20180306, 12:18  #1 
"Angelino Desmet"
Mar 2018
Belgium
2×19 Posts 
GIMPS on a supercomputer?
I recently joined my PC in the GIMPS. I was wondering though, since my computing power is slow and probably insignificant, won't all my PC's work become instantly redundant once GIMPS runs on a supercomputer? Or in the future, a quantum computer?

20180306, 14:26  #2 
"Victor de Hollander"
Aug 2011
the Netherlands
2·587 Posts 
After your PC completes an assignment it will send the results to the GIMPS database.
So even if GIMPS (or a user) gets access to a supercomputer in the future (very unlikely) the assignments will not be duplicated, it will just accelerate the progress of the project. BTW, GIMPS combined throughput of all users is about 400 TFLOPS, which is supercomputer territory (#500 in the TOP500 supercomputer list has ~548 TFLOPS) 
20180306, 18:48  #3 
Feb 2018
2^{5}×3 Posts 
Give me reasons to use a supercomputer for GIMPS. Many apps for a HPC are medical. Molecular Design. Chemicals. Physics simulation. Math modeling. Math equations. But for NT, few users. System benchmarking, is one.

20180306, 19:37  #4 
Aug 2006
1732_{16} Posts 
At the moment there is no threat from quantum computation, because only very large quantum computers would be useful for working on the size of numbers GIMPS is working on. It turns out that for all the many things they can do, quantum computers can't store numbers any larger than classical computers. In particular, if you program a onemillion qubit quantum computer to remember 1000020bit numbers, it can guess them with probability at most 1/1049576  the same probability a classical computer would have if it recorded the first million bits and guessed the last 20. (Not to be confused with superdense coding, in which 2n bits can be communicated with only n qubits by entangling them ahead of time with n qubits that the receiver has  you see it takes 2n qubits in total to hold the information, just that only n of them need to be communicated.)
A 100 qubit quantum computer would be interesting (for quantum supremacy), a 1000 qubit quantum computer would be useful (for modeling quantum systems and quantum chemistry), and a onemillion qubit quantum computer would be revolutionary, but it still wouldn't help GIMPS search for large primes AFAICT. (It would help factor small composite Mersenne numbers, which would be useful for enumerating pseudoprimes for example.) 
20180306, 20:07  #5  
1976 Toyota Corona years forever!
"Wayne"
Nov 2006
Saskatchewan, Canada
7^{3}·13 Posts 
Quote:


20180306, 21:08  #6 
"Angelino Desmet"
Mar 2018
Belgium
46_{8} Posts 
Some unexpected answers; cool. It feels good to contribute.

20180306, 22:37  #7 
Sep 2002
Oeiras, Portugal
1,423 Posts 

20180306, 22:44  #8 
"Kieren"
Jul 2011
In My Own Galaxy!
3·17·197 Posts 
Welcome to GIMPS and to the forum! If you enjoy unexpected answers, you've come to a likely source. This diverse group produces diverse responses. These are some of the charms, (and irritations,) of the forum.

20180306, 23:09  #9  
Just call me Henry
"David"
Sep 2007
Cambridge (GMT/BST)
5,743 Posts 
Quote:


20180307, 03:36  #10  
Tribal Bullet
Oct 2004
3·1,163 Posts 
Quote:
Supercomputers are super because they are large and expensive; thus they are basically always reserved for computations that would be difficult anywhere else. If each node is a $15k server, and you have 10000 of them, along with switches that connect all of them to each other with a latency of microseconds and cost as much as the computers do, why would anyone in charge of such a machine devote time to tasks that 10000 volunteers would take on for free, with a latency of the internet? 

20180307, 05:58  #11  
Aug 2006
2×2,969 Posts 
Quote:
Quote:
There's also the algorithm of Grosshans, Lawson, Morain, & Smith which is better by a constant factor than Shor's algorithm against semiprimes, and I think the recycling trick still works. * Assuming your decoherence time is long enough for the calculation and your error rate is low enough. In practice you just run it a bunch of times like probableprime tests. Last fiddled with by CRGreathouse on 20180307 at 06:29 

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