This is merely recreational mathematics. If this more properly fits in an area other than "Puzzles," feel free to move it there.

My "jumping off place" is the fact that (currently, AFAIK) the character (prime or composite) of F

_{33} is unknown.

The

Prime factors k*2^{n} + 1 of Fermat numbers F_{m} and complete factoring status page lists F

_{m} for the values m = 33, 34, 35, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, . . . as "Character unknown."

So it occurred to me that there are numbers with known proper factorizations, for which the "minimal" proper factors (those which are not the product of smaller known proper factors) are

*all* of unknown character. A trivial example would be N = F

_{33}*F

_{33}.

Of course, one can cobble together other such trivial examples by tracking down numbers of unknown character and multiplying them together.

It occurred to me that one could probably construct "more natural" examples using algebraic factorizations. As a potential example, I give the number N = googolplex + 1 = 10

^{10^100} + 1. We have

According to

Prime factors of generalized Fermat numbers F_{m}(10) and complete factoring status, F

_{100}(10) appears to be of unknown character [though two prime factors are known for F

_{99}(10)], so the first factor at least is of unknown character. I'm guessing nobody has tried to find factors of the other algebraic factors, but I don't know. I am

*not* suggesting that anybody waste their time looking for them.

I imagine much smaller examples are to be found; a possible candidate is 2

^{3*2^33} + 1. But for all I know, someone may have found a divisor of the larger algebraic factor.

I don't know whether there's a number of unknown character smaller than F

_{33}. Anybody?