Thursday, October 02, 2008

Largest known prime number found

Congress ain't there, yet, but they're trying!

And the winner is: 2 to the 43,112,609th power. Minus one. You do the math.

Its size is mind-boggling. With nearly 13 million digits, it makes the number of atoms in the known universe seem negligible, a mere 80 digits.

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, a computing project that uses volunteers’ computers to hunt for primes, found the prime and just confirmed the discovery. It can now claim a $100,000 prize from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for being the first to find a prime number that has more than 10 million digits.

Uh, running for congress & holding up the taxpayers is more lucrative, guys.

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