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42nd Mersenne Prime Probably Discovered

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the so-many-digits dept.

Education 369

RTKfan writes "Chalk up another achievement for distributed computing! MathWorld is reporting that the 42nd, and now-largest, Mersenne Prime has probably been discovered. The number in question is currently being double-checked by George Woltman, organizer of GIMPS (the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search). If this pans out, GIMPS will have been responsible for the eight current largest Mersenne Primes ever discovered."

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Uses? (3, Interesting)

UncleJam (786330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716881)

What uses are there for gignatic prime numbers like this other than showing off computing power?
Encrypting?

Re:Uses? (5, Funny)

selectspec (74651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716920)

Chics dig it.

Re:Uses? (2, Funny)

kaedemichi255 (834073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716986)

Not to mention, it's just a side effect of the male syndrom of giant prime number envy.

Re:Uses? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717013)

Chics dig it.

Either that or their eyes glaze over and you sneak a quick peck before they slap you silly.

"ah, l'amour"

Re:Uses? (4, Funny)

adeyadey (678765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717130)

Hi darling, ooh is that a gigantic Mersenne Prime, or are you just pleased to see me?

Re:Uses? (3, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717141)

no, it just seams that way. Chick's will put out just to shut you up.

Re:Uses? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717196)

My partner majored in Mathematics; she'd probably find it neat :)

Re:Uses? (5, Funny)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716946)

I don't the any real use for this except finding large primes.

The theory is that there is an infinite number of these numbers, but they are unlikely to prove the theory by finding them all...

Re:Uses? (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717099)

Now that I've got that working quantum computer I've proven the theory so it's now a fact...

There are an infinite number of numbers hence an infinite number of infinite primes from that set of infinite numbers.

The nice thing was that it only took a billionth of second to figure it all out.

Re:Uses? (3, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717063)

Testing distributed primality algorithms. I should have thought this was obvious.

And, no, one does not encrypt with Mersenne primes. The rarity of such numbers makes a "brute force" crypto-analysis seem rather plausible. Best to use an ordinary prime number-- there are, after all, many more of them to choose from.

Re:Uses? (0)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717064)

Yep, encrypting. Specifically, public-key cryptography, which requires two fairly-large (think hundreds of digits) prime numbers multiplied together to encrypt a message.

I pick two primes, say 3 and 5, and the product of these is 15. A message is encoded using the number 15. If you know the encoded message and the product, you can decrypt it as it only has two factors.

These things take a very long time to do, however, especially with 100-digit primes. And this new one has 33219253 of them, so decrypting could take a while.

Re:Uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717154)

but if one wants to be keul and use "the 42nd and largest Mersenne prime" as one of the two factors, the calculation becomes much easier :)

Re:Uses? (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717188)

But decryption becomes much harder. Decrypting a message encoded with the 41st and 42nd Mersenne primes could become distributed computing itself ;)

Re:Uses? (1)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717185)

Using Mersenne primes for public cryptography is way too easily attacked - just try to first N Mersenne primes, where the Nth prime is less than the composite number.

Re:Uses? (1)

26199 (577806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717194)

Heh... how did this get modded informative? It's no use at all for encryption. Maybe 'funny' would be a better moderation...

Waste of electricity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716886)

I am sure we can find a better use for computing power than finding usless primes

Of course... (5, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716887)

... the moment they discovered the 42nd prime, the world was immediately destroyed to make way for an intergalactic superhighway.

Re:Of course... (3, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717083)

Now that was a prime rib!

Re:Of course... (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717090)

But, then we will find that the answer to the question of Mathematics is the 42nd Mersenne Prime. Later it will be discovered by some Ape Descendant and a hitchhiking researcher for an wholly remarkable electronic book with the words "Don't Panic" inscribed on the cover in large friendly letters, that the question of Mersenne Primes is "What do you get when you multiply the sixth Mersenne prime by the ninth Mersenne prime. which will prove that Mathematics is fundamentally screwed up.

Number Theory Professor... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716890)

...would be drooling to read that story.

Re:Number Theory Professor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717027)

Unfortunately, number theory professors don't read /., they actually do work...

Would a math geek... (-1, Redundant)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716892)

Care to inform us what a Mersenne prime is? And please don't tell me to RTFA. Come on, this is /. after all.

Re:Would a math geek... (4, Informative)

haluness (219661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716925)

From mathworld (whose link is in the summary)

A Mersenne prime is a Mersenne number, i.e., a number of the form

2^n - 1

that is prime. In order for it to be prime, n must itself be prime.

Re:Would a math geek... (5, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716928)

A Mersenne number is all ones when written in binary. If its prime, it is a Mersenne prime.

Re:Would a math geek... (4, Informative)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716947)

A prime of the form (2^n)-1. This means that in binary, it's a big string of "1"s.

The reason that mersenne primes are usually the biggest is because for primes of this form, there is a primality test (Lucas-Lehmer) that is exceedingly efficient.

Re:Would a math geek... (1)

chad.koehler (859648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716955)

A number such that: Mr = 2^n - 1 Where Mr is prime. SO for instance, 3, 7, 31 For n = 2, 3, 5 2^2 - 1 = 3 2^3 - 1 = 7 2^5 - 1 = 31

Re:Would a math geek... (0, Redundant)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716964)

In mathematics, a Mersenne prime is a prime number that is one less than a power of two. For example, 3 = 4 - 1 = 2^2 - 1 is a Mersenne prime; so is 7 = 8 - 1 = 2^3 - 1. On the other hand, 15 = 16 - 1 = 2^4 - 1, for example, is not a prime.
From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

No, it's not an oxymoron, it's just a regular one (0, Troll)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717002)

In chicken sexing, a Mersenine prime is a hermaphroditic chick.

Re:Would a math geek... (1)

em0te (807074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716990)

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MersennePrime.html [wolfram.com]
One can explain something to another,
but if said person is unable to relate to the way that one is teaching them then either:
The explainer is a horrible teacher, or, the explainee just simply doesn't understand. And i, for one, am a horrible teacher.
Which is why i say: RTFA

Re:Would a math geek... (1)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717048)

Although I normally don't do this .. but .. if you actually RTFA, it states:

Mersenne numbers are numbers of the form Mn = 2n - 1. For example, M7 = 27 - 1 = 127 is a Mersenne number. In fact, since 127 is also prime, 127 is also a Mersenne prime.

That was a cut-and-paste job btw.

The real magic number (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716896)

42

first fart (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716899)

*faaaaaarrrtttt!*

Could it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716900)

Could this be the one? the answer to the question of life, the universe.... and everything!

good website for info (-1, Redundant)

EaterOfDog (759681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716907)

That website... (0, Redundant)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716938)

...is linked in the summary.

(Last sentence, "Mersenne Primes".)

Sheesh.

Re:good website for info (0, Flamebait)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716963)

Wow, some work you did, lifting the link inside TFA to repost it here...

Mods these days couldn't see a karma-whore if it painted his bottom blue, put on a jester's hat and shouted "I'm a karma-whore"...

Re:good website for info (0, Offtopic)

EaterOfDog (759681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716982)

hahahahahaha!

wolfram.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717085)

I wonder if "Wolfram Research" had a trademark dispute (or at least cause for one) with the producers of "Angel [tvtome.com] ".

I never thought I'd say this... (0)

Paladin144 (676391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716911)

...but those GIMPS kick ass.

You just know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716917)

If this pans out, GIMPS will have been responsible for the eight current largest Mersenne Primes ever discovered.

Being able to say that sentence was the reason they named the project the way they did.

Great. Now what is it??????? (1, Funny)

solafide (845228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716918)

Tell us what it is!!! We can't confirm it either until he says what it is!

Congratulations George! Now what use is this? In cryptology? But how?

Re:Great. Now what is it??????? (0, Offtopic)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716954)

Tell us what it is!!!

Would you like that in decimal or binary?

Re:Great. Now what is it??????? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717008)

Binary is pretty easy. The number is:

11111...1111

where "..." means some number of 1s.

Re:Great. Now what is it??????? (2, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717082)

The biggest problem with cryptology right now is the inability to factor large prime numbers. Once we have the computeing power to do so cryptology strength will be increased greatly.

Re:Great. Now what is it??????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717107)

Actually, factoring a prime number is pretty damn easy.

Re:Great. Now what is it??????? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717176)

Not if they are really big, I mean REALLY BIG!!! Like way over a hundred

Can Inkscape be used to discover primes? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716926)

Surely any high end Open source drawing tools can do a lot more than the GTK+ based raster cousins...

Sheesh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716927)

The number in question is currently being double-checked by George Woltman, organizer of GIMPS

And while George takes time off to double-check Mersenne primes, GIMP doesn't get any closer to the usability of Photoshop...

OT but I'll bite.. (0, Offtopic)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717183)

Owwie you pain me. I can't stand using Photoshop. It's so hard to get things done that I keep switching back to GIMP. It's really a case of which you're used to. I have issues with GIMP's usability but I have just as many with Photoshop's usability. In fact I have issues with most software's usability. :)

If I do say so myself. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716935)

Now that's a prime find!

Re:If I do say so myself. (1)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717015)

Now THAT is The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything ! Wonder what the 43rd will reveal ?

Re:If I do say so myself. (2, Funny)

cyriustek (851451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717053)

But what are the implications to the Prime Directive?

Re:If I do say so myself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717078)

Engage, Number One.

Practical Applications/Uses? (4, Insightful)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716937)

Can someone explain what the application/use these primes are for? Not a flame, I'm honestly curious as to what something like this could be used for, as are others, I'm sure.

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (2, Informative)

mctk (840035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717103)

Large primes, of around 75-100 digits, are useful in encryption. Huge primes (i.e. over 7 million digits) are not currently useful in themselves, although we certainly learn more about mathemathics and computers as we try to find them.

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (3, Informative)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717106)

From here [haugk.co.uk] :

Finding new Mersenne primes is not likely to be of any immediate practical value. This search is primarily a recreational pursuit. However, the search for Mersenne primes has proved useful in development of new algorithms, testing computer hardware, and interesting young students in math.

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (5, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717109)

It's a mathematical curiosity in some cases - just to find it for the sake of finding it, or for the glory of finding it. You know, like being the first to do something cool.

Also, necessity is the mother of invention. Even if Big Primes aren't really a necessity, it has brought forth some really innovative algorithms and methods to finding prime numbers. Furthermore, it has developed newer and faster ways for multiplying integers.

In 1968, Strassen figured out how to multiply integers quickly by using Fast Fourier Transforms. Strassen, along with Schönhage improved on the method and published a refined version in 1971. GIMPS now uses an improved version of their algorithm. This improved version was developed by Richard Crandall (a longtime researcher of Mersenne Primes).

Another application of finding Prime Numbers is to test computer hardware. Since testing Primes involves a thorough excercise of basic mathematical operations, it provides a good test for hardware. Software routines from GIMPS were used by Intel to test the PII and the Pentium Pro chips before they were shipped. The search for prime numbers was also indirectly responsible for the discovery of the infamous FDIV bug on the Pentium, during the calculation of the twin prime constant (by Thomas Nicely).

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (3, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717203)

So... the main reason for searching for large primes is to develop better techniques for... searching for large primes?

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (3, Interesting)

Sloppyjoes7 (556803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717168)

Uncommon and unique numbers of varying types are usually useful for mathematics in general. Usually only mathematicians know why.

Whatever the case, this must be a more useful application for CPU power than Seti@home, which is a total waste of energy. Literally.

What we need are more projects that use distributed computing for useful calculations that could further science or solve problems. Universities build giant supercomputers to help their students calculate equations and solve problems. Maybe the students should release the problems over a network, and have home users calculate the answer for them. It'd save the Universities a lot of money.

I don't think it would work for code cracking, or government projects, as these contain sensitive information.

Re:Practical Applications/Uses? (3, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717192)

Can someone explain what the application/use these primes are for?

Communicating with alien species, perhaps.

Mersenne primes have two interesting properties that might catch the attention of alien species: when written in binary, they are entirely composed of '1' bits; and, of course, they are prime.

A sure way to prove to another being that you are intelligent is to spew a bunch of numbers which all happen to be prime. The fact that they can be tranmitted using only '1' bits means the modulation is simple -- just send a series of pulses.

A Mersenne Prime is... (4, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716959)

A mersenne Prime is a prime number that is one less than the power of two. Hence:

Mn = 2^n - 1.

Mersenne primes have a connection with Perfect Numbers (numbers that are equal to the sum of their proper divisors) where by if M is a Mersenne prime, then M(M+1)/2 is a perfect number.

Re:A Mersenne Prime is... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717180)

and you can calculate them using the 'bc' arbitrary precision calculator in Linux - I just tried 2^6972593-1 (#38) and it took a few minutes at 99% cpu on my AMD 3200+ then printed out a BIG number.

Mersenne Primes? Bah! (5, Funny)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716980)

Call me when a distributed computing project finds Fruit Fucker Prime. [penny-arcade.com]

Mersenne Primes - Definition (2, Informative)

Un-Thesis (700342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716984)

A Mersenne Prime is where the prime number also fulfills the equation 2^P - 1 2^2 - 1 = 3 ... 3 is a mersenne prime. 2^3 - 1 = 5 ... 5 is a mersenne prime. 2^4 - 1 = 7 ... 7 is a mersenne prime. The next one is 31 and after that 127. From there they get quite rare (only 42 known). They are VERY useful in cryptography and quantum physics...both deal with huge numbers. They are also used in some SETI applications because if you wanted to send primes, you'd probably send mersennes as these would be *very* non-random. Pratically, they're mostly used in military-grade real-time encryption in the hash keys of secured phones.

Re:Mersenne Primes - Definition (1)

omahajim (723760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717020)

How non-random can a Mersenne number be when there's only 42 (or 48, depending on how you interpret your paragraph above)? Maybe I don't understand your use of 'non-random'.

Re:Mersenne Primes - Definition (1)

omahajim (723760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717045)

Nevermind, there goes the karma, I think I read your post wrong. They would be non-random precisely because there are so few. Oh well, time to slow down the 'submit' clicking.

Re:Mersenne Primes - Definition (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717051)

Well, yeah, if you encode the Prime number in Binary it will not look Random at all. It will look like a giant string of 1s though... Aliens might mistake it for filler or something.

Re:Mersenne Primes - Definition (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717111)

A Mersenne Prime is where the prime number also fulfills the equation 2^P - 1 2^2 - 1 = 3 ... 3 is a mersenne prime. 2^3 - 1 = 5 ... 5 is a mersenne prime. 2^4 - 1 = 7 ... 7 is a mersenne prime.

Were you up late last night or something? 2^3 - 1 is NOT 5. 5 is NOT a Mersenne prime. 2^4 - 1 is NOT 7. 7 is a Mersenne prime, though. You suck at math.

Re:Mersenne Primes - Definition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717145)

2^3=8 therefore 2^3 - 1 = 7 not 5

2^4=16 therefore 2^4 -1 = 15 not 7, 15 isn't prime

Probably silly reference (4, Funny)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716985)

Reminds me of the first BlackAdder episode

Lord Percy: "The King is dead! L-"
Prince Harry [interrupting]: "Probably dead."
Lord Percy: "The King is probably dead!"

Spoiler alert about the number (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11716995)

Don't read any farther if you don't like spoilers.






Seriously, don't reead any farther....






It only has two factors.

Immoral use of computing power (0, Flamebait)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11716998)

What is number going to for us? Is it going to feed us? No. It would be better if the computer power was used for cancer research or finding aliens.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717047)

>What is number going to for us? Is it going to feed us? No. It would be better if the computer power was used for cancer research or finding aliens.

Because of course aliens will feed us...
They even will bring a cookbook with them, "To Serve Mankind."

Re:Immoral use of computing power (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717055)

There are already working cures for cancer, but the FDA are sitting on them so that the drug companies can make more money selling drugs to alleviate the symptoms, not the problem.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717066)

o yeah that's useful, i can give you an alien anytime, what are you gonna do with it? eat it? that's right nothing, u look at it, freak out and crawl under the table, you nerd. no aliens for you

Screw you AC (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717132)

If we discover aliens, I am going to eat them.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717112)

oh pllleeaaazzzzee I guess rendering porno movies is an immoral use of computing power.

If someone buy the computing power to discover new primes it's their right to do so.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (2, Funny)

redivider (786620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717125)

Personally, I think having a "Free iPods" link in your sig is a more immoral use of computing power than searching for prime numbers.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717150)

Some guy with a "free iPOD" sig is telling me about the immoral use of computing power?

Re:Immoral use of computing power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717159)

You forgot "Get some priorities, people!"

If you're going for one of the tried-and-tested classic Slashdot trolls, please stick to the script.

Re:Immoral use of computing power (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717199)

You shouldn't waste computing power on listening to your stupid iPod either. Convert it to find a cure for AIDS or something.

Woohoo! The world is saved! (1, Funny)

kakos (610660) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717028)

Now that we've found the 42nd Mersenne Prime, we can cure cancer, cure AIDs, solve all NP problems in deterministic polynomial time, travel faster than light, and solve world hunger.

Thank you Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search!

Can't see the pattern? (2, Funny)

nitio (825314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717086)

Of course it will do all this things... it's the 42nd Mersenne Prime...

One practical use of Mersenne Primes... (5, Interesting)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717036)

I'm not sure what else they're actually good for, but searching for these with Prime95 is a great way of putting the flame to your CPU.

Prime95 (which searches for these primes) really puts a load on the CPU and raises the temperature in a hurry. It's commonly used to test the stability of overclocking configurations since it stresses the chip and is able to detect if there is an error in the computation.

Generally, if you can run Prime95 for 24 hours straight, most people will consider the overclocked PC a stable configuration.

Client written in assembler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717040)

For those of you who wondered... yes all two of you... the client (or at least the one on the GIMPS website) was written in assembler. Pretty cool.

Yes! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717054)

If this pans out, GIMPS will have been responsible for the eight current largest Mersenne Primes ever discovered.

In your face, Photoshop!

And??? (0, Redundant)

michelcultivo (524114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717070)

And what this will change in our computer form or life? Will it reduce the greenhouse effect?

Two unknowns (5, Informative)

MaGogue (859961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717076)


This has not yet been confirmed, therefore there could be less than 42 known Mersenne primes.

Hovewer, according to MathWorld, there is a chance that it is not the 42nd Mersenne prime at all for another reason :

"However, note that the region between the 39th and 40th known Mersenne primes has not been completely searched, so it is not known if M20,996,011 is actually the 40th Mersenne prime.."
Looks like the big math guys don't exactly know how to count at all ;)

That brings back some memories... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717077)

Back in the dark ages when I was in university, I took a class called "Mathematics and Poetry". I thought it would be a useful bird course in my senior year, but it turned out to be both interesting and challenging.

As part of the course, we studied Mersenne primes. At the time, I was dabbling in x86 assembler, and I decided to write a program to calculate the then largest known Mersenne prime number: 2^31 - 1, which worked out to 65,050 digits.

The size worked out perfectly, as in 1989 that meant it could fit into one 65KB segment on my blazing-fast 8Mhz 8088. As I recall, the runtime was about two days. The program still works--I can't remember how long it took to run on a 3Ghz P4, but I think it was just a few minutes.

I'm sure any competent programmer (read--not me) could calculate the result much faster, but at the time I was very proud of my little creation.

Re:That brings back some memories... (4, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717201)

As part of the course, we studied Mersenne primes. At the time, I was dabbling in x86 assembler, and I decided to write a program to calculate the then largest known Mersenne prime number: 2^31 - 1, which worked out to 65,050 digits.

I don't think it actually did bring back those memories. 2^31-1 is 2147483647. You're thinking of Mersenne prime 31, which is 2^216091 - 1.

ok now , back to protien folding! (2)

L1nux_L0ser83 (860647) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717092)

...now that weve got this important prime number thing handled..lets get back to folding protiens...

im a geek...but damn...thats uber-geekish

the trouble is (3, Funny)

pmike_bauer (763028) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717105)

The number in question is currently being double-checked by George Woltman

Ok...lets see here...

5465875133124687545551258898456556......98034802

BUMMER!

What an incredibly awesome... (3, Insightful)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717113)

...waste of time, money and processing power. what kind of use would this have, other than just knowing it? its like winning a eating contest: a completely useless achievement, plus it just turns to poop.

When will this be put into SSH or MUTE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717124)

I just want to know when will this be put into SSH and MUTE filesharing ?

OMG! Do you know what this means!?!?! (2, Funny)

Eskimore_ (842733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717135)

OMG! Do you know what this means!?!?!

.

.

No really, please tell me. I haven't a clue...

42? gimp? (1)

Esine (809139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717164)

42? the GIMP? so that must mean GIMP is answer to life, the universe and everything. (thats 42 decoded)

Here's one good reason... (3, Interesting)

thesatch (844290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717174)

http://www.eff.org/awards/coop.html [eff.org]

Thought it takes my 1.7Ghz 3 months to test a 10mil digit prime.

Something`s wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11717186)

A story on slashdot including the number 42 receives only one or two tiny comments including references to Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy?
Something`s wrong here ...

You ask why? (1)

SafteyMan (860733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717187)

Its called knowledge for the sake of knowledge. They found the number because they could. You'd think nerds would be the first to understand the nature of this discovery...

Use (0)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11717191)

For all those posters asking about how this is useful to people: Now that we know this, our (human) knowledge has increased by this much. That's the use. Knowledge.
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