There have now been multiple answers to this homework, all of which are fairly equivalent. (The response by Shubham Sangle has a lot of good points.) Let me offer a few ideas.
A good code to solve for the next prime would try to avoid calling isprime as much as possible, because calls to isprime are expensive. Of course, this depends on how large a number you are looking at
10000000000037 is close to as large a number you can use isprime on, working in double precision. If a single test for primality costs roughly 0.01 seconds (at least on my computer, your mileage may vary) then how long will it take to find the next prime after some number?
As it turns out, 10000000000037 is the next prime that exceeds 1e13. After that, we see primes at 10000000000051, 10000000000099, 10000000000129, 10000000000183, 10000000000259...
So out as far as 1e13, the spaces between primes seem to be running around 30 to 70, sometimes more, sometims less. That means, if you wanted to find the next prime after one of those primes, you might need to test perhaps as many as 70 numbers, or more. (However, you might get unlucky, if you find yourself at the beginning of a rather large hole between primes.)
If a single test by isprime takes 0.01 seconds out there, then your code for nextprime might take as much as one second of CPU time. That is not too bad, as long as one second is acceptable to you. Even so, there are some tricks you might employ.
The idea I will suggest here relies on the concept of k-rough numbers. Thus a rough number is one that has no small prime divisors. A k-rough number is one that has no prime divisors less than k. Some definitions will allow k as the smallest divisor, whereas I won't lose any sleep over the distinction.
A test in advance for small divisors is not a bad thing. For example, you can rule out all even numbers in your search. And you can rule out all multiples of 3, 5, 7, etc. That is, suppose I picked an arbitary large integer. What is the probability that it happens to be divisible by some small primes? (I call this pre-test a partial sieve.) Thus, 50% of the time, some large number will be divisible by 2. But 2/3 of the time (67%), it will be divisible by EITHER 2, OR 3. That means we could exclude 67% of the numbers, merely by knowing in advance if they were divisuble by EITHER 2, or by 3.
100*(1 - prod(1 - 1./[2 3]))
100*(1 - prod(1 - 1./[2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19]))
100*(1 - prod(1 - 1./primes(100)))
100*(1 - prod(1 - 1./primes(1000)))
So, if we excluded all numbers that are divisible by any small prime below 1000, then we could reduce the number of calls to isprime by almost 92%. We can carry this pretty far of course. So, if we pretest for divisibility by all primes below 1e8, the exclusion rate goes down to only roughly 97%.
100*(1 - prod(1 - 1./primes(1e8)))
That is important when a single call to isprime costs 30 minutes of CPU time. (This only happens if you are looking at numbers with many thousands of decimal digits though, using perhaps the sym version of isprime.)
As such, a decent version of nextprime might look like this:
function nextp = nextprime(N)
if N == ceil(N)
N = N + 1;
N = ceil(N);
if N < 2
nextp = 2;
elseif rem(N,2) == 0
N = N + 1;
partialsieve = primes(1000);
partialsieve(1) = ;
N = N + 2;
nextp = N;
N = N + 2;
This code is actually pretty efficient, allowing us to exclude tests with isprime for 92% of the numbers we might otherwise try. In fact, it looks like it had to make only one call to isprime in this example run:
I can make that claim, since that is roughly the time that MATLAB took for ONE call to isprime out there. And in this next test, there should have been only 5 calls to isprime.
The nextprime code above is efficient, since it is MUCH faster to test for divisibility by even a rather lengthy list of integers using the rem test, then it it to make one call to isprime out there.
How long will the search for the next prime require? Luckily, the primes are scattered randomly, but it takes a seriously long time before the inter-prime stride becomes terribly large. At the same time, it can be shown this stride can be arbitrarily large if you go out far enough.
As you can see below, it generally will not take that many tests before the next prime is found, but it will help if you can avoid some of those tests with careful code.
Will this all be significant for large numbers? Yes, very much so. If you plot the maximum interprime stride, as a function of the size of the numbers we are looking at, you will find that on a plot with logged x axis, the curve should be roughly linear.
semilogx(10.^[6 7 8 9],[114 154 220 282],'-o')
I'll just fit a linear polynomial to it, as:
interprimepoly = polyfit([6 7 8 9],[114 154 220 282],1)
This will be adequate for an extrapolation, since I don't care if it is only wildly approximate.
As such, out in the vicinity of 1e13, we may possibly be pushed to test several hundred numbers to see if they are prime. If we can intelligently exclude perhaps 90% of those tests, then we can cut the time required by up to 90%.
Further out, looking at numbers with tens or hundreds of thousands of decimal digits, the importance of avoiding millions of calls to isprime will be quite significant.