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Amateur Effort Finds New Largest Prime Number

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Portion of 48th Mersenne prime

A tiny portion of the 48th Mersenne prime, a number more than 17 million digits long; written as text, the entire number is a 22.5MB file.

Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project has scored its 14th consecutive victory, discovering the largest prime number so far.

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