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Mersenne Megaprime

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: On June 1, 1999, a participant in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) discovered the the 38th known Mersenne prime - the first known prime number with at least 2 million decimal digits, more than twice as many as the previous record holder. The discoverer was Nayan Hajratwala, a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Plymouth, MI. Using a Pentium-based personal computer and software written by George Woltman of Orlando, Fla., he identified 2^6,972,593 - 1 as a prime number, evenly divisible only by itself and 1.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Prime Numbers

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