Primes are positive integers >1 that can only be divided (without remainder) by 1 and themselves. Examples from RS's collection:

1234567891 987654321987654329 9223372036854775783

Two more primes, which may be algorithmically useful since they are close to pow(2,15) and pow(2,16):

32003 65521

Here's a very simple prime checker, which returns 1 for primes, else the first found divisor (and the quotient):

proc primetest n { set max [expr wide(sqrt($n))] if {$n%2==0} {return [list 2 [expr $n/2]]} for {set i 3} {$i<=$max} {incr i 2} { if {$n%$i==0} {return [list $i [expr $n/$i]]} } return 1 }

LV 2009-May-4: One mathematical nit. I seem to recall that the number **1** is not considered a prime because it has only one factor - itself, whereas the definition for a prime number is that the number has only 2 distinct factors - 1 and itself. the primetest function returns a **1** when called with a 1. I have no idea what primetest should return in this case - perhaps a [list 1 1] ?

AM commented in the Tcl chatroom: The trick: divide by the first ten or twenty primes, after that: numbers of the form 6n+1 and 6n+5 may act as divisors. If you use only numbers of the form I mentioned, you gain about 50% with no loss of information.

This uses the first part of the proposal:

proc primetest2 n { set max [expr int(sqrt($n))] foreach i { 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97 101 103 107 109 113 127 131 137 139 149 151 157 163 167 173 179 181 191 193 197 199 } { if {$i>$max} break if {$n%$i == 0} {return [list $i [expr $n/$i]]} } for {incr i 2} {$i<$max} {incr i 2} { if {$n%$i == 0} {return [list $i [expr $n/$i]]} } return 1 } ;# RS

CL: A comment on prime calculations: for modest sizes--up to a few tens of decimal digits--I've always found it much the most satisfying to cache a list of known primes. I'm working in a stateful environment. My basic algorithm: test a trial number for quotients against my list of known primes, up to the square root of the trial number. Extend the list of primes if it doesn't reach that high. It's a compact algorithm, it takes little space to keep the list, and I get excellent speed, especially for the frequent case where I want to know the primality of several different integers.

CL offers an example implementation

namespace eval primes { variable list {} proc is_prime candidate { variable list foreach prime $list { if {![expr $candidate % $prime]} { # If a candidate has a factor, then it's composite. return false } if {[expr $prime * $prime > $candidate]} { # The a candidate has no prime factor smaller than or equal to its # square root, so it has no prime factor, and therefore no # factor, and therefore is itself prime. return true } } while true { # Use the list of primes we know to test the primality of the # candidate. If the tests are inconclusive, extend the list, until # the question is settled. In any case, be careful to maintain the # list of known primes; this is valuable in consideration of new # candidates. set largest [get_next_prime] if {[expr $largest * $largest >= $candidate]} { return [is_prime $candidate] } } } proc get_next_prime {} { variable list if {![llength $list]} { set candidate 2 } else { set candidate [lindex $list end] while true { incr candidate if {[is_prime $candidate]} break } } lappend list $candidate return $candidate } } # Print the first thousand primes. for {set i 1} {$i <= 1000} {incr i} { puts [primes::get_next_prime] }

DPE 2006-08-08: I've optimised the above code by simple changes such as removing [expr] where [if] is used. On my machine it runs approximately 20x faster (e.g. primes::is_prime 1234567891 takes 0.17s vs 4.08s).

glennj 2009-04-20: small optimization in get_next_prime: incr by 2 as even numbers are obviously not prime. Also, add "restart" proc to complement "reset" without throwing away the known primes.

namespace eval primes {} proc primes::reset {} { variable list [list] variable current_index end } namespace eval primes {reset} proc primes::restart {} { variable list variable current_index if {[llength $list] > 0} { set current_index 0 } } proc primes::is_prime {candidate} { variable list foreach prime $list { if {$candidate % $prime == 0} { # Candidate has a factor, so it's composite. return false } if {$prime * $prime > $candidate} { # Candidate has no prime factor smaller than or equal to its square # root, so it has no prime factor, and therefore no factor, and # therefore is itself prime. return true } } while true { # Use the list of primes we know to test the primality of the # candidate. If the tests are inconclusive, extend the list, until the # question is settled. In any case, be careful to maintain the list of # known primes; this is valuable in consideration of new candidates. set largest [get_next_prime] if {$largest * $largest >= $candidate} { return [is_prime $candidate] } } } proc primes::get_next_prime {} { variable list variable current_index if {$current_index ne "end"} { set p [lindex $list $current_index] if {[incr current_index] == [llength $list]} { set current_index end } return $p } switch -exact -- [llength $list] { 0 {set candidate 2} 1 {set candidate 3} default { set candidate [lindex $list end] while true { incr candidate 2 if {[is_prime $candidate]} break } } } lappend list $candidate return $candidate } # For testing # Print the first thousand primes. proc printAllPrimes {num} { for {set i 1} {$i <= $num} {incr i} { puts [primes::get_next_prime] } } printAllPrimes 1000

The largest known prime as of 2012 is the Mersenne prime 2**43112609 - 1

A prime tester on the Web

Another useful prime-related concept is that of *co-primality*. Two numbers are co-prime if the greatest common divisor is 1.

Note that if *P* is a prime number, then for any *Q*, *P* and *Q* are co-prime.

RS wrote this cute recursive prime tester for breakfast fun:

proc prime i { prime0 $i [expr {int(sqrt($i))}] } proc prime0 {i div} { expr {!($i%$div)? 0: $div<=2? 1: [prime0 $i [incr div -1]]} }

DL wrote a Tcl script to let kids experiment with Eratosthenes Sieves.

RS wrote A little primes toy to a similar end.

**Complex factorization of primes**: Carl Friedrich Gauss knew it some 200 years ago, RS just read Easter 2005 that some (very roughly, half of the) primes can be factorized into a pair of complex numbers, where the second is the conjugate of the first, e.g. for 2:

- (1+
*i*)*(1-*i*) = 1 +*i*-*i**(1+*i*) = 1 +*i*-*i*-*i*² = 2

I first tested this using Complex math with TOOT, but as the product of a complex number a+*i*b and its conjugate a-*i*b is just a² + b², the test can be done easier as the sum of the two squares. The following proc returns the first list of {a b} found (the second is always {b a}), so that a²+b² == x, or an empty list when nothing was found:

proc gaussfactor x { for {set real 1} {$real <=sqrt($x)} {incr real} { for {set im 1} {$im<=sqrt($x)} {incr im} { if {$real*$real+$im*$im == $x} { return [list $real $im] } } } }

Here's the first few primes tested - five of ten have a complex factorization:

% gaussfactor 2 1 1 % gaussfactor 3 % gaussfactor 5 1 2 % gaussfactor 7 % gaussfactor 11 % gaussfactor 13 2 3 % gaussfactor 17 1 4 % gaussfactor 19 % gaussfactor 23 % gaussfactor 29 2 5

AM 2005-03-29: I am not sure about the details but it seems that certain problems regarding prime numbers are easier to solve using this complex factorisation than if you stick to ordinary integers. Complex numbers with integer real and imaginary fractions are also known as Gaussian integers.

SMH 2006-01-05: The inner loop (for im) is not necessary. For any value of $real only one $im is possible.

proc gaussfactor2 x { set sx [expr {int(sqrt($x))}] for {set real 1} {$real < $sx} {incr real} { set d [expr {$x - $real * $real}] set im [expr {int(sqrt($d))}] if { $im * $im == $d } { return [list $real $im] } } return "" }

A SourceForge bug 1513763 brought this very cute, regexp-based prime finder (based on an old perl hack):

proc isprime x { expr {$x>1 && ![regexp {^(oo+?)\1+$} [string repeat o $x]]} }

Twylite: If you need primes for cryptographic purposes (e.g. RSA keys), consider using the prime-finding algorithms in FIPS 186-3 . It is often preferable (and quicker) to find a prime p such that (p-1) and (p+1) have large prime factors, as described in that standard. To speed up the process use trial division by small primes to sieve the candidates before performing the Miller-Rabin test.

alexex I did some work in implementing The Miller-Rabin algorhithm in pure TCL, it is a really fast way to check whether a number is prime or not, every round leaves you with a 25% chance, that your number is not a prime number, so doing the test 5 times (which is standard in my proc), leaves you with a probability of 0.0009765625 % that your number is not a prime number.

rwm - Be careful with the code below. It has a few problems that make it slower and possibly wrong.

#from #tcl @ quakenet "+ rand" proc rand {min max} { return [expr {int(rand()*($max-$min+1))+$min}] } #rwm - note the rand has a ?double? float precision linit of 17 decimal #digits. This implies that for large numbers (say 1024 bits as in RSA) this #will snap to ## the nearest integer leaving huge gaps of "never reachable" #integers between. # this proc was written by rmax - https://wiki.tcl-lang.org/4709 - thanks for that :) proc powm {n r m} { expr {$r & 1 ? $n * [powm $n [expr {$r-1}] $m] % $m : $r ? [set nn [powm $n [expr {$r >> 1}] $m]] * $nn % $m : 1 } } ## - rwm the non-recursive versions of this are probably slightly faster proc rabinmiller {n {rounds 5}} { if {$n % 2 == 0} { error "Even numbers cant be prime." } set s 1 while {($n - 1) % (2**($s+1)) == 0} { incr s } set d [expr {($n - 1)/(2**$s)}] for {set i 0} {$i < $rounds} {incr i} { set a [rand 2 [expr {$n - 1}]] while {[powm $a $d $n] == 1 % $n} { ## rwm (unnecessary)-----^^^^ ## rwm in fact precedence says == (1 % $n) set a [rand 2 [expr {$n - 1}]] # if a^d mod n == 1 then do the next round, it has passed #this round, so this should be an 'if' not a 'while' } set p 0 for {set r 0} {$r < $s} {incr r} { if {[powm $a [expr {(2**$r)*$d}] $n] == -1 % $n} { # rwm, again precedence -1 % $n and that evaluates to ($n-1), # while I believe it should be '1' as I understand it 'a' # should evolve by squaring in each of these loops set p 1 break } else { } } if {!$p} {break} } return $p }

I first implemented it with a powm function, but apparently calculating moderate high powers and modulo them takes ages, so i took the powm proc from the wiki, and now the speed is alright.

AM 2010-01-18: Computing 99991 to the power 49995 does indeed take a long time - the example we chatted about (in the order of a half minute). But the result is a number consisting of, roughly, 250000 digits. Dealing with such large numbers simply does take a long time. Luckily the powm procedure can use some fairly elementary properties of modulo computation to reduce the size of the numbers and thereby the computation time.

rwm I used the above rabin-miller routine in some RSA keygen experiments, and found the run-time unacceptable. (I killed every one of them before they finished) I then wrote a different miller-rabin based on the "Applied Cryptography" and the wikipedia entry for miller-rabin. I am including the commented version below to help Tcl'ers understand the algorithm. It runs 17 rounds in less than 1 second for most 1024-bit numbers. I believe it correctly implements miller-rabin... I didn't include the modExpo function which can be taken from above or elsewhere, nor did I include the random function.

set debug(millerRabin) 0 proc primeCheckMillerRabin {n {desiredRounds 17}} { # coded by randy melton 9/17/12 following # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millel-Rabin_primality_test variable debug #Input: n > 3, an odd integer to be tested for primality; #Input: k, a parameter that determines the accuracy of the test #Output: composite if n is composite, otherwise probably prime #write n − 1 as 2s·d with d odd by factoring powers of 2 from n − 1 ## rwm: example n =0b100101101011010001 ## n-1 =0b100101101011010000 ## n-1/2^4 =0b10010110101101 (ie divide out 2, 4 times) ## so d=0b10010110101101 ## and s=4 for {set s 0; set d [expr {$n-1}]} {($d&1) == 0} {incr s} { set d [expr {$d>>1}] } if {$debug(millerRabin)} { puts -nonewline stderr "${::STATUS}: primeCheckMillerRabin round:" } #LOOP: repeat k times: for {set round 0} {$round < $desiredRounds} {incr round} { if {$debug(millerRabin)} { puts -nonewline stderr " $round" } #pick a random integer a in the range [2, n − 2] (** see next line) ## ** RWM NOTE: should be 1 < a < n set a [primes::rand 2 [expr {$n-1}]] #x ← a^d mod n set x [binaryModExpo $a $d $n] #if x = 1 or x = n − 1 then do next LOOP if {($x == 1) || ($x == ($n-1))} {continue} #for r = 1 .. s − 1 for {set r 1} {$r <= ($s-1)} {incr r} { #x ← x^2 mod n set x [binaryModExpo $x 2 $n] #if x = 1 then return composite if {$x == 1} { if {$debug(millerRabin)} { puts stderr "$k is composite" } return 0};#composite #if x = n − 1 then do next LOOP if {$x == ($n - 1)} {break} } if {$x == ($n - 1)} {continue} if {$debug(millerRabin)} { #puts stderr "composite" } return 0 ;#composite } if {$debug(millerRabin)} { #puts stderr "possible prime" } return 1 ;#probably prime }

rwm -- I added one more pretty good/fast primality test based on fermats little theorem at primeCheckFermat

rwm -- I added primeCheckLucas as per fips186-3