"7-million digit prime number discovered"


Nov 15, 2003
NewScientist.com news service

The largest prime number yet found has been discovered by a mathematics enthusiast using his desktop computer. The monstrous number has over seven million digits.

Josh Findley, who lives in Seattle, US, contributed his 2.4Ghz Pentium PC's spare processing power to a distributed computing project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS). The project has signed up more than 200,000 personal computers.

Prime numbers are positive integers that can only be divided perfectly by themselves and one. But they are not simply a mathematical curiosity as they form a crucial component of the cryptographic schemes used to secure online financial transactions.

Mersenne primes are an especially rare type that take the form 2P-1, where p is also a prime number. They are named after a 17th Century French monk who first came up with an important conjecture about which values of p would yield a prime. The new number can be represented as 224,036,583-1. It is the 41st Mersenne prime to have been found.

Big money prize

Findley's computer spent 14 days analysing the number before reporting the find. Two independent GIMPS members then verified the find, using five days on a 16-CPU cluster in France and 11 days on a server in Canada.

"I'm still surprised," Findley said following announcement of the discovery on Saturday. "Even after five years running GIMPS on my computers, I didn't expect to find a new Mersenne prime."

The discovery comes just six months after GIMPS announced the discovery of the last enormous Mersenne prime, which had a million fewer digits. The progress takes the project tantalisingly close to finding the first 10 million-digit prime number.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US internet campaign group, has promised to give $100,000 to whoever makes this discovery. The foundation announced the prizes in order to promote cooperative, internet-enabled computing and further cash prizes will be awarded for discovery of a 100 million-digit prime and a one billion digit one.

GIMPS volunteers download a piece of software that runs in the background on their computer. A central server distributes different prime number candidates to each machine, which use spare processing power to test whether it is a genuine prime or not.


boring dude boring
It is most interesting. The problem is that you just don't get it at all, i wouldn't expect you to even understand prime numbers so it is normal you find this boring.

Read a book for once in your pathetic life.

Maybe you will learn something ( doubtfull :s ) and the time you will be trying to decipher even the simplest of words will be time you are NOT filling this site with garbage and retarded like remarks. At least i'm saying this in YOUR language, maybe you would want to reply in mine.


Mar 13, 2006
Pretty remarkable. I remember when the project produced the former largest . . . now a full million digits farther.


Dec 25, 2005
I'm a math major, and I think the pursuit of endless prime numbers is a waste of time. We already know there are an infinite amount of primes, so who cares if they find some arbitrarily large one. Yes, I guess it has some cryptography applications, but it should be obsolete there soon. Scientists have already managed to slow down light and move it immediately to discrete locations, so cryptography should change a lot soon.


Dec 14, 2004
Can you post the number on here? LMAO


Oct 28, 2006
redpubes said:
Can you post the number on here? LMAO
in letter form.

keep pushing