i^2)$$ $$\% M$$

where $$h'$$ was h "prime". So, what I am supposed to conclude for $$h'(k)$$ to be? Is it any different from the value I get by computing $$h(k)$$

• It has no particular significance. It could have been any other symbol instead of $h’$. It’s different from $h$, though. – Yuval Filmus Sep 5 '19 at 5:03

$$h'(k)$$ is the value returned by the original unmodified hash function when applied to the element $$k$$. If the $$h(k)$$ slot is not free then $$h(k,i)$$ for $$i=0,1,2,\dots$$ gives a sequence of modified hash values which can be tried in turn until a free slot is found.