You're reading: News

New Mersenne prime discovered, and promptly printed out

Breaking news! On 19th January 2016, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search discovered a new largest prime number – we know 49 Mersenne primes, the largest of which is now $2^{74207281}-1$, a number containing over 22 million digits and full of primey goodness.

Internet Maths Person Matt Parker has responded to the news in spectacular style, by issuing a 14-minute long video explaining the discovery and its implications, as well as somehow scoring an interview with the actual discoverer of the new prime, Curtis Cooper.

The previous prime, $M_{48}$, was also discovered by Prof. Cooper, so he’s quite used to the media circus now; see our piece on the $M_{48}$ coverage from last time to see him doing a staggering number of interviews.

But Parker doesn’t stop there! He’s also hopped over to YouTube maths channel Numberphile to make a video showing off his ridiculous latest acquisition, which is a three-volume set of printed bound brown paper, onto which he’s had printed all 22,338,618 digits of Mersenne 49, for what I can only speculate must be some reason.

Matt also features in a second Numberphile video describing how the new prime was found using Lucas numbers, and a third video in the series is promised.

More information

Mersenne.org press release about the new prime

New World-Record Largest Prime Ever Found! – Standupmaths on YouTube

New World’s Biggest Prime Number (PRINTED FULLY ON PAPER) – Numberphile on YouTube

How they found the World’s Biggest Prime Number – Numberphile

2 Responses to “New Mersenne prime discovered, and promptly printed out”

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

$\LaTeX$: You can use LaTeX in your comments. e.g. $ e^{\pi i} $ for inline maths; \[ e^{\pi i} \] for display-mode (on its own line) maths.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>