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Mersenne Prime Search

What is the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search?

You could discover one of the most coveted finds in all of Mathematics - a new Mersenne prime number. Join in on this fun, yet serious research project. All you need is a personal computer and a lot of luck.

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) harnesses the power of thousands of small computers like yours to solve the seemingly intractable problem of finding HUGE prime numbers. Specifically, GIMPS looks for Mersenne Primes, expressed by the formula 2P-1. Over 8,000 people have contributed computer time to help discover world-record Mersenne primes. Thoughout history, the largest known prime number has usually been a Mersenne prime.


Step One:

  • Download the free software

  • You can join this search by downloading the free software provided. The search is coordinated by a central server, called Primenet. If you are worried about how this software might affect your computer, the University of Albany has written an excellent case study as has Temple University.

    For those of you that do not use PCs, C source code is available for you to run Lucas-Lehmer primality tests on your hardware.

    For more information go to . 

Step Two:

  • Read the documentation to start!

Good luck!

For more information see:
The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search

(NOTE: Unlike SETI@home and Distributed.Net, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search is not a group project but done as an individual user.)