Cool Math: A New Prime!

So they found a new Mersenne Prime.  Mersenne Primes have the form (2^n) − 1.  For the newest prime, n = over 74 million (!).  That is an astronomically large number–actually, that’s not right.  It’s an unimaginably large, universe-busting number.

Of interesting note is that it would have been utterly impossible to find this number without computers, the internet, and a ton of people.  It was basically an enormous, crowd-sourced, brute-force method of discovery.  Given how far beyond the previous prime this number was, we may never find another in our lifetimes unless some super-spooky algorithm is discovered.

Then again, the magnitude of the primes does not grow in any predictable way.  The next one might not be too many thousands of powers of 2 beyond this one!

How cool is that?

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