- #26

shmoe

Science Advisor

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abertram28 said:right now, there are no algorithmic methods of calculating primes, or obviously, we could just generate the largest ones quickly.

What do you mean by "calculate primes" here? There are plenty of agorithms that produce primes, maybe not as fast as we'd like but they are there.

abertram28 said:wasnt there a proof that mersenne primes had to have a prime as an exponent? i cant remember where i saw that, but im pretty sure its true.

Yes, if the exponent is composite, say nm, just factor [tex]2^{nm}-1=(2^m)^n-1=(2^m-1)(2^{m(n-1)}+2^{m(n-2)}+\ldots+2^m+1)[/tex]