# Mersenne numbers

Numbers of the form

$${M}_{n}={2}^{n}-1,(n\ge 1)$$ |

are called *Mersenne numbers* after Father Marin Mersenne (1588 - 1648), a French monk who studied which of these numbers are actually prime. It can be easily shown that if ${M}_{n}$ is prime then $n$ is prime. Indeed, ${2}^{a\cdot b}-1$ with $a,b>1$ factors:

$${2}^{a\cdot b}-1=({2}^{a}-1)({2}^{a(b-1)}+{2}^{a(b-2)}+\mathrm{\dots}+{2}^{a}+1).$$ |

If ${M}_{n}$ is prime then we call it a *Mersenne prime*. Mersenne primes have a strong connection with perfect numbers.

The currently known Mersenne primes correspond to $n$ = 2, 3, 5, 7, 13, 17, 19, 31, 61, 89, 107, 127, 521, 607, 1279, 2203, 2281, 3217, 4253, 4423, 9689, 9941, 11213, 19937, 21701, 23209, 44497, 86243, 110503, 132049, 216091, 756839, 859433, 1257787, 1398269, 2976221, 3021377, 6972593, 13,466,917 and the newly discovered ${40}^{\mathrm{th}}$ number $n=20996011$, and even newer ${41}^{\mathrm{st}}$ number $n=24036583$. The latest Mersenne primes (as of $2/5/2006$) are the $42$nd Mersenne number which corresponds to $n=25964951$ (and which has more than $7.8$ million digits) and the $43$rd Mersenne prime for $n=30402457$ (the new prime is $9,152,052$ digits long). For an updated list and a lot more information on how these numbers were discovered, you can check: http://www.mersenne.orgwww.mersenne.org.

It is conjectured that the density of Mersenne primes with exponent $$ is of order

$$\frac{{e}^{\gamma}}{\mathrm{log}2}\mathrm{log}\mathrm{log}x$$ |

where $\gamma $ is Euler’s constant.

Title | Mersenne numbers |
---|---|

Canonical name | MersenneNumbers |

Date of creation | 2013-03-22 11:47:54 |

Last modified on | 2013-03-22 11:47:54 |

Owner | alozano (2414) |

Last modified by | alozano (2414) |

Numerical id | 19 |

Author | alozano (2414) |

Entry type | Definition |

Classification | msc 11A41 |

Classification | msc 11-02 |

Related topic | TwoSmallResultsMersenneNumbers |

Defines | Mersenne prime |