The Meissel–Mertens constant (named after Ernst Meissel and Franz Mertens), also referred to as Mertens constant, Kronecker's constant, Hadamard–de la Vallée-Poussin constant or prime reciprocal constant, is a mathematical constant in number theory, defined as the limiting difference between the harmonic series summed only over the primes and the natural logarithm of the natural logarithm:
Here γ is the famous Euler–Mascheroni constant, which has a similar definition involving a sum over all integers (not just the primes).
The value of M is approximately
Mertens' 2nd theorem says that the limit exists.
The fact that there are two logarithms (log of a log) in the limit for the Meissel–Mertens constant may be thought of as a consequence of the combination of the prime number theorem and the limit of the Euler–Mascheroni constant.
The number was used by Google when bidding in the Nortel patent auction. Google posted three bids based on mathematical numbers: $1,902,160,540 (Brun's constant), $2,614,972,128 (Meissel–Mertens constant), and $3.14159 billion ( π ).