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Question:
What is the largest prime number that has been discovered?



Replies:
The largest known prime is very large, running to the hundreds if not thousands of digits. New largest primes get discovered every few years. I believe there was a good review article in _Scientific American_ a few years ago. Check their index. Also, I think this question may have been asked before. Did you check the math archive?

hawley


If you have access to a Web browser, check out URL http://www.utm.edu/research/primes/largest.html This page is maintained by Chris Caldwell of the Department of Mathematics, University of Tennessee - Martin. According to this page, the largest known prime is 2^859433-1. - 1 , which has 258,716 (yikes!) digits. Its primality was announced on Jan. 4, 1994 by David Slowinski, who with Paul Gage proved (using a Cray C90 supercomputer) that it was prime.

rcwinther


Hmmm, just looked at my answer and noted I'd managed to mistype the prime number. I meant to type 2^859433 - 1 . The "^", by the way, means "to the power of", so for example 2^3 means 2*2*2.



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