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# FedEx Employee Discovers Largest Known Mersenne Prime Number Containing 23 Million Digits

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posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:18 PM
In the "Oh gee, that is neat" department comes the following story.

But first some information...

Math (some of you are cringing! This will not hurt! I promise!), has a special place in our world. The entire modern world would not exist without math and complicated functions. But today we keep it simple: integers.

Integers are complete, whole numbers. That is it. "One little piggy, two little piggies,.." Counting numbers. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor! These numbers have been a source of study for thousands of years. India and China have great traditions concerning the study of integers. But it is the Greeks where our modern view of math starts. That is because there was this dude name Euclid that figured out logic, nomenclature, and in one foul (hehe) swoop created the art of mathematics! (Yeah, there is debate about where he got his info but this is just a bit of background).

The Greeks were lacking one thing though, algebra. Instead of having a nice equation like, E = mc^2, they had stuff like, "Twice any number is known as the evens". The dreaded word problems we all hate. Look, already we have our first statement of integers: 2*n = Even numbers!

That statement works the other way too. Any number that can be evenly cut in two is an even. Euclid also knew that "One more than twice any number are called the odds". or, 2*n + 1 = Odd numbers.

When an integer can only be divided by itself and 1, it is known as a prime number. A little check, and after 2, all prime numbers will be odd numbers.

There are special forms of prime numbers especially when they get really large.

In mathematics, a Mersenne prime is a prime number that is one less than a power of two. That is, it is a prime number of the form Mn = 2^n − 1 for some integer n.

Wikipedia - Mersenne prime.

You will notice that it is a power of two, an even number, minus "1", an odd, which will create an odd number. The guy who created this construct gets the luck of having the formula named after him, Marin Mersenne (same source). There is no guarantee that the integer created using this method is prime so it has to be checked.

For the longest time, the largest prime number known was less than 100 digits long (chart). Then along came the electronic computer. The largest prime number started to grow... over 100 digits long, over 1,000 digits longs,... a million!

Realizing a desktop sitting on there, not being used, can be hooked up to other computers just sitting there (this is after the internet thing happened!) is when this search and confirmation really took off. Networked computers searching for Mersenne primes is called the "Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search project", or GIMPS.

Using a computer powered by an off-the-shelf Intel Core i5-6600 processor, a FedEx employee from Tennessee has discovered the largest prime number known to humanity. At 23,249,425 digits long, it’s nearly a million digits longer than the previous record holder.
...

The new record-holding prime number, dubbed “M77232917,” was discovered by Jonathan Pace, a 51-year-old electrical engineer living in Germantown, Tennessee, on December 26, 2017. It was discovered as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a group that does exactly what its name implies. Mersenne primes—named after the 17th century French monk Marin Mersenne—are a rare class of primes that are one less than a power of two, expressed as Mn=2^n-1. In this case, the new prime was calculated by multiplying the number two 77,232,917 times and then subtracting one (277,232,917-1). The new prime is the 50th known Mersenne prime.

Gizmodo.com, Jan. 5, 2018 - FedEx Employee Discovers Largest Known Prime Number Containing a Staggering 23 Million Digits.

The title of the article is misleading (I also had to edit the title down a bit). This is the largest Mersenne Prime number found. The FedEx guy gets the credit and the money! Something like US\$ 3,000.

See, that did not hurt too much! And it is pretty neat Christmas story!

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:27 PM
super cool for sure but come on.

this dude didnt discover #

Ramanujan ftw!!!

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:31 PM

The FedEx guy gets the credit and the money! Something like US\$ 3,000.

I wonder if that amount will even pay the electrical bill for leaving the computer running that long.
And , a new laptop due to the previous one being fried from overheating .

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:31 PM
Was it Berkeley distributed computing app that found it?

Forgot the name of the app.. its the same one SETI use.

Boing i think
edit on Fri, 05 Jan 2018 17:32:15 -0600325America/ChicagoFriday4 by rigel4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:33 PM

originally posted by: TinySickTears
super cool for sure but come on.

this dude didnt discover #

Ramanujan ftw!!!

Best post...
"Hold my beer , watch this y'all ."

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:46 PM

Lottery winner would be better!

No kidding! Like crypto mining... eating up the juice like nothing before.

Yup, same one. Also the DNA sequencer one.

Indeed, the discovery of new primes is no small task; every candidate prime must go through the time-consuming and rigorous process of being cut-up by any potential divisors. Once a candidate prime is discovered, it has to be verified by outside sources. In this case, the prime was independently verified by four different programs running on different hardware configurations:

Aaron Blosser verified it using Prime95 on an Intel Xeon server in 37 hours.
David Stanfill verified it using gpuOwL on an AMD RX Vega 64 GPU in 34 hours
Andreas Höglund verified the prime using CUDALucas running on NVidia Titan Black GPU in 73 hours
Ernst Mayer also verified it using his own program Mlucas on 32-core Xeon server in 82 hours. Andreas Höglund also confirmed using Mlucas running on an Amazon AWS instance in 65 hours.

(Gizmodo article)

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:57 PM
trump's prime number is bigger.

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 05:58 PM
I love math.

S+F from me.

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 06:18 PM

I like math enough to post this!

Primes are interesting. Such simple concepts like Goldbach or twin primes to explain but nobody knows how to solve them. It usually takes a change of tools (or thinking) for the breakthroughs to happen.

Even more mind blowing, the article continued on and shows where the search is headed...

The Holy Grail of primes is yet to be found: a prime number containing 100 million digits. The first person to find this elusive number will be awarded \$150,000 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Gizmodo article

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 06:31 PM

A lot of "mystery" in math. I enjoy those.

Read some good books on stuff like that. Fermats enigma was another interesting one, covered well in a Simon Singh boom of the same name.
edit on 5-1-2018 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 06:51 PM

I liked -

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis: The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers (Dan Rockmore), and,

Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (John Derbyshire)

A bit more involved than integers but both are great math books. They both weave personal history, math history, real math equations, and prose explanations together in a good story.

Both sit out in the open and I will pick one or the other up to re-read.

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 08:21 PM

originally posted by: RoScoLaz5
trump's prime number is bigger.

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 08:23 PM
But what is that number in binary?

That is the question!

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 08:49 PM
23 million digits eh? obviously the fedex guy was trying to estimate the earliest delivery date of a package.

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 09:12 PM
^ An Amazon PRIME package? FIGURES!

posted on Jan, 5 2018 @ 11:33 PM

The Holy Grail of primes is yet to be found: a prime number containing 100 million digits. The first person to find this elusive number will be awarded \$150,000 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Hmm, there is a million digit calculator, think this one for decimals only though.

I can kill a minute or two.. Probably better odds than the lottery.
edit on 5-1-2018 by whatibecame because: Added quote for context

edit on 5-1-2018 by whatibecame because: Mhh

posted on Jan, 6 2018 @ 01:09 AM

If you’re going to do the lottery, do both!!

A cool billion would be epic!

I would go to one of the links with a sample of the number, look for 23, then chose my numbers! After all, 23 is the first lone prime!

Seems 23 is the right now!

posted on Jan, 6 2018 @ 04:03 AM
This is neat.

I wonder why the guy is referred to by his job title? Are they implying he's just a dumb smuck/noone special

posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 10:12 PM

The original articles were only about the prime number. I think that the “FedEx employee” part is click-bait. I’m am glad that some dude used his computer to be part of this, and found one!

Thanks for the response!!

posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 10:18 PM
you know that is so neat and I do love math it's in the family

but good lordy man I just could not get into it i mean man

i wanno go make something look different or make something....usable.....am i terrible

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