Home > mathematics > New, largest, known, prime number found (as of Sep 2008)

New, largest, known, prime number found (as of Sep 2008)

There is an infinite number of prime numbers. Prime numbers are of interest to mathematics because of the very fact that they do not appear in particular pattern. There is an ongoing struggle to see if primes can be fitted a pattern, perhaps the largest prize in number theory.

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search has recently found the largest known prime known. It falls into a particular category of primes called the ‘Mersenne primes‘. This a mammoth number of nearly 13 million digits, the exact number being 243,112,609-1.

This is the 45th Mersenne prime, the last 46th being smaller than the 45th. This was done using a distributed computing mechanism. The announcement for both these was made on the 16th of September, 2008.

While mind boggling, number theory is unlikely to benefit much yet – once again, there seems to be no pattern anywhere.

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