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September 21st, 2007

Some Prime Quality Facts!

Time for some prime facts roundup, or prime numbers round up to be arithmetically exact. Take the following sciensational mathematics fact:

The largest prime number is 9,808,358 digits long; more than the number of atoms in the universe.

The basics first. What is a prime number? It’s when a number can be divided only by itself, with no remainder, and by the number 1. You know, 1, 3, 5, 7, 11… The list literally goes on.

What makes discovering a new, long prime so sciensational? Well, you have to prove that a new big Prime Suspect number is indeed a prime, by doing the simple formula of “divided only by itself and 1″ which means showing the world that when divided by all the previous primes, you didn’t get a whole number as a remainder. That’s quite a task to prove a prime number, but thanks to computers and all, we are discovering new, long primes frequently. The largest prime above was confirmed to be a new big prime as late as September, 2006.

The fact above has another fascinating fact in itself: the number of atoms in the universe. Though it is a discussion for a different post altogether, let’s just know that the number of atoms in the universe can be written in just 80 digits. That makes our biggest prime find even greater.

Another sciensational maths fact says:

2 and 5 are the only primes that end in 2 or 5.

That is true for all decimal numbers for all known primes!

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