UConn Math Club

The Biggest Known Prime Number

Keith Conrad (University of Connecticut)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 5:45 pm
MONT 321

Since there are infinitely many prime numbers, there is no biggest prime. But at any moment there are only finitely many known primes and thus at any moment there is a biggest known prime. Earlier this month it was announced that a new prime number was discovered larger than all previously known primes, with over 23 million digits.

This prime, like most other large known primes, is a type of prime called a Mersenne prime, for which there is a tailor-made primality test (not applicable to general numbers). In this talk, we will discuss the history of work on Mersenne primes and how their primality is checked.

Comments: Free pizza and drinks! Note the new room!