The First 100,000 Primes
I’ve always liked books of numbers: logarithms, phone, random, I dont care.
I decided I wanted a book that contained lots of prime numbers, partly because I don’t really understand much about them, but felt I should, and that this would help.
(I had also just finished Stanislaw Lem’s His Masters Voice which features a book of numbers in an important role.)
First, I need a large list of primes. Python made that pretty easy.
import pprint # Initialize a list primes =  for possiblePrime in range(2, 2000000): # a guess - more than enough # Assume number is prime until shown it is not. isPrime = True for num in range(2, int(possiblePrime ** 0.5) + 1): if possiblePrime % num == 0: isPrime = False break if isPrime: primes.append(possiblePrime) if len(primes) == 100000: # we have enough break pprint.pprint(len(primes)) pprint.pprint(primes)
I piped that into a text document, and formatted it in vim
I wish I had saved those vim commands; there were only 3 or 4.
Lots of fun. Took less than 2 hours from idea to manuscript.
I haven’t learned much more about primes from this project, but I give this book away at Xmas and get lots of confused looks, which makes it all worthwhile.
You can buy it direct from blurb.com.