17 September 2008

Predicting the next Mersenne prime: update

A few weeks ago I attempted to predict the size of the newly reported 45th Mersenne prime by extrapolating from the trends on previous Mersenne primes; I liked 14.5 million digits.

Brent Yorgey reports that it's actually about 11.2 million digits; the 46th prime (which hadn't been discovered when I made that post, but was reported to exist a few days later) has just under 13 million digits.

Oh well, I was wrong. Good thing I didn't put any money on it.

1 comment:

Sean Henderson said...

This isn't a comment about this particular post, although it's too bad about being so far on that prediction. Anyway, it is a comment about a post you made about reverse gravity here. You mention that the third possibility for how it happened seemed ridiculous because the gravity wouldn't "know" which direction to point on it's way to UP. I think it could also be a consequence of the Hairy Ball Theorem. Gravity can't lie tangent to the Earth everywhere because there will have to be a 'cowlick' somewhere, in which case gravity wouldn't be tangent. Just an observation.