UCLA group discovers humungous prime number

The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP.

By
September 28, 2008 10:33
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13-million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize. The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. The number was verified by a different computer system running a different algorithm. "We're delighted," said UCLA's Edson Smith, the leader of the effort. "Now we're looking for the next one, despite the odds." It's the eighth Mersenne prime discovered at UCLA. Primes are numbers like three, seven and 11 that are divisible by only two whole positive numbers: themselves and one. Mersenne primes - named for their discoverer, 17th century French mathematician Marin Mersenne - are expressed as 2P-1, or two to the power of "P" minus one. P is itself a prime number. For the new prime, P is 43,112,609. Thousands of people around the world have been participating in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, a cooperative system in which underused computing power is harnessed to perform the calculations needed to find and verify Mersenne primes. The $100,000 prize is being offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for finding the first Mersenne prime with more than 10 million digits. The foundation supports individual rights on the Internet and set up the prime number prize to promote cooperative computing using the Web. The prize could be awarded when the new prime is published, probably next year.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM

Cookie Settings