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### Finding Mersenne Primes

```
Date: 02/15/2002 at 23:10:12
From: Hanif
Subject: Mersenne prime

How do I find the first four Mersenne primes? I don't know how to
start.
```

```
Date: 02/16/2002 at 01:03:47
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: Mersenne prime

Hi Hanif,

First of all, a Mersenne number is 2^n - 1. If this number is prime,
it's called a Mersenne prime.

For instance, 2^1 - 1 = 1 (not a prime)
2^2-1 = 3 (a prime)

Does this make sense?

You can find several Mersenne prime pages on the web, for instance

Mersenne Primes: History, Theorems and Lists - Chris Caldwell
http://www.utm.edu/research/primes/mersenne/

Interested in using your computer to help discover huge primes?
"GIMPS, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, was formed in
January 1996 to discover new world-record-size Mersenne primes.
GIMPS harnesses the power of thousands of small computers like
yours to search for these "needles in a haystack" (from
http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm   ).

Hope this helps!

- Doctor Jodi, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Number Theory

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