Recently discovered 17 million-digit number is the world's largest prime

By Shawn Knight · 17 replies
Feb 6, 2013
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  1. A professor at the University of Central Missouri has discovered the world’s largest Mersenne prime number, shattering the previous record prime number according to officials at It’s only the 48th Mersenne prime to have ever been discovered......

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    I'm sure the 17 milliion-digit is the largest known number. There are probably more for people to waste their time finding.
  3. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    It's definitely not the largest known number, if you wanted to find that you could paste an infinite amount of 9s. Although this isn't really useful in any way (as far as I know), it's still pretty cool. I actually wanted to set up a program that found prime numbers using GPUs, but never got around to it.

    Anyone else think that this guy should have gotten a grant of more than $3,000? It seems like a trivial amount for what is obviously a historic moment.
    mrcavooter likes this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,660   +1,948

    Money for pointless number-crunching... give me a mil, I will get you one 10-times longer, so you can put it in your pipe and smoke, you, time waster, you...
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    I giggled, the Doctors name was Dr Cooper xD
    Cota and SantistaUSA like this.
  6. captainawesome

    captainawesome TS Guru Posts: 428   +44

    whiteandnerdy likes this.
  7. Kezhen Gao

    Kezhen Gao TS Member Posts: 24   +20

    I expected nothing less of Dr. Cooper! ;-)
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I *think* you meant " the 17 million digit is NOT the largest".

    If that's what you meant, constants like Planck time and temperature definitely prove your hypothesis. :)
  9. from Ars.
    You're missing something there.
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    Omg, I so fail at math.

    it was postulated that the 43rd mersenne prime will unlock the gateway to cybertron.

    I'd rather painfully watch justin bieber concert than read this wiki article:
  11. Finding the biggest prime number would break all current cryptographic systems based on random prime numbers
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    Are you sh**tin' me? I am so looking forward to Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift releasing a double CD of nothing but duets.......!!

    That would be unconventional, to say the least! They could trash each other, and their exes while looking longingly into each others eyes. And who better to put on the cover but Kanye West, in a referee's uniform......?

    So, the album could be named "Merced", which sounds fairly close to, "mersenne", while meaning "mercy", in Spanish....:p

    LOL, God I crack myself up....

    EDIT: To add a further touch of whimsy & irony, I'd order it through, "Amazon Prime"..
  13. Actually, there are uses for large prime numbers. Cryptography is a big one. Just because you don't personally use it does not mean it is useless.
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Added the relevant link ;)
    mrcavooter likes this.
  15. RenGood08

    RenGood08 TS Booster Posts: 185   +13

    Wow. That's a big number. Lol I was just thinking what you would use that big of a number for, and you guys gracefully answered my question. hehe nice.
  16. mrcavooter

    mrcavooter TS Member Posts: 65   +7

    You made my night! :)
  17. Prime numbers are useful for encryption (and possibly encoding). The larget the prime the better so I would say this is very important.

    Alas, those of us who don't wark in maths do't have much use for it.
  18. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    Only $3,000? I guess there's no profit in playing the numbers. :p

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