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 Largest known prime is 17-million-digit monster
Sophie
Posted: 12:12 Friday 8 February 2013


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Tuesday 5 February 2013

New 17-million-digit monster is largest known prime

The largest known prime number has just shot up to 257 885 161 − 1, breaking a four-year dry spell in the search for new, ever-larger primes.

All prime numbers can only be divided by themselves and 1. The rare Mersenne primes all have the form 2p − 1, where p is itself a prime number.

The new prime, which has over 17 million digits, is only the 48th Mersenne prime ever found. The previous record holder, 243 112 609 − 1, has just under 13 million digits.


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