Thursday, February 7, 2013

A mnemonic for the 48th Mersenne prime formula

The 48th Mersenne prime was discovered on 25 January 2013 using GIMPS ( In lieu of memorizing the 17,425,170 digits it might be easier to memorize the formula, \(2^{57885161} - 1\), but even the exponent \(p=57885161\) might prove a bit dodgy for long-term recall. So, in the spirit of play I sought another way to help remember the exponent which may not be easier but provides an algorithm to cross-check my memory. And the mnemonic is … 27, or more precisely, what is the answer to 9X3= written in hexidecimal?

While there is no compelling rhyme or reason to equate 9X3= or 27 with the exponent of the 48th Mersenne prime formula, maybe this small act of recreational mathematics will help the brain make loose connections tight into a memory.