Saturday, February 26, 2005

New Mersenne Prime Confirmed!

The cat was let out of the bag a little bit early, but it has been confirmed that 2^25964951 - 1 is prime. In binary, this would be a string of numbers containing 25964951 ones. In decimal (base 10), this is a 7816230 digit number.

I say the "cat was let out" because George Woltman (the founder/coordinator/programmer of the GIMPS project) was working to allow the hometown newspaper of the volunteer whose computer found the prime to have an "exclusive" story, including revealing the exponent's value. But, the exponent's value was released by mistake on (and it was actually guessed beforehand by examining the Primenet log files).

Article: Mathworld Link

GIMPS homepage:

Congratulations to George and the lucky volunteer!