13 million digit phone number discoveredTuesday, September 30, 2008 By Kelli Konicek
Arithmetic teachers everywhere now have one more answer to the ever-popular questioning of math's uses in real life. Mathematicians, using Windows XP and their own sheer will, have discovered a new prime number. This prime number is not only ridiculously long, it is 13 million times the usual ridiculous amount. We're talking about 13 million digits that can only be divided by one and itself. Of course, finding a small prime number is a difficult task. There are only a few in every group of numbers- half of all numbers can at least be divided by two, for goodness sake. That cuts out a rather large portion of the numerical system. To find a number 13 million digits long that still defies all odds of being divided by one of its predecessors is quite the task. The group of mathematicians, hailing from UCLA, is delighted with this new find. One may wonder why these upstanding ladies and gentlemen took the time to work out such a difficult conundrum. Money would call a happy answer to that question, of course. Apparently, the Electronic Frontier Foundation decided some time ago to award approximately 100,000 dollars to any group who could scrounge up a prime number over 10 million digits. Needless to say, the group at UCLA has passed with flying colors on this mathematical adventure.