47th Mersenne Prime Found

Prime numbers are a lot less common than you realize. In fact, the only way to discover new prime numbers is to use a computer. The most common way is to use distributed computing from the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project.

On April 12th, 2009, the 47th known Mersenne prime was discovered and verified. It is a 12,837,064 digit number discovered by Odd Magnar Strindmo from Melhus, Norway.

Odd Magnar Strindmo is an IT professional whose computers have been working with GIMPS since 1996 testing over 1400 candidates. This calculation took 29 days on a 3.0 GHz Intel Core2 processor.

This is the 13th Mersenne prime found by GIMPS in its 13 year history.

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