In 2013 they discovered a new Prime number but not for Excel.
The new arrival is a bouncing bonny number 257,885,161-1 which is 17 million digits long.
Prime numbers aren’t just mathematical curiosities, they are vital for modern encryption systems.
Alas, the new prime is waaaay to big to insert into Excel. When you put the number into Excel it’s rounded.
Excel 2003 onwards is ‘limited’ to 1.7976931348623158308 That’s not to diss Excel – the number range is more than enough for most purposes. For example, the Gross World Product is ‘just’ 80 trillion dollars, well under the maximum number Excel is capable of.
The trivia question is …
What’s the largest prime number that can be used in an Excel worksheet?
Can anyone figure it out? Let us know.
It could be Mersenne number 607 or 2607-1 which has 183 digits and was discovered in 1952 – see Wikipedia. Mersenne primes are just a subset of all prime numbers so M607 might not be the largest possible prime for Excel.
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