GIMPS Finds a Prime! 21398269-1 is prime
By Chris Caldwell
How do you slay a giant? One way is to get a very big gun. Most of the
previous record primeswere found just that way--by the super-computers of their day armed with
Another way is to get together with several hundred friends and assault the giant as a team. Recently the GIMPS(Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search) project did just that! On 13 November 1996 Joel Armengauddiscovered the new Mersenne prime21398269-1. He did this by using George Woltman'sfree implementationof the Lucas-Lehmer testand by working together with over 700 other individualsscattered across the Internet.
And what a giant they slew! This 420921 digit number (formed by multiplying two by itself 1398268 times, then subtracting one) is now the largest known prime. It is also the 35th knownMersenne prime, and so comes paired with the 35th known perfect number. There are still infinitely manymore giants left to slay, so why not surf over to Woltman's GIMPS siteand join the search for the next record prime?
For more information click on one of the following:
- About this prime
- The official press release
- Armengaud's announcement(11/23/96)
- Woltman's announcement(11/23/96)
- Articles: San Jose Mercury News (11/23/96)
- The complete decimal expansion
- Introduction(Home Page)
- Search Credits
- Search status(there is also a graphical view)
- June 96 San Jose Mercury News article
- Mersenne Primesdefinitions, theorems, lists...
- Marin Mersennereferences, images, sounds...
- Mersenne Primes Bibliography
- Mersenne mailing list
- Lists of the Largest Known Primes
- How do you find primes and prove primality
- Home page for prime information