Saturday, September 27, 2008

12,978,189 Digit Prime Number Found

This prime number is a Mersenne prime. The idea behind Mersenne primes (2^p)-1 may be prime where "p" is a prime number. The "p" in this 12,978,189 digit prime number is 43,112,609. This is the largest prime number we know of. It was the first ten million plus prime number found and still the largest.

If you want to see the prime number in its entirety go to but be warned it may take a while to load.

"On August 23rd, a UCLA computer discovered the 45th known Mersenne prime, 243,112,609-1, a mammoth 12,978,189 digit number! The prime number qualifies for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's $100,000 award for discovery of the first 10 million digit prime number. Congratulations to Edson Smith, who was responsible for installing and maintaining the GIMPS software on the UCLA Mathematics Department's computers."

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