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Old 2018-01-08, 23:31   #1
jbpace
 
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With diminishing hope I've searched the forum for a company that can print the latest prime on a banner.

To determine what would be required I printed M(77,232,917) in 2 point Calibri font on 11"x17" paper w/ 1/4" margins -- 69.5 pages! A banner with 1" margins would be 6'x14.5' (but readable at close range).

Unrealistically small 1 point Calibri (I couldn't tell there were actual numbers without a magnifying glass) would still be 46"x74.5" (as close as I could get to the Golden Ratio).

Does anyone know if printing technology has advanced to the point something like this is possible for a "reasonable price"?
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Old 2018-01-08, 23:47   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbpace View Post
With diminishing hope I've searched the forum for a company that can print the latest prime on a banner.
Let me talk to a printer that is in the extend family. If I get it done, it will be at their cost.
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Old 2018-01-08, 23:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbpace View Post
With diminishing hope I've searched the forum for a company that can print the latest prime on a banner.

To determine what would be required I printed M(77,232,917) in 2 point Calibri font on 11"x17" paper w/ 1/4" margins -- 69.5 pages! A banner with 1" margins would be 6'x14.5' (but readable at close range).

Unrealistically small 1 point Calibri (I couldn't tell there were actual numbers without a magnifying glass) would still be 46"x74.5" (as close as I could get to the Golden Ratio).

Does anyone know if printing technology has advanced to the point something like this is possible for a "reasonable price"?
Because of issues like these, my recommendation to Richard Crandall, when he was still alive and the primes had started get really big, was to freeze the font at something small but manageable, and instead switch to multipanel-poster format. The cool thing about using the same font for subsequent primes is that number-of-panels/total-poster-area gives a nice visceral comparative sense of the sizes of the various primes. Of course eventually one would hit the situation where one runs out of wall area, but at that point one can just switch to releasing bound poster-sized volumes of printouts. (I'm mentally picturing the kinds of oversized volumes as found in fancy astronomical star charts, at least in the pre-digital era.)

For example, let's say we used the same font REC used for the M(2976221) and M(3021377) - those posters were modest in area, i.e. we could double the #digits per panel to ~2 million to get a standard large 24" x 36" - ish poster. For the latest prime we'd need 10-12 such panels - likely too many for most folks' wall spaces and framing budgets, but not at all unreaonable for, say, a large wall in a Math or CompSci department somewhere.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2018-01-08 at 23:53
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Old 2018-01-09, 00:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Because of issues like these, my recommendation to Richard Crandall, when he was still alive and the primes had started get really big, was to freeze the font at something small but manageable, and instead switch to multipanel-poster format. The cool thing about using the same font for subsequent primes is that number-of-panels/total-poster-area gives a nice visceral comparative sense of the sizes of the various primes. Of course eventually one would hit the situation where one runs out of wall area, but at that point one can just switch to releasing bound poster-sized volumes of printouts. (I'm mentally picturing the kinds of oversized volumes as found in fancy astronomical star charts, at least in the pre-digital era.)

For example, let's say we used the same font REC used for the M(2976221) and M(3021377) - those posters were modest in area, i.e. we could double the #digits per panel to ~2 million to get a standard large 24" x 36" - ish poster. For the latest prime we'd need 10-12 such panels - likely too many for most folks' wall spaces and framing budgets, but not at all unreaonable for, say, a large wall in a Math or CompSci department somewhere.
I've had people ask me the same about the digits of Pi. And the answer is much simpler: Don't even try.

20 trillion digits will get to the moon and back about 100 times in size 12 font. So it's more practical to measure it in kilograms of hard drives instead of pages or posters.

Last fiddled with by Mysticial on 2018-01-09 at 00:47
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Old 2018-01-09, 01:34   #5
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It just needs to be written in atoms 1nm x 1nm :-)

https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/g...science_6a.jpg

Then pi^e trillion digits would only take up 22.46 millimeters^2 (0.0348 square inches) or a long string 22,459 kilometers (13,955 miles) and 1 nm high. But you would need a scanning tunnelling microscope to read your poster.

Last fiddled with by ATH on 2018-01-09 at 01:35
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Old 2018-01-09, 14:30   #6
jbpace
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
Let me talk to a printer that is in the extend family. If I get it done, it will be at their cost.
Thanks, Uncwilly. If technical limitations can't produce legible font on a large banner, Ernst's suggestion of multiple A0 sized posters sounds like a great plan B. I know I'd order several (people have asked).

JP
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Old 2018-01-09, 14:47   #7
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We vote for a (an?) M50 microfiche.

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Old 2018-01-09, 18:38   #8
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We vote for a (an?) M50 microfiche.

What if there was a micro-beam laser mounted on something like a printer head carriage. The laser would burn very small holes in the paper. Of course, this would have to be binary. A hole for a 'one' and no hole for a 'zero.' This would need very fine horizontal and vertical movement of the laser. I do not know if a CNC controller is capable of movements this small. If it worked, a sheet of paper would be mostly transparent. A person could use that old green-bar paper too, Just a passing thought.
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Old 2018-01-09, 19:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
(I'm mentally picturing the kinds of oversized volumes as found in fancy astronomical star charts, at least in the pre-digital era.)
a) When visiting Cambridge to spy out the town after I'd applied to MSRC and before being interviewed I visited the city's Oxfam second-hand book shop. Someone was browsing a familiar looking light blue cardboard box. As soon as he put it down I leapt forward and grabbed it. That's how I picked up my copy of the SAO star atlas. At ยฃ25 it was an absolute bargain, especially as it was in mint condition and had all the acetate overlays. I could have sold it on at > ยฃ100 in a matter of days.

b) Almost two years ago SWMBO bought me the SAO catalog for my birthday. Four oversized volumes each ~5cm thick, this time in fine used condition.

c) On another occasion, some years later, I purchased an edition of the OED. It comes in a case, two volumes printed 9 pages per side in FlySpeck-3 font, with a convenient magnifying lens for those readers less myopic than I who can read it with ease.

Some of us actually like owning and using hard-copy databases.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2018-01-09 at 19:13
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Old 2018-01-09, 22:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
What if there was a micro-beam laser mounted on something like a printer head carriage. The laser would burn very small holes in the paper. Of course, this would have to be binary. A hole for a 'one' and no hole for a 'zero.' This would need very fine horizontal and vertical movement of the laser. I do not know if a CNC controller is capable of movements this small. If it worked, a sheet of paper would be mostly transparent. A person could use that old green-bar paper too, Just a passing thought.
Of course the Mersenne primes are exactly those primes that use only one of the two possible digits in their binary expansion. Reverse your convention so that no hole stands for 'one', then all we need is a piece of paper with no holes! /JeppeSN

Last fiddled with by JeppeSN on 2018-01-09 at 23:00
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Old 2018-01-10, 07:54   #11
LaurV
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I was on the way to post a picture of me holding a piece of transparent plastic polarizer foil (credit-card size, I just took it out from an LCD, for other reasons) telling that it is a copy of M50, but you were faster.... (the idea of "transparent" was like "we have a lot molecules there, which rotate or not the light, etc).
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