Internet Mersenne Prime Search The Great (GIMPS) project marked its 14th consecutive victory, the discovery of the largest prime number so far.

The number 2 to the power of 57,885,161 minus 1, is a number that is 17,425,170 digits. It is big enough that if you want to see the full text, you must prepare a 22.5MB download.

GIMPS, a cooperative research project split over thousands of independent computers, announced yesterday after the discovery was confirmed by other controls. At present, there are 98,980 people and 574 teams involved in the project GIMPS; their 730,562 processors perform approximately 129 trillion calculations per second.

The project has a lock on the market for the first new mongo numbers. The discoverer of the first is particularly Curtis Cooper, a professor at the University of Central Missouri that uses software-premium hunting on a network of computers and found the first records in 2005 and 2006. It is not only the effort is important, however, it also relied on other machines excluding other candidates.

A prime number is divisible only by itself and the number 1. Once a mathematical curiosity, primes are now crucial for encrypted communications. Mersenne primes are named after Marin Mersenne, a French monk, born in 1588, who investigated a particular type of prime numbers: 2 to the power of "p" minus one, where "p" is a prime number ordinary.

Find Cooper is the 48th Mersenne prime discovered so far. GIMPS has found the 14 largest Mersenne primes, the organization said.

Discovery of Mersenne primes is not a get rich quick scheme, while Cooper won a $ 3000. It might be more profitable at a given time: An Electronic Frontier Foundation award of $ 150,000 will go to the discovery of the first prime number at least 100 million digits. He has received awards for the first 1 million and 10 million digits, and he received a $ 250,000 prize in the queue for the first billion digits.

GIMPS continues to grow in large numbers.

In 1998, the project has found 2 ^ 3021377-1, some 909,526 numbers. In 2001, GIMPS found the 39th Mersenne prime, 4,053,946 digits a number. The 43rd Mersenne prime, whose efforts Cooper found a number is 9,152,052 digits.

Search primes is a project that can easily be divided between multiple computers through countless an idea called distributed computing. Not all computing tasks are so ready to cooperation, however.

Some, such as fluid dynamic research that can be used to model nuclear explosions or weapons of car aerodynamics, can be executed on the compute nodes closely connected by an independent high-speed network.

Other computing tasks can not be decomposed into parallel tasks at all, a problem since the power consumption limits increases stalled processor clock speed in recent years.

Idea of computer science called Amdahl's Law, named after Gene Amdahl mainframe computer designer, shows the limits of parallel computation. If any part of a computer program can not be accelerated by parallel processing, at some point to launch more processors on the problem will cease to produce an acceleration in the calculation.

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