Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Mighty prime." New Scientist, 5 June 2004, page 7.
"Another Mersenne." Random Samples, Science, 11 June 2004, page 1592.

The largest known prime number is now 224,036,583 - 1 -- a number with over seven million digits. The number was discovered in late May by Josh Findley's computer as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS). Mersenne primes are primes of the form 2p - 1, where p is prime. Findley's prime number is the 41st known Mersenne prime, and the seventh discovered by GIMPS since its inception in 1996.

--- Mike Breen