“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away”*…
1, followed by 13 zeros, then 666, and then another 13 zeros, and a final 1: a palindromic prime number named for Belphegor (or Beelphegor), one of the seven princes of Hell. Reputed to help people make discoveries, Belphegor is the demon of inventiveness. He figures in Milton’s Paradise Lost as the namesake of one of the “Principalities of the Prime”… So it is only fitting that these devilish digits bear his name.
More prime provocation at Cliff Pickover‘s “Belphegor’s Prime: 1000000000000066600000000000001.”
* Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
As we try to divine divisors, we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that the first-ever 9-1-1 call was placed by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite, from Haleyville City Hall, to U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill, at the city’s police station.
Emergency numbers date back to 1937, when the British began to use 999. But experience showed that three repeated digits led to many mistaken/false alarms. The Southern California Telephone Co. experimented in 1946 in Los Angeles with 116 for emergencies.
But 911– using just the first and last digits available– yielded the best results, and went into widespread use in the 1980s when 911 was adopted as the standard emergency number across most of the country under the North American Numbering Plan.
And yes, “911” is a prime…