# Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search

The **Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search**, or **GIMPS**, is a collaborative project of volunteers, who use Prime 95 and MPrime, special open source software that can be downloaded from the Internet for free, in order to search for Mersenne prime numbers. The project was founded and the prime testing software was written by George Woltman. Scott Kurowski wrote the PrimeNet server that supports the research to demonstrate Entropia distributed computing software, a company he founded in 1997.

This project has been rather successful: it has found a total of 6 Mersenne primes, each of which was the largest known prime at the time of discovery.
The largest known prime as of November 2003, is 2^{20,996,011}-1. This prime was discovered on 17th November 2003 by Michael Shafer, a GIMPS participant from Michigan, United States of America.

Here is a list of all Mersenne primes discovered by GIMPS participants:
- November 13th 1996: Joel Armengaud found GIMPS' first prime 2
^{1398269}-1, which is known to be the 35th in numerical order.
- August 24th 1997: Gordon Spence discovered the prime 2
^{2976221}-1, which is known to be the 36th.
- January 27th 1998: Roland Clarkson found the prime 2
^{3021377}-1, which is known to be the 37th in numerical order.
- June 1st 1999: Nayan Hajratwala found the prime 2
^{6972593}-1, which is known to be the 38th in numerical order.
- November 14th 2001: Michael Cameron found the prime 2
^{13466917}-1, which is in the process of being proven to be 39th in numerical order. [1]
- November 17th 2003: Michael Shafer discovered the 40th known Mersenne prime, 2
^{20996011}-1

## See also

### External links