New largest prime number found

January 20, 2016 by Bob Yirka report
New largest prime number found

(Phys.org)—A team at the University of Central Missouri, headed by Curtis Cooper has announced, via press release from the Mersenne organization, that they have found the largest prime number ever—it is 274,207,281 – 1, it has over 22 million digits. The new record has broken the old record by approximately 5 million digits.

Cooper and his team are part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) collaboration, which as its name suggests, is an effort by a lot of volunteers to find ever larger prime numbers—or, more specifically, a particular class of prime numbers that are called Mersenne, where it is one less than a power of two. Not surprisingly, Cooper and his team also held the old record, they have actually broken the four times. He has told the press that he was notified by an email sent by the running on a PC that the prime number had been found. The find came after a month of number crunching on a single Intel based PC. Interestingly, the PC tried to notify Cooper and his team about the find back in September of last year, but a glitch prevented it from being sent. It was only during a maintenance cycle that the message reporting the number prime number found, was sent. The official discovery date is January 7th.

The search for new and bigger prime numbers is conducted using software developed by the GIMPS team, called prime95—it grinds away, day after day, until a new prime number is found. And while the numbers that it finds are of interest, they no longer serve much if any practical use, the software has been used for other purposes though—it has found flaws in Intel CPUs, for example.

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The new prime number has been named M74207281—in the press release, the team says that it was "calculated by multiplying together 74,207,281 twos then subtracting one." It has already been tested and confirmed by three different independent teams running software on different machines. The find makes Cooper eligible for a $3000 award. The GIMPS group also made known their goal of winning a hundred and fifty thousand dollar award by finding a prime number with 100 million digits.

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9 comments

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nilbud
not rated yet Jan 20, 2016
Mersenne not Messene.
someone11235813
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2016
We'll have to take the computers word on this because no one is going to be able to check.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (2) Jan 21, 2016
There is no such thing as the largest prime number because always exist the bigger one. This is not convergent sequence.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2016
There is no such thing as the largest prime number because always exist the bigger one

Wow, didya figure that out all by yourself, Einstein? That's 5th grade school stuff.
Nik_2213
not rated yet Jan 21, 2016
Rival / checking teams would use different algorithms, surely ??

Simply 'Due Care'...
ogg_ogg
1 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2016
Anybody know what the largest "found" integer is? I mean, there's gotta be a "record" right? Or how about the smallest "fraction"? Of course, formulas don't count, right? Or do they? Did they actually create a digit-by-digit representation (physical or electronic) for this one? What a waste.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 22, 2016
Did they actually create a digit-by-digit representation (physical or electronic) for this one? What a waste.

That 'digit by digit' representation is less than one of your porn movies and represents a monetary amount of disc space that is less than a single cent. To be exact it's a string of 74207280 bits (about 9 MB).

Anybody know what the largest "found" integer is?

Make one up. Or just take the largest file that exists and declare it an integer representation. (Take the same file and declare it a fraction and you have your record of the smallest integer ever recorded). There's no real point for either.

There IS however a point for checking Mersenne primes (seeing if the prediction holds true and also optimizing factorisation algorithms which have a lot of applications in cryptography)
EnsignFlandry
not rated yet Jan 23, 2016
Anybody know what the largest "found" integer is? I mean, there's gotta be a "record" right? Or how about the smallest "fraction"? Of course, formulas don't count, right? Or do they? Did they actually create a digit-by-digit representation (physical or electronic) for this one? What a waste.


There is Graham's Number, which is not THE largest. Still, it would take more than the diameter of the visible universe to write down all of its digits. Then add 1. Or add another Graham's Number. Or raise Graham's number to the Graham's Number power. Or....
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jan 25, 2016
Or you can go all out and use the xkcd way to use the Graham number as an argument for the Ackerman function (That is sick!)

http://www.xkcd.com/207/

There's an entire thread on the xkcd forums titled "My Number Is Bigger!".

(or just use "corporal")

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