Intelligent Design Mathematics

Coffee: Here’s the latest largest prime number

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Rafi Letzter at LiveScience tells us it is called M77232917 (represented in digits, in art, below):

Its only factors are itself and the number 1. That’s what makes it prime.

So how big is this number? A full 23,249,425 digits long — nearly 1 million digits longer than the previous record holder. If someone started writing it down, 1,000 digits a day, today (Jan. 8), they would finish on Sept. 19, 2081, according to some back-of-the-napkin calculations at Live Science.

Primes that are one less than a power of 2 belong to a special class, called Mersenne primes. The smallest Mersenne prime is 3, because it’s prime and also one less than 2 times 2. Seven is also a Mersenne prime: 2 times 2 times 2 minus 1. The next Mersenne prime is 31 — or 2^5-1.

This Mersenne prime, 2^77,232,917-1, turned up in the Great Internet Mersenne Primes Search (GIMPS) — a massive collaborative project involving computers all over the world — in late December 2017.More.

Prime numbers get really long and thin way up there. Here’s a bit from a page of curious information about various prime numbers: Choose a prime number greater than 3. Multiply it by itself and add 14. If the result is divided by 12, then the remainder will always be 3. More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue And if you have all afternoon, try one of these conundrums:

Is zero even?Absolute zero proven mathematically impossible?

Is celeb number pi a “normal” number? Not normal. And things get worse. Surely this oddity is related in some way to the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.


Must we understand “nothing” to understand physics?

3 Replies to “Coffee: Here’s the latest largest prime number

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Here’s an informative graph. It shows the number of digits in the largest known prime as a function of time over the last several decades.

    For a time in 1951, the largest known prime had only 44 digits! Here it is:


  2. 2
    mike1962 says:

    Here’s an informative graph.

    Vehhhhhhdddddddy interestink.

  3. 3
    aarceng says:

    Does this have any practical benefit?

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