By Pramod Chauhan,
A 22 million Digit prime number has been found by a mathematical magician, Curtis Cooper at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. The largest known prime number is now 274,207,281 – 1, smashing the previous record by nearly 5 million digits.It has 22,338,618 digits in total.
The GIMPS software automatically crunches through numbers, testing whether they are prime – that is, only divisible by themselves and one. Cooper’s computer actually found the prime on 17 September 2015, but a bug meant the software failed to send an email alert reporting the discovery, meaning it went unnoticed until some routine maintenance a few months later.
Cooper also discovered the previous record holder in February 2013, which was 257,885,161 – 1, a number with more than 17 million digits, along with two other older records. He has received a $3000 prize from GIMPS for each discovery.