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# What is the point? watch

1. There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
2. (Original post by Cate)
There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
They're used for creating encryption techniques - which make it safer to send you bank details over the net
3. I thought this thread was going to be something else... anyway, I think the points in the article. Big prime numbers are good for coding messages and stuff. I have no idea how. They just are.
4. (Original post by Pencil Queen)
They're used for creating encryption techniques - which make it safer to send you bank details over the net
Ah... 7 million seems a bit, er, OTT though.

(Original post by Zapsta)
I thought this thread was going to be something else...
Lol
5. Is that all?
I could find a bigger one, if i could be bothered to.
6. (Original post by piginapoke)
There is no effecient algorithm for detemining the factors of a large number. So, if you have two large prime numbers, multiply them together to get another large number, you have the beginnings of a public key system, where it is extremely difficult to determine the public key (only known way is a brute force approach which takes a very long time). See the RSA algorithm.
Thank you
7. (Original post by Cate)
There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
Universities do somthing similar, all our desktop PCs in my department are have a screensaver that links to Cambridge University. The idea is all the spare computing power is linked to the internet and all the 1000's of spare PCs become one super computer. Its used for cancer research in my universities case.
8. (Original post by Cate)
There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
\$100,000 is the point!
9. (Original post by Cate)
There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
a lot of pure mathematicians (esp number theorists) are proud of the fact that their subject cannot be used in a practical way ie it is pointless. however prime numbers are the exception, as they are currently the basis on which data encryption (scrambling information so that no one except the intended receiver can read it) works.
10. (Original post by Cate)
There just isn't
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040601/12/euyq1.html
it has a very valid practical use as pig said. Also you should realise that research at this date which seems to serve no purpose may be very useful in the future. The guy who did most of the mathematical work on binary numbers 100 years ago or so didn't see any purpose in his work. After his death his work paved the way for computer systems to be built.

pointless mathematical research is also worth it for 'the beauty of mathematics' and is 'asthetically pleasing' as my maths teacher has pointed out.
11. You should have thought twice before asking "What's the point of 7 million digit primes?" on UKL.

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