World's largest prime number discovered with 17 million digits

London, February 7 (ANI): Mathematician Curtis Cooper has broken his own record by discovering the largest prime number ever.

The new number beats the previous record by over four million digits.

The number - 2 to the power of 57,885,161 minus 1 - is 17,425,170 numerals long and if you spent 12 hours a day writing it out at the rate of one digit a second it would take 403 days to complete, the Daily Mail reported.

A prime number is only divisible by itself and 1, with the first ones being 2, 3, 5, 7 and 11.

Although there are an infinite amount of prime numbers, the hunt for the largest has in recent years centred on rare Mersenne primes, named after Marin Mersenne, a 17th-century French monk and mathematician.

Mersenne primes are 2 to the power of p minus 1, in which p is also a prime number and the latest is only the 48th to be found.

This latest giant prime number was found as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a network that harnesses the spare power of 360,000 computers around the world to look for and calculate prime numbers.

If you wanted to print out the new number, it would eat up 5,319 pages of A4 if you used the Courier New font at 11-point.

With the discovery Cooper, has made a hat trick for him. He also found two earlier highest prime numbers.

The previous record was held by a prime number that is a mere 12,978,189 digits long. (ANI)


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