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Friday math movie: Falling in love with primes

By Murray Bourne, 02 May 2014

In this (mostly) entertaining talk, Adam Spencer explains the story behind monster primes. It's great to find someone who is enthusiastic about his subject matter.

A prime number, of course, has exactly 2 factors - 1 and itself. The first few primes are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, ... The number 1 is not considered to be a prime.

Primes are important in many fields of mathematics, more recently in the area of encryption, used in all manner of security situations. There is a constant race to find larger and larger primes, because they help to make encryption that much more powerful.

In the video, Spencer mentions the largest current prime, which is around 12.5 million digits long.

Monster, indeed.

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