Ralph Ernest Powers

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Details of the life of Ralph Ernest Powers (April 27, 1875 – January 31, 1952)[1] are little-known;[2] however, he was apparently the first mathematician to demonstrate that the Mersenne number M107 = 2107 − 1 was indeed prime. This was published in his article Certain composite Mersenne's numbers in 1916. Sometimes, mathematical textbooks attribute this result to one E. Fauquembergue, but it appears as though many of Fauquembergue's claims were later demonstrated as erroneous; thus, many prefer recognizing Powers as the discoverer, including the well-known Internet resource The Prime Pages.

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