A new currently known largest prime number has been located, and the thing has over 17-million digits. That...is a big number. Not HUGE, but still pretty big. Definitely wouldn't fit in a breadbox. Well not unless you beat it with a meat tenderizer first.
The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project has scored its 14th consecutive victory, discovering the largest prime number so far.
The number, 2 to the power of 57,885,161 minus 1, is a digit that's 17,425,170 digits long. That's big enough that if you want to see the full text, you'll have to brace yourself for a 22.5MB download. [Note: links to actual text webpage of the entire number]
GIMPS, a cooperative project splitting the search across thousands of independent computers, announced the find yesterday after it had been confirmed by other checks. At present, there are 98,980 people and 574 teams involved in the GIMPS project; their 730,562 processors perform about 129 trillion calculations per second.
Ahahahahha, GIMPS -- that's a solid acronym. I love an organization that can have a funny name and still be cool with it. Unless they didn't know they had a funny name, in which case that just makes me kind of sad.
Thanks to FloorMatt, who scared the shit out of me when he jumped up and yelled right when I was about to wipe my shoes on him. And to Melissa and Jaucet, who warned me about the human-looking floormat but I took my chances anyways.