Friday, June 04, 2004

On May 15, 2004, Josh Findley, a volunteer in the research project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), discovered the 41st known Mersenne Prime, 2 to the 24,036,583th power minus 1. The number is nearly a million digits larger than our last find and is now the largest known prime number! Josh's calculation took just over two weeks on his 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 computer. The new prime was verified by Tony Reix in just 5 days using only half the power of a Bull NovaScale 5000 HPC running Linux on 16 Itanium II 1.3 GHz CPUs. A second verification was completed by Jeff Gilchrist of Elytra Enterprises Inc. in Ottawa, Canada using eleven days of time on a HP rx5670 quad Itanium II 1.5 GHz CPU server at SHARCNET. Both verifications used Guillermo Ballester Valor's Glucas program. []

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