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FedEx Employee Discovers Largest Prime Number Ever at 23 Million Digits Long
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mathematicians are fascinated by prime numbers, those that can only be divided by themselves and the number 1. The discovery was made by Jonathan Pace, an engineer employed at Fedex and a volunteer with the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a collaborative project in which volunteers run software on their personal computers. The program searches for a type of prime number known as a Mersenne prime, a prime number that can be described by subtracting the number 1 from a given number of 2's multiplied together. According to GIMPS’s website, the newly discovered prime number is calculated by raising 2 to the 77,232,917th power and subtracting 1. read more
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