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2004-12-27, 05:00   #1
ixfd64
Bemusing Prompter

"Danny"
Dec 2002
California

3·829 Posts
supercomputers and Fermat/double-Mersenne numbers

A while ago, I was considering sending an email to supercomputer owners about helping GIMPS, but many people said that it wasn't a great idea.

However, I was wondeirng about sendign an email asking them to trial-factor a Mersenne number or a Fermat number and not make any mention about the DC projects that are trying to find factors.

For example:

Quote:
 Hi, I have an intriguing mathematical problem I once heard of. If 22 - 1 = 3 is prime, 23 - 3 = 7 is prime, 27 - 1 = 127 is prime, and 2127 - 1 is prime, would 22[sup]127 - 1[/sup] - 1 be prime? So far, no-one has found such a factor with a PC, but the might be able to find a factor. Would it be possible for the to trial-factor this number? I'd love to hear the results.
What do you think?

 2004-12-27, 21:02 #2 clowns789     Jun 2003 The Computer 401 Posts Are you sure it'll have extra cycles? Even if they accept, they'll have to download from this website and figure out anyway. You'll also have to mention it doesn't interrupt the computer.
 2004-12-27, 21:05 #3 Uncwilly 6809 > 6502     """"""""""""""""""" Aug 2003 101×103 Posts 1080110 Posts Who is going to write the code for the SC?
2004-12-27, 21:13   #4

"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

22×3×641 Posts

Don't do it. This is also a bad idea.

Quote:
 asking them to trial-factor a Mersenne number or a Fermat number and not make any mention about the DC projects that are trying to find factors.
You're trying to be sneaky. But Mersenne and Fermat numbers are so well known (I first read about them about age 11-12, at a time when computers still needed their own air-conditioned rooms) that any mathematically-involved person who reads your proposed message will instantly recognize them as such. And most of those people will already be aware of the DC projects concerned with factoring such numbers.

In order for sneakiness to succeed, the audience has to be ignorant of the true goal. What you have here is roughly the reverse. You'd just look foolish to your recipients.

For one thing, you give yourself away. When you write "So far, no-one has found such a factor with a PC ...", you're implying that you're aware of the DC projects. :)

Honesty is the best policy in this field.

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