Largest known prime number found

**Largest known prime number found **
The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, a cooperative computing project, helps find a prime that has nearly 13 million digits.

Here’s a number to savor: 243,112,609-1.
Its size is mind-boggling. With nearly 13 million digits, it makes the number of atoms in the known universe seem negligible, a mere 80 digits.
And its form is tidy and lovely: 2n-1.

But its true beauty is far grander: It is a prime number. Indeed, it is the largest prime number ever found.

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, a computing project that uses volunteers’ computers to hunt for primes, found the prime and just confirmed the discovery. It can now claim a $100,000 prize from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for being the first to find a prime number that has more than 10 million digits.

And here it is (or some anyway):

They omitted millions of digits because (they claim) the number printed in 12 pt type is 30 miles long.

Here’s to pure math, may it never be of use to anyone!

unless you are on Jeopardy:p

Sorry, prime numbers are of great interest to cryptographers. :frowning:

Try 4th dimensional euclidean geometry

I also use them to create hash indexes of data. This allows a computer to make only two comparisons to search for a single hash key even in a set of data with billions of hash keys. That allows almost instantaneous access to data even in the largest data sets.

Prime numbers are cool! :nerd:

True, but Mersenne Primes are so few in number that they are of little practical value.

Sorry, I just threw that “may it never be of use” quote in there. Now I can’t find out who said it, but apparently it goes a ways back in the math world.

A geek friend of mine claimed that there’s never been a mathematical discovery that hasn’t been put to practical use within 50 years.

I like how the article points out that this number is a “Mersenne” prime named for a 16th century French monk. And who says Christians don’t like science!

The out of work computer programmers now have something to strive for. $150K or $250K not bad.

Does this mean we still have not found the largest unknown prime number?

Call me when you get that number keyed in.

There is no largest prime. Proven by Euclid. :slight_smile:

Yes, they are infinite, but hard to find.

I would like to see the computer code that produced the current largest number. I would have a starting point on how to find the next one.

With that big of a prize award, you would think it is extremly difficult even for a program. Make the right program and given enough time to crunch the numbers, you may be able to reach any prime number to any length.

G. H. Hardy was one.

"Hardy preferred his work to be considered pure mathematics, perhaps because of his detestation of war and the military uses to which mathematics had been applied. He made several statements similar to that in his Apology:

"I have never done anything 'useful'. No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world.""


  • Kathie :bowdown:
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