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New largest prime number has 23 million digits


Posted on Friday, 5 January, 2018 | Comment icon 17 comments

Prime numbers are an important mathematical concept. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jeff Golden
The ridiculously long number, like all prime numbers, can only be divided by either itself or by one.
Written in shorthand as M77232917, the new number, which is named after French theologian and mathematician Marin Mersenne, was generated by multiplying two by itself 77,232,917 times.

It is around 1 million digits longer than its predecessor which was discovered back in 2016.

It was found using special software developed by George Woltman for the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project and then verified as a prime number by three other people.

"Each new prime is an extension of the bounds of human mathematical knowledge," said Hartree Center researcher Iain Bethune.


Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (17)

Tags: Prime Number

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by _KB_ on 6 January, 2018, 17:36
Doesn't change the fact that it serves weary little practical function, though people have all kinds of interests i suppose
Comment icon #9 Posted by seanjo on 6 January, 2018, 18:50
Yes it is! prove me wrong...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Black Monk on 7 January, 2018, 12:00
If it was, they would have seen it. The previous largest prime was discovered towards the end of 2015, but was 5 million digits larger than the one before that was discovered in 2013. Strange as it may seem, as numbers get bigger, the gaps between primes get bigger. There is only one known even prime number - 2 - which is also the smallest prime. The only known odd gap between two primes is the gap of size one between 2 and 3. The first prime gap of size larger than 14 occurs between the primes 523 and 541. As of October 2017, the largest known maximal gap between primes has length 1510, found... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Black Monk on 7 January, 2018, 12:06
What fewer people know is why these numbers are so important, and how the mathematical logic behind them has resulted in vital applications in the modern world. https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/219570-what-are-prime-numbers-and-why-are-they-so-vital-to-modern-life
Comment icon #12 Posted by freetoroam on 7 January, 2018, 12:07
I am going to make t.shirts with the numbers on it....if i could sell it for the same amount of numbers then it would be worth it. But i am not giving up my day job just yet.
Comment icon #13 Posted by freetoroam on 7 January, 2018, 12:12
Can it make good cup of coffee?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Black Monk on 7 January, 2018, 12:38
I'm not bothered about that. I'm more of a tea man myself.
Comment icon #15 Posted by seanjo on 7 January, 2018, 13:44
That's not proof...and way to take a "joke" too seriously...
Comment icon #16 Posted by Black Monk on 7 January, 2018, 17:02
I'm not taking anything seriously. I just like posting interesting trivia.
Comment icon #17 Posted by _KB_ on 8 January, 2018, 19:05
Back in that day this might have been important but now we have computers and actually don't need to know these as we have computers that can just do the math based off the input


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