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"Imagination is more important than knowledge." (Albert Einstein)
NEW Prime Number

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Posted 1/20/2006 2:44 PM (#558)
Subject: NEW Prime Number

Location: IAKSS
My ultimate dream is that when one of these numbers is discovered in
the future, the announcement won't have to be prefaced with the
definition of a prime number. (For example, when a new word is coined,
the definition doesn't begin..."The alphabet consists of 26 letters
that when put in combinations.....")

Meanwhile, bake a cake, light the candles, play some loud and rowdy
music and CELEBRATE the beauty of numbers and mathematics!

Mo. Researchers Find Largest Prime Number By GARANCE BURKE, Associated
Press Writer

Tue Jan 3, 10:09 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Researchers at a Missouri university have identified
the largest known prime number, officials said Tuesday.

The team at Central Missouri State University, led by associate dean
Steven Boone and mathematics professor Curtis Cooper, found it in
mid-December after programming 700 computers years ago.

A prime number is a positive number divisible by only itself and 1 _ 2,
3, 5, 7 and so on.

The number that the team found is 9.1 million digits long. It is a
Mersenne prime known as M30402457 _ that's 2 to the 30,402,457th power minus 1.

Mersenne primes are a special category expressed as 2 to the "p"
power minus 1,
in which "p" also is a prime number.

"We're super excited," said Boone, a chemistry professor. "We've been
looking for such a number for a long time."

The discovery is affiliated with the Great Internet Mersenne Prime
Search, a global contest using volunteers who run software that
searches for the largest Mersenne prime.
Posted 2/17/2006 2:59 PM (#672 - in reply to #558)
Subject: RE: NEW Prime Number

Posts: 104
Location: Henry Clay
Cool. There was an episode of Numbers that centered around the theft of a formula to generate prime numbers. The prime numbers were used as the key to uncode encrypted data that was being sent over the internet. The episode did a pretty nice job of talking about primes and of presenting this "real world" use of them.
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