# Thread: Finally! The largest prime number is discovered.

1. ## Finally! The largest (known) prime number is discovered.

They beat me to it, but congratulations all the same. "McNews" (a twist of McPaper and McArticle - Rapier57 and TH13) reports the scoop - which was taken from the AP:

Story:
Researchers discover largest prime number
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- 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.
Well... I guess I will sharpen my crayons and start working on the next Mersenne prime.

2. When I saw your thread title, my world stopped turning, as I thought that all my math education had been in vain for researchers had discovered that there is such a thing as "the largest prime number"...

There is no largest prime number, just like there is no largest number. It's the largest known prime number

3. My question would be...why waste the resources of 700 computers over a period of years that could be put to better use folding DNA , or other medical or practical applications, rather than trying to find a prime number that has no practical application at all.

This Central Missouri State University is displaying exactly what's wrong with the educational system today...wasted resources and a total lack of consideration for practical applications.

Eg

4. Originally posted here by Egaladeist
My question would be...why waste the resources of 700 computers over a period of years that could be put to better use folding DNA , or other medical or practical applications, rather than trying to find a prime number that has no practical application at all.

This Central Missouri State University is displaying exactly what's wrong with the educational system today...wasted resources and a total lack of consideration for practical applications.

Eg
the application of number theory [prime numbers] is crucial to the world of cryptography. inane comments like yours aren't.

5. he application of number theory [prime numbers] is crucial to the world of cryptography. inane comments like yours aren't.
Number theory extends way beyond cryptography, good manners is close to hand?

6. Hi csl,

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.
Sorry...perhaps I am ignorant of this...in fact I'm sure I am...but I fail to see how knowing a number 9.1 million digits long will put food on my table or provide the necessary medication for my children if they become ill...which is what I meant by practical applications.

Perhaps you can explain to us less informed how this actually benefits mankind.

Eg

7. perhaps you might not understand there is an entire industry making millions of dollars off discoveries like this. how do you think the trio from rsa made their initial fortune? but perhaps you are also unaware of the fact that money may be traded for goods and services? ignorance is bliss kind sir.

8. I'm with Negative on this one : I thought some insane new mathematical discovery had been exposed, but, no, it's just more brute force.

9. Blue sky research is important. It's just that you might not make use of the discovery for some time.

Lots of useful things have been dicovered in the process of conducting blue sky research. I can't think of any examples right now but there are lots. I think Taq Pol for DNA replication was an incidental discovery.

10. Hi csl,

perhaps you might not understand there is an entire industry making millions of dollars off discoveries like this. how do you think the trio from rsa made their initial fortune? but perhaps you are also unaware of the fact that money may be traded for goods and services? ignorance is bliss kind sir
So...people are making money off of this...and money runs the economy...but that's not what I asked...i asked how does this help mankind?

Eg

Hi Aspman,

so are you saying that this new discovery in prime numbers will have a direct connection to DNA research?

Eg

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