Quandaries
and Queries 

Name: Reid Can someone please explain, answer and/or solve this:
I don't know what it means, my boss
sent it out, I'm assuming it is to be 

Hi Reid, Well, there's nothing to solve really. What it is about is that recently someone showed that if 2 is raised to the 20,966,011 power and then you subtract 1 from the result, what you have is a prime number  a number with no proper divisors (11 is prime but 8 is not, for example). We know that primes can be arbitrarily large but they're hard to find once you get 'up there'. So, this is the largest one that has been identified so far. Who cares? Actually bankers do  large primes are used in cryptography in constructing hardtobreak codes. When transmitting money/info around the world it is important that your messages be secure so tough to break codes are a must. Penny 

