Since ancient times humanity knew that there are infinitely many primes — though countable, writing a complete list of every prime is impossible if one intends to finish.

However, in practice one often only considers a minute subset of the naturals to work with and think about. When writing low-level languages like C, one is nearly forced to forget about almost every natural number — the data type `u_int_32`

, for example, is only capable of representing .

Therefore, it is possible to produce a complete list of every prime representable in thirty-two bits using standard bit pattern interpretation — the entirety of the first primes.

Generating said list took about two minutes on a 4GHz Intel Core i7 using an elementary sieve approach written in C compiled with `gcc -O2`

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All primes are stored in little-endian format and packed densely together, requiring four bytes each.

Using the resulting file, one can quickly index the primes, for example (using zero-based indexing). Since each prime is stored using four bytes, the prime’s index is scaled by a factor of four, resulting in its byte index.

dd status=none ibs=1 count=4 if=primes.bin skip=40000000 | xxd 00000000: b3cd b10a ....

Source code: intirety.c

Prime list: primes.bin (775.5 MiB)