Re: GIMPS + SETI! :-)

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sat, 15 May 1999 21:47:06 -0400

Sasha Chislenko wrote:
> Well, actually, transmitting the hugest Mersenne prime into
> space may serve as a demonstration of the computational power
> of the civilization [that was wasted to find this number].
> So maybe the intergalactic ether is filled with numbers
> representing solutions to various problems - hard enough to
> be impressive and useless enough not to reveal anything of
> value.
> Should we look for Mersenne primes coded in the cosmic
> radiowaves?

I think that this would definitely be a cosmic filter. Civilizations with insufficient computational power would never detect such transmissions. They would seem to just be random data. Perhaps there is a whole type of ascii which is nothing but prime based, and we are totally ignoring it!

My own opinion is that such civlizations transmit in the oxygen absorption wavelengths, to filter out non-spacefaring civilizations, so the Aricebo data IMHO could be worthless.

Mike Lorrey