Was your "that's more like it" (on finding out that they meant "known" prime number) because you were aware that there can be no "largest" prime number (mathematical proof available if you want it though I am confident Paul can supply it too) or was it simply optimism that a larger one would eventually be discovered? 1136401114:::Diana Hsieh:::diana@dianahsieh.com:::http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog:::Steve: I'm aware of the existence of a proof that there can be no largest prime. (I learn all kinds of cool facts as the wife of a MIT mathematics major!) 1136402335:::ttn:::::::::Since the proof is so short, it might as well be posted here for all to enjoy. It's a proof by contradiction. Suppose there is some largest prime number -- call it N. Now make a new number (call it M) by multiplying all the primes (from 2 up to N) together, and adding 1 to the result. Now, by construction, M is not divisible by any of the prime numbers less than or equal to N. (If you divide any of them into M you'll have a remainder of 1.) So either M itself is prime, or there exists some number greater than N (but less than M) which is a prime factor of M. But in either case, there is a prime larger than N -- contrary to the initial assumption. So that assumption must be false; there is no largest prime number. QED. 1136479174:::Sasha:::volokh@post.harvard.edu::::::Several years ago, I saw an article -- also about the discovery of new primes -- that was too condensed in two separate ways: It said that researchers had found the largest prime, which was four times the previous largest known prime! 1136479645:::Philip Coates:::::::::> an article...about the discovery of new primes...researchers had found the largest prime, which was four times the previous largest known prime!

Now that's funny. (I'm sure most people wouldn't get the contradiction because they don't stop to reflect on the actual definition of a prime number.) 1136479950:::Philip Coates:::::::::...I should have said, even if they didn't know the other error--that there is no largest prime.