# Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 01 – Mersenne Prime

Morning Mathematical Monsters & Maniacs!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)

Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing mathematical journey involving fractions, probability, Fermat’s last theorem, and hundreds of other aspects from the wonderful world off mathematics.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing math Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by discussing Mersenne Prime numbers.

In the finale of Season 17, Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play (Season 17, Episode 22), the Springfield Isotopes’s star first baseman Buck “Home Run King” Mitchell is having marital problems with his pop star wife Tabitha Vixx (voiced by This Is Us star Mandy Moore). So when he sees Homer and Marge kissing on the Jumbotron, he asks them for advice. But when Homer is later caught giving a neck massage to Tabitha, both couples break up again – and it is hard for Homer and Marge to give advice when they are not talking to each other themselves.

Towards the end of the episode, Tabitha appears on the Jumbotron asking the stadium crowd to guess the evening’s attendance. At first glance, it appears as though the three numbers are just random numbers. However, as you’ll see today and the next couple weeks, these three numbers are more than just random numbers.

8,191

The first number on the Jumbotron is 8,191.

8,191 is a Mersenne prime, named after Marin Mersenne (pictured below), a French Minim friar, who studied them in the early 17th century.

In mathematics, a Mersenne prime is a prime number that is one less than a power of two. That is, it is a prime number of the form Mn = 2n − 1 for some integer n.

[Not all numbers of the form 2n − 1 are Mersenne primes, as we’ll see in a few weeks when we look at another number important to the game that bears the form 2n − 1 .]

8,191 is the 5th Mersenne prime. The first 5 Mersenne prime numbers are:

3 = 22 − 1

7 = 23 − 1

31 = 25 − 1

127 = 27 − 1

8,191 = 213 − 1

While the first 4 Mersenne primes were discovered by the Ancient Greeks over 2,300 years ago, 8,191 was not discovered as a prime number until the year 1456. As of this week, there are 51 known Mersenne primes.

Now that we know the secret behind the first number, be sure to come back next week when we talk about the second number.

Do you remember this episode? Did you catch the number 8,191 on the Jumbotron? Did you recognize the number 8,191 as a prime number? Are you familiar with Mersenne primes? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

## 53 thoughts on “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 01 – Mersenne Prime”

1. DivaHH says:

Not familiar with Mersennes primes. Most informative. Small digestible amount of information. Great post Safi.

2. Neil Owens says:

Maths, not math.

1. JohnI says:

I’ve come to accept that USAns have as much right to their “Math” as British countries have to “Maths”… watch YouTube video:-
https://youtu.be/SbZCECvoaTA

1. Awesome video. Going to use it to respond to all queries about Math vs Maths!

2. Oh, its in a video it must be right! Very biased view here. I could easily say, “Maths the subject, is fun” (referring to the video), which blows her rhetoric out the window. Anyway, I prefer ‘sums’, lol!

3. CJBrownLV says:

Safi,
Your Math Mayhem reminds me of Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land (and yes I remember watching this via a projector in school) 👍

4. Hobbes7714 says:

Safi you are a treasure. It’s a great day when you learn something especially in a fun manner. No matter how old you are. 🥴Thanks for this.

5. JCooley9 says:

Here is some more fun prime number info:
-The largest known prime number was just discovered in December
-The number is 2^82,589,933-1
-That number is 24,862,048 digits long.
-If you held down a number button on your keyboard, and it typed 10 digits a second, it would take you 690 hours to type out that many digits.

6. The Dog says:

Never mind all this maths !!!!
What’s the next big thing in the game ? Very unusual not to hear anything. THE END maybe ?

1. Funny… people beg for breaks. You get a break and think it’s the end…

1. The Dog says:

Tongue in cheek.
Funny enough I was top in my grade at school in maths, so I find Safi’s stuff interesting.
Also i’m one of those who don’t care if we have no breaks, I like to play the game full on, with something happening all the time.
As for the next event it’s going to be interesting to see what format EA go with.

2. By my calculations, the next event starts in … What’s that? You said “Never mind all this math”? Well then I better not share the math involved in my calculation of the next event start date. 🙂

7. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

As long as we are discussing math…

A Limerick for Mathaletes

It’s long been a project of mine
A new value of Pi to define
It’s easier, you see
To set it at three
Than 3 point 14159

1. One of my favourite limericks.

1. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

There once was a lady from Dundee
Whose age had the last digit three
If the numbers reversed
Are the square of the first
Then what must that lady’s age be?

1. Would you be impressed if I solved this in under a minute without any outside assistance?

1. Anyone other than a math wizard like you, yes.😁

2. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

Here is my final math limerick

A dozen, a gross and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more

(Out of sheer boredom at humdrum tasks at work I used to memorize poetry)

8. Doogler11 says:

There’s a whole book on the math that shows up in both The Simpsons and Futurama called “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”. It’s a great read!

9. ebron says:

Gotta admit, my only interest in “Prime” since my college days has been attached to really good steaks…😋

1. Notnomore928 says:

Similarly, the only prime I’m interested in is linked with my Amazon account! 😂
I have a headache just looking at that math! I’m so glad others get it so I don’t have to.

10. sandytoes74 says:

My new years resolution was specifically no math!😡

1. Do you want the math on how likely you are to achieve that resolution?

1. sandytoes74 says:

Zero’s a percent….

1. You just broke your resolution.

1. sandytoes74 says:

Nuts.

2. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

Old joke…

A telemarketer calls, you pick up the phone.
They go through their sales pitch
You respond, “I’m sorry, but my religion prohibits me from talking on the phone.”
The sales marketer will surely respond, “But you are talking on the phone right now.”
And you say……..”OMG! OMG! OMG!” And hang up

2. stonecut908 says:

But math is fun!!

1. sandytoes74 says:

You probably have a blast at the dentist, too.😋

1. Mr.Black says:

I don’t have any problem with the dentist, it’s the billing department that causes me great pain!
~MIB👤

11. Willand says:

Interesting, thank you 😊🇬🇧 Looking forward to next week

12. Primalhomer says:

Thanks for the post. I know I’ll “derive” great pleasure as your math “series” finds the “limit from 0 to infinity”.

13. Mr.Black says:

👍🧮
~MIB👤

14. koolviruz says:

HOYVIN-GLAVIN-FLAVIN!!!! Love the info.. Dude the Simpsons are full of Math and Theories. Thank you for the post, and as Professor Frink would say “don’t forget to carry the one”..

15. Paul King says:

I knew about 2^n-1, but never knew it had a name. Thanks

16. Ralphy Wiggum says:

Very interesting… we don’t expect to read that kind of thing on a TSTO website… thanks for this info.

17. JSimpson81 says:

Thanks Safi. I always find your posts to be helpful and interesting!

18. markkuceraio says:

This post is just perfect!

1. If you think this post is “perfect”, just wait til next week. (LOL, hillarious math joke)

1. markkuceraio says:

Yeah, i mean it’s almost perfect. Maybe the next one will be.

2. The perfect day to publish the next article would be 06/28, isn’t it?

2. If you think this post is “perfect”, just wait til next week. (LOL, hillarious math joke – if you don’t get it, be sure to check next week’s post.)

19. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

Thanks. Never heard of this progression.
But where is 2 to the 11 (-1). Or am I myself missing something?

1. 2 to the 11 is 2,048. When we subtract 1, we get 2,047.

2,047 is not a prime as it is the product of 23 times 89.

1. Tracy-1ltwoody920 says:

Aww, now I understand.
2 to a Prime number minus 1, the result of which must be a Prime number.
Very interesting.

1. stonecut908 says:

Futurama had the same math nerd writers as The Simpsons. 🙂

20. Thanks a lot Safi! I read of this easter egg on a book about “Simpsons’ secret formula” of Simon Singh, those other numbers are mathematically relevant themselves 😊

1. I’ll cover those two numbers the next two posts.

21. Meaghan says:

This is not something I would expect to learn on a blog about a mobile phone game! I love it.

22. Good timing, since they just found the new largest prime number in December…and it was a Mersenne Prime!