Property of Dr. Richard P. Feynman
Station: SRPA 11
Date: June 19, 1953
Our research into the recovered gray tech components is yielding advances at an
accelerating rate. Three days ago, our team successfully recombined nine components
to create a form of super-computing machine. By ripping a mechanical input apparatus
to the machine, we were able to effectively "program" it to perform a series of complex
mathematical operations. Yesterday we programmed the machine to compute
Mersenne Prime numbers. In a matter of several minutes the machine had calculated
thirty-nine of these primes. The highest being two to the power of 13,446,917, minus
one. That is 4,053,946 digits long! The largest Mersenne Prime discovered prior to this
day was 687 digits.
Even at this very early stage of understanding the mechanics of the device, we
estimate that the computing power of this machine may exceed that of the ENIAC II by
a factor of more than ten to the eighteenth. Our challenge now lies in understanding
how to use machines such as this to aid the human cause.
- In real life, as of December 2008, only 46 Mersenne primes are known; the largest known prime number (243,112,609 − 1) is a Mersenne prime, and in modern times, the largest known prime has almost always been a Mersenne prime. Also Feynman's statement of the current known Mersenne prime, prior to the new discovery with gray tech, was 687 digits long, is consistent in the Resistance universe's time frame as in the real world, as the prime number's digits: 687 was the largest as of October 9, 1952 until September 8, 1957.
- Judging the capability of the gray tech "computer" (as the resulting prime number was 4,053,946 digits long), it is equivalent to a modern day computer in 2001 (See Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search).
- Feynman's journal mentioned of the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), a real life early computer. However, the ENIAC mentioned in this journal is its successor: ENIAC II, which didn't exist in real life.