Counting Discussion Forum

Sep 3rd, 2015
SoccerBoss
Category:
Mathematics
Price: $10 USD

Question description

Ever since Euclid proved that there is no largest prime number, mathematicians have spent a lot of time and energy searching for massive prime numbers. Awards are even given for this, but it’s not really about the money to them.  They’ve received grants for doing this work, they take pride in doing so, and there seems to be some academic competition involved as well.

What is a prime number?

A prime number is only divisible by 1 and itself. The first few are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, and the list goes on infinitely. All primes can be written in the form 2n -1, where n is an integer, but not all numbers calculated with that formula are prime.

For example, for n = 3, 23 - 1 = 7, and 7 is prime. However, for n = 4, 24 - 1 = 15, and 15 is not prime. In January of 2013, one of the leaders in the field used a single powerful computer, along with thousands of PC's owned by people like you and me (the same people who donate their PC's computing power to search for SETI signals), and determined a world record prime number containing 17,425,170 digits. The actual number is calculated 257,885,161 - 1. Try putting that one in your calculator.

My questions for you are:

  • Why would they do this? Don't these brilliant mathematicians have better things to do, like solving world hunger?
  • What’s to gain from this endless search?

For more information on the search for massive prime numbers, see these resources:
Article:
Twelve-year Search Uncovers Two Massive Prime Numbers

Video: Why I Fell in Love with Monster Prime Numbers


Tutor Answer

(Top Tutor) Daniel C.
(997)
School: University of Maryland
PREMIUM TUTOR

Studypool has helped 1,244,100 students

8 Reviews


Summary
Quality
Communication
On Time
Value
tinytim47
Dec 5th, 2016
" Wow this is really good.... didn't expect it. Sweet!!!! "
Five Star Tutor
Nov 23rd, 2016
" Outstanding Job!!!! "
mixedballz
Nov 22nd, 2016
" excellent work as always thanks for the help "
lilmoe415
Nov 13th, 2016
" Thank you, Thank you, for top quality work, this is your guy!! "
darnay
Oct 30th, 2016
" The best tutor out there!!!! "
dontuwannaknow
Oct 21st, 2016
" Excellent work as always thanks so much "
SjSurvivor143
Oct 8th, 2016
" Thanks for the help. "
Joemoe
Sep 24th, 2016
" <3 it, thanks for saving me time. "
Ask your homework questions. Receive quality answers!

Type your question here (or upload an image)

1827 tutors are online

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors