Category Archives: computation

M74207281 is prime!

I’m a bit late to the party, but the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search has recently announced a newly verified prime number, , with a whopping 22,338,618 decimal digits! This is now the largest known prime number (though of course … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 16: Recap and outline

We have now established all the facts we will need about groups, and have incidentally just passed the halfway point of MaBloWriMo. This feels like a good time to take a step back and outline what we’ve done so far … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 6: The Proof Begins

Today we’re going to start in on proving the Lucas-Lehmer test. Yesterday we saw how, given a Mersenne number , we can define a sequence of integers , with the claim that if and only if is prime. We’re going … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 5: The Lucas-Lehmer Test

We now know that can only be prime when is prime; but even when is prime, sometimes is prime and sometimes it isn’t. The Lucas-Lehmer test is a way to tell us whether is prime, for any prime . The … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 4: not all prime-index Mersenne numbers are prime

Over the past couple days we saw that if is composite, then is also composite. Equivalently, this means that if we want to be prime, then at the very least must also be prime. But at this point there is … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 3: Mersenne composites in binary

Yesterday we saw that must be composite, since . Today I’ll talk about a somewhat more intuitive way to see this. Recall that we can write numbers in base 2, or “binary”, using the digits 0 and 1 (called “bits”, … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo: Mersenne composites

The name of the game is to find Mersenne numbers which are also prime. Today, a simple observation: can only be prime when is also prime. Put conversely, if is composite then is also composite. For example, is composite and … Continue reading

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