World's Largest Prime Number Has over 17 Million Digits

This new prime number gives its 12,978,189-digits-long predecessor a run for its money

By Laura Sinpetru on February 6th, 2013 07:44 GMT

Thanks to Curtis Cooper, a researcher working with the University of Missouri, mathematicians worldwide now find themselves contemplating the world's largest prime number, whose digit count exceeds 17 million.

More precisely, this newly discovered prime number is 17,425,170 digits long, and pretty much puts to shame its 12,978,189-digits-long predecessor.

As if its length weren't enough, it looks like this new prime number also belongs to the so-called Mersenne Primes class, meaning that it is the 48th example of a prime taking the form of 2 raised to the power of a prime number (57,885,161 in this case) minus 1, The Hindu reports.

All things considered, it seems that, should this record-breaking prime number be written using a Times New Roman 12 point font, its length would be one of roughly 30 miles (about 48.38 kilometers).

Just for the record, prime numbers are numbers that are divisible only by themselves and 1.
Mathematician discovers the world's largest prime number
   Mathematician discovers the world's largest prime number
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