Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prime Numbers

Recently I've become fascinated with prime numbers.  I believe it started when I was reading an article on how researchers recently cracked 768-bit RSA encryption.  The past few months have seen me becoming more and more interested in different fields of mathematics, and this is just the latest one to have popped up for me.

For people who don't know, a prime number is a number that is only divisible by one and itself, and one is not seen as a prime number, though it was considered one in the past.  A step further takes you to superprimes, which are prime numbers which have a position in the list of prime numbers that is also a prime number.

Why is this interesting to me?  Honestly, I'm not really sure, but I've been checking books out at the library on number theory and how prime numbers have been found historically among other similar topics.  I don't have a readily applicable use for this knowledge in my own life, but just for kicks I've been using it to write a program that goes through numbers and determines their primality.

I have a very basic version working currently, and my goal is to optimize it as time goes on and I learn more about optimizations that can be made.  Eventually I plan to have it run on multi-core systems, and also determine if numbers are superprimes.  Code for the basic test program will be added to the "Code Corner" page, and this will also be added to my "Projects" page, since I plan to work on this for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment