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New Mersenne prime discovered?

August 26, 2008, 8:05 pm

GIMPS is reporting that on 23 August a new Mersenne prime was reported to their server. Verification began today and should take about two weeks to complete. No word on what the prime was, how many digits, etc.

The last Mersenne prime discovered was \(2^{32,582,657}-1\), back in 2006 (blogged about here) and weighed in at a whopping 9,808,358 digits. Any bets on how big this new one is, if it’s really a prime? I’m guessing 10.5 million digits. Sounds like a good occasion for a nerd office pool.

Update: Isabel at God Plays Dice likes 14.5 million digits instead, and she’s actually using math and stuff to make that estimate instead of just shooting totally in the dark like I am.

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