A Mersenne number is a number of the form \(2^n - 1\). A Mersenne prime is a Mersenne number that is prime.

As of January 2016, there are 49 known Mersenne primes, with \(2^{74,207,281} - 1\) being the largest.

A double Mersenne number is a Mersenne number whose exponent is a Mersenne prime. As of 2016, it is known that the first four double Mersenne numbers, \(M_{M_2}\), \(M_{M_3}\), \(M_{M_5}\), \(M_{M_7}\), are prime and the next four, \(M_{M_{13}}\), \(M_{M_{17}}\), \(M_{M_{19}}\), \(M_{M_{31}}\) are composite. The primality status of other known double Mersenne numbers remain unknown.

A Catalan-Mersenne number is a number in the following sequence:

The first 5 terms are prime. Catalan conjectured that they are all prime up to a certain limit. The sixth term, \(M_{M_{M_{M_{M_2}}}}=M_{M_{127}}\), is far too large for any known primality test. It is equal to \(2^{170,141,183,460,469,231,731,687,303,715,884,105,727}-1\), which has exactly 51,217,599,719,369,681,875,006,054,625,051,616,351 (more than fifty-one undecillion) decimal digits.