Largest Prime Number Yet is Found!

It’s always in the last place you think to look, in this case Missouri. Here is my Storify of the information and reaction surrounding the new discovery (the formatting is a bit off, so best to view either as slideshow, or directly through Storify).
  1. Wow, a new largest prime was discovered, and it is a Mersenne Prime. Great day for number theory!!
  2. Here’s our earlier Mersenne video – – planning a new instalment later tonight!
  3. The discovery was made possible by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, better known to most (any?) as GIMPS, which uses volunteer computers to calculate and search for primes numbers, and has been running for 17 years.
  4. The 48th Mersenne prime number has been discovered as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, also known as… GIMPS…
  5. Glad to see GIMPS have broken the largest prime number record. Well done GIMPS.
  6. The best bit about the biggest-prime-number story is the number of esteemed colleagues who are just shouting “GIMPS” in their feed.
  7. The number was uncovered through the efforts of Dr. Curtis Cooper, a professor at the University of Central Missouri. Dr. Cooper’s computer took 39 days of continuous calculation to verify the prime status of the number, which was discovered on January 25th.
  8. A volunteer discovered a new prime number. Its 17 million digits long…who volunteers for something like that?
  9. Prime numbers are discovered “mostly for sport”! MT @physorg_com: professor discovers largest prime number to date
  10. WHAT!? You get $3000 for discovering a prime number!?
  11. So what is the number?
  12. The largest prime # has been discovered! The #, 2 raised to the 57,885,161 power minus 1, is 17,425,170 digits long:
  13. How big is this number? At over 17 million digits it is pretty big.
  14. Largest-known prime number found!!!
    A single digit raised to the 57,885,161st power minus 1 smashes the figure discovered in 2008.
  15. If you were to print all > 17 million digits of 2^(57,885,161)-1 with characters 1mm wide, they will form a line over 17 million mm long.
  16. It is a prime number so large that it would take over 5000 pages of paper to display it all. I find that crazy but maybe I am alone there
  17. @standupmaths the 17 million digits typed on an old typewriter at 12 characters per inch would stretch 22.359 miles
  18. At one tweet an hour we’d have all 17 million digits in 14 years. RT @NickyNockyNu: Would take about 121,430 tweets to display. Any takers?
  19. @stephenfry Amazing fact: The number is so large it took 1000 computers 39 days to check it was a prime.
  20. A new prime number was just discovered with 17,425,170 digits. It takes a 22MB file to hold all of the digits. #nerdtweet
  21. If you wrote out the newest prime number at a non-stop, continuous rate of 1 digit per second, you would finish August 23rd of this year
  22. i’m estimating it would take a person around 85 weeks to recite all the digits of the new prime number. and that’s working at a good clip.
  23. In an attempt to visualize the number, Philip Bump broke the 17-million-digit prime into 6-digit chunks, converted that to RGB colors, and made an image, full size here.
    Some people were not too excited by the news of the new prime.
  24. @standupmaths You realise that 2^(57,885,161)-1 people wont understand why we are so excited by your news
  25. Why is “largest-known prime number found” the lead story on the yahoo! that really important news??
  26. “Largest-known prime number found” story on yahoo.. I didn’t know we were looking for it and more importantly, who cares?
  27. With this week’s discivery of the largest prime number, a cure for AIDS can’t be far behind! #science #werprogress
  28. World’s largest prime number discovered. Glad to see the job market is thriving enough to fund that expedition…. #goodwork
  29. Worlds largest prime number discovered? Why bother?
  30. But there are definitely some people who are quite excited by the news.
  31. New prime number, new cat Monopoly piece. Today is off to a good start.
  32. @JonathanHaynes Dude, I’m a professional science dork, of course I’m going to love a big prime number… 🙂
  33. RT @4Loopz: Guys get stoked. They just found a 17 million digit prime number ending a 4 year period of not finding new prime numbers! Day off tomorrow?
  34. A new prime number was discovered, makes me happy. It’s like we’re peeling the cosmic onion. 2^57,885,161-1, welcome to the family.
  35. Video: The Biggest Prime in SONG! by my YouTube pal TheSingingNerd (@osxpert) cc. @numberphile
  36. Stephen Fry tweeted his support and enthusiasm for the new discovery, which in turn set off a debate about terminology, everything from the infinity of numbers, to the World’s dominion over numbers.
  37. World’s largest prime number discovered — all 17 million digits – via @summly Hurrah!
  38. @stephenfry @Summly sorry to correct you, but it’s not the world’s largest prime number, it’s the largest known.
  39. @stephenfry @Summly no, no. There are infinitely many primes. So theres always a bigger one! Ask ur math friends.
  40. @stephenfry There is no largest prime number, Euclid did a beautiful proof that there can’t be a largest one!
  41. @stephenfry @KriLL3 @Summly …and drop the “the world’s”. Prime numbers are prime anywhere. It’s the largest presently known to mankind.
  42. @stephenfry @KriLL3 @Summly “The world’s largest” is perhaps shorthand/the same as “largest known”. I’m sure aliens have got bigger ones.
  43. Some were able to excuse Stephen Fry’s haste, while others brought up the fact that many people just like to troll.
  44. @stephenfry you are technically still right because you said largest discovered? And @krill3 said largest known.So basically the same thing?
  45. @stephenfry @KriLL3 @Summly ‘sorry to correct you’? You know they’re not sorry at all! The correction police take pleasure in their work 😉
  46. “Tweet in haste, repent at leisure” – @StephenFry on the joys and pitfalls of #Twitter

One thought on “Largest Prime Number Yet is Found!

  1. Pingback: Networks and Degrees of Separation | On a Quasi-Related Note

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