I just learned of a little math fact today. A Mersenne number is a number that is one less than a power of two. (*see source 1)

2^n – 1

**Examples:**

1, 3, 7, 15, 31, 63, etc.

A prime number is a number that is only divisible by itself and the number one.

**Examples:**

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17… etc

By putting these two bad boys together we get the Mersenne Prime. A number that is one less than a power of two that is ALSO a prime number.

**Examples:**

1, 3, 7, 31, 127, 8191, etc.

These Mersenne numbers are very tricky to figure out. In fact, there are only 44 that have ever been discovered; the largest having over 9.8 million digits in the number (2^32,582,657 – 1). One cool thing about Mersenne Primes is that always is the case where two must be raised to the power of a prime number. That makes hunting Mersenne Primes a heck of a lot easier though still way too hard for Windows Calculator. Also cool is that the 44th Mersenne number is currently the largest prime number known. (*see source 2)

Anyway, the exciting news of the day is that the 45th Mersenne Prime number may have been discovered!!! Hot Diggidy! **Get out your party pants!!** If the number confirms in September we should have a Prime Party. This one will most certainly be more than 10 million digits long which means that the GIMPS folks may win the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s prize of $100,000. And if you’re feeling ambitious, try and grab the next prime number in the list to win $150,000 or $200,000!!!! (*see source 3)

A couple sources:

1. The fast, the easy, the wikipedia

2. GIMPS – with lots of history and fun facts.

3. The Electronic Frontier Organization

That party may have to go bicoastal!

100% yes.

PRIME FACT:

Some species of cicada emerge from the ground only after 13 years, and some emerge only after 17 years. Both of these are prime numbers. This means that a predator cannot become adapted to preying on cicadas as a food source very easily. For example, a cicada with a 15-year life cycle could be preyed upon by a predator with a three- or five-year life cycle, but the 13- and 17-year cycles allow them to stop the predator life cycle from synchronizing.

Disclaimer: I read that on the internet so it must be true/lies*.

(* Delete as appropriate)