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Mathematician Claims Proof of Riemann Hypothesis

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the peer-review-pending dept.

The Almighty Buck 561

TheSync points to this press release about a Purdue University mathematician, Louis de Branges de Bourcia, who claims to have "proven the Riemann hypothesis, considered to be the greatest unsolved problem in mathematics. It states that all non-trivial zeros of the zeta function lie on the line 1/2 + it as t ranges over the real numbers. You can read his proof here. The Clay Mathematics Institute offers a $1 million prize to the first prover."

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If there's one thing I know (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382541)

It's that mathematicians love to exaggerate! Like infinity is infinite, or pi goes on forever! Those guys are always talking big.

WOW NUMBER LINES (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382563)

I'm sure this will have a huge impact on society.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382542)

post

Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382708)

NO

it's

NOT!

hahahahha you are so LAME.

--CSLib Menace
(temporarily unbanned)

Apology (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382552)

Apology for the proof of the Riemann hypothesis (in pdf format). [purdue.edu]

"We humbly apologize for the complete illegibility of this proof. The mathematician responsible has been sacked."

Googlized HTML version (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382582)

Karma-whoring free [216.239.39.104] .

Re:Apology (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382601)

> "We humbly apologize for the complete illegibility of this proof. The mathematician responsible has been sacked."

"A Slashdotter has discovered a truly wonderful proof of the sacking of the mathematician responsible, but his bandwidth is too narrow to host it!"

WTF? Mods? (5, Informative)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382613)

From reference.dictionary.com:

Apology - 2: a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly

This should at most have earned a "Funny", or is there something I'm missing here?

Re:WTF? Mods? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382813)

Mod parent up!

Re:WTF? Mods? (5, Funny)

thefinite (563510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382826)

This should at most have earned a "Funny", or is there something I'm missing here?

Yeah, I think you missed:
Equivocation - \E*quiv`o*ca"tion\, n. The use of expressions susceptible of a double signification, with a purpose to mislead boneheaded moderators, especially when you are just making a joke.

Re:Apology (4, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382614)

Uh, the above comment was a joke people. The quote in the parent post does NOT appear in the document. Apology in this case means a defense of the proof.

Re:Apology (-1, Redundant)

Shaklee39 (694496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382616)

Where does it say that? I just searched the whole pdf.

Re:Apology (4, Informative)

ssssmemyself (709098) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382635)

Note to mods: Mod parent funny, not interesting! This is a play off a quote from the beginning credits sequence in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As for the pdf link, it's the first link in the purdue page referenced in the article. RTFA, people!

Good job (5, Funny)

Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382560)

It's too bad that most of society does not recognize truly great achievements like this. I, for one, admit interest but not enough knowledge of the details to read and understand the proof. I'm sure most people here on /., as representatives of the intelligent future of sentient life, have the interest as well.

Re:Good job (1)

Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382643)

most people here on /., as representatives of the intelligent future of sentient life

GOD HELP US

Re:Good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382686)

What are you talking about? Most people on /. can't even spell 'mathematician'.

Or at least the submitter couldn't.

Re:Good job (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382691)

Well, first thing I thought was "Thank God someone solved that problem. Could not have waited much longer."

Re:Good job (5, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382707)

You're probably right. But society does recognize a one million dollar prize. This one may actually get TV time. Funny how that works.

I have a trivial solution to this problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382565)

...but, oh you know the joke.

Gotta prove 'em all (5, Funny)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382570)

They really should make mathematics more like pokemon, it would get more people interested in the subject
Riemann-chu, I prove you! Then bust out the paper.

Re:Gotta prove 'em all (1, Funny)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382640)

Not a bad Idea -

Introducing - ( Cheesy Background Music )

The Theorem CCG - Gotta Prove 'Em All

My Riemann beats your Trans-Zeta !

Re:Gotta prove 'em all (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382794)

"A man is only as strong as the weakest woman he has ever loved."

With that logic, everybody here should be supermen. ;)

Re:Gotta prove 'em all (5, Funny)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382689)

Mathomon?
Yeah but then a few years later Yu-Physics-Oh comes along and replaces it in popularity. Then before you know it that two is gone replaced by annother populare science.
Plus it would replace Arceology the gathering.

Magic The Gathering, Pokemon and yugioh are in the 15 minuts of fame catagory. Populare today gone tomarow.

I don't want Math to be gone tomarow. I'm counting on it to stay for a while.

Now english I wouldn't mind if it's own end was spelled out. You can see the proof reading this very post.

Re:Gotta prove 'em all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382825)

sorry to burst your bubble but magic the gathering is not expieiencing 15 minutes of fame its been around for years (almost 10 i belive but i couldnt find a link), for two reasons it is not a spin off (the others started as tv shows) and so interest will not be lost as the next big show comes along, and secondly because it is so well designed and the gameplay is so good that no one is going to come out with a game to compete, at least for a good long time, this can be seen by the fact that no one has tried. And also in case you couldnt tell the parent was a joke and math isnt going to be gone tommorow (although wether it has ever been all there is questionable).

Re:Gotta prove 'em all (1)

per11 (650595) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382764)

It still would not make any sens.

All that money and the guy still won't get pussy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382574)

Nerd!

Nope! Nice try (5, Funny)

ajboyle (547708) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382576)

I read through his proof and...nope, it's wrong. I know the real answer, but am leaving it as an exercise for the interested student.

Proof of theory (-1, Troll)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382578)

Interesting that the only time a proof of concept is ever challanged is when money is involved.


Wonder what he'll do with the money? Replace the stack of pencils he depleated, or the batteries in the calculator?


Good for him though - the interest in thoretical mathematical proof is waneing (pardon the sp), even as the necessity for ultra-math becomes apparent.

Re:Proof of theory (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382615)

um, he says in the paper what he'll do with it. (And actually, it's not the only time it's ever challenged. The whole field of mathematics is nothing but this sort of thing; this one only had big money attached to it because it has eluded the world's best mathematicians for so long.)

Re:Proof of theory (4, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382639)

Interesting that the only time a proof of concept is ever challanged is when money is involved.

Bull. There are thousands of mathematical researchers. Most don't have hefty salaries, and most aren't working on money-prize problems.

Mathematicians are never in it for the money.

Wonder what he'll do with the money?

Seems like he wants to restore the old family castle:

The ruin of the chateau de Bourcia overlooks a fertile valley surrounded by wooded hills. The site is ideal for a mathematical research institute. The restoration of the ch^ateau for that purpose would be an appropriate use of the million dollars offered for a proof of the Riemann hypothesis.


I must say that at he seems a bit full of himself, or at least, getting a bit ahead of himself. Given how many have tried and failed witht his problem.

Re:Proof of theory (3, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382698)

huh?

Mathematicians have been working on this for a long time. it is not like one day this guy woke up and said "oh, 1 million dollars for it eh, well I better get to work."

Re:Proof of theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382702)

Well if you bothered to scan his Apology you would see that he already gives a suggestion for what the money could be used for.

This proof, if it turns out to be valid, is likely to be more important the Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. The Riemann hypothesis touches many areas of mathematics and some areas of physics.

Re:Proof of theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382753)

What's he going to do with the money? Go into the building trade it would seem ...

From the final page of the apology...

The ruin of the chateau de Bourcia overlooks a fertile valley surrounded by wooded hills.
The site is ideal for a mathematical research institute. The restoration of the chateau for
that purpose would be an appropriate use of the million dollars offered for a proof of the
Riemann hypothesis.

Re:Proof of theory (1)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382796)

At the end of the article it states that he wants to use the $1 million to restore the "Chateau de Bourcia" in France, and turn it into a mathematical research institute. Sounds like a nice gesture, when can I visit?!

Re:Proof of theory (1)

BennyProfane (171159) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382836)

"Wonder what he'll do with the money? Replace the stack of pencils he depleated, or the batteries in the calculator?"

Actually, he proposes to restore a chateau in France owned by the man who helped spur his interest in number theory (Irenee du Pont).

Failed proof (5, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382584)

Ha! They've already found an error in the proof! All that he posted was his apology! [purdue.edu] :-)

Yes, I was actually confused at first. For the non-math geeks like myself, who are feeling stupid, look at definition 2a of apology [reference.com] .

Re:Failed proof (1)

stigin (729188) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382679)

Indeed, this paper is/seems like only a short history of the Riemann Hypothesis. Anyone a link with the original paper? (or just an answer to the question, was it long?)

More like the Hymen hypothesis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382586)

Am I rite?

This is great for academia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382587)

In a time where funding for many non-practical research is being cut, it's nice to someone established accomplish something.

He is very brave (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382594)

The paper is called, Apology for the proof of the Riemann hypothesis (in pdf format). [purdue.edu] To find the apology you have to read through to page 4 where he talks briefly about the problems that the solution of a celebrated problem creates for others who weren't expecting it. Basically the title is, "a form of Mathematical smack talk" (to quote a co-worker).

Most of the paper appears to be history, and the results leading up to his proof. Only a few pages at the end make up the actual new proof, so the novel material is far shorter than 23 pages.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a fairly final verdict on his proof very quickly. This is not like Wiles' proof of Fermat that was very long and nobody had the background to understand. This proof looks reasonably short and straightforward.

Cheers,
Ben Tilly

Re:He is very brave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382638)

Or, you know, he could be using the more formal definition of "apology" :

1. A formal justification or defense.
2. An explanation or excuse.

idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382657)

Try looking up the definition of "apology."

Re:He is very brave (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382815)

Most of the paper appears to be history, and the results leading up to his proof. Only a few pages at the end make up the actual new proof,

Much most of the papers I always submitted.

Uh-oh! There's a mistake! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382595)

I don't want to give it away, but you'll see it.

Hilbert Turns in his Grave? (5, Interesting)

kaalamaadan (639250) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382596)

"If I were to awaken after having slept for a thousand years, my first question would be: Has the Riemann hypothesis been proven?"

David Hilbert

I'm in trouble (5, Funny)

martinX (672498) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382598)

You know you're in trouble when you don't even understand the question.

But you're interested, right? (1)

Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382629)

That's what separates you from the football watching zombies. You are the future.

Re:But you're interested, right? (2)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382699)

I love football, haven't missed a Giants game in years, and am very interested in this proof. Open your mind you sports-bashing knobgobbler.

Re:I'm in trouble (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382648)

The question itself is pretty straightforward. It's the answer that's the problem.

The Answer is easy (1)

Psymunn (778581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382750)

It's 42
The question... we'll have to wait and see (barring any intergalactic space route development)

I submitted this story this morning (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382599)

Why the hell is this guy's submission accepted and mine is ignored?!?!?

Re:I submitted this story this morning (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382812)

TheSync was nice enough to give timothy a reach around last week. What'd you do for him?

Is it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382602)

... 42?

Impact on crypto? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382624)

This theorem is a theory of how prime numbers are distributed...so does it's proof have any impact on crypto? Does it make it any easier to find prime numbers?

There is no impact on crypto (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382664)

The Riemann Hypothesis, among other things, implies that the Prime Number Theorem is off in the distribution of primes by no more than O(sqrt(n)*log(n)). However even without the full result, we already had very good error bounds for the approximation of the prime number theorem for "small" numbers, including numbers far larger than any which come up in cryptography.

Re:Impact on crypto? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382678)

"Does it make it any easier to find prime numbers?"

I apologize for my naievity, but I do have a curious semi-OT question: What does knowing all the prime numbers have to do with crypto? Is there a layman explanation?

Re:Impact on crypto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382709)

Crypto basically relies on multiplying large primes. It's easy to multiply two primes together, but relatively very difficult to take the result and figure out which two primes were multiplied. If you could quickly find large primes, it'd be much easier to crack crypto.

Re:Impact on crypto? (4, Informative)

mdrejhon (203654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382714)

The art of cryptography can be summed up as: Easy to encode, but hard to decode.

Prime numbers are easy to multiply together. Little CPU needed.

But it's hard to do the reverse: Factor a big number into two separate prime numbers. Lots of CPU needed.

It's based on that principle.

Re:Impact on crypto? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382738)

Many cryptosystems are based off of doing complex math based off of very large random prime numbers. That is the connection anyway. I'm not sure that knowing all the primes would simplify any of the processes at all. But then again I'm just a crypto consumer.

Re:Impact on crypto? (3, Informative)

Mahrtian (238199) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382778)

The magic of PKI occurs through the use of extremely long prime numbers, called keys. Two keys are involved - a private key, which only you have access to, and a public key, which can be accessed by anyone. The two keys work together, so a message scrambled with the private key can only be unscrambled with the public key and vice versa. The more digits in these keys, the more secure the process. --Public-key encryption for dummies [nwfusion.com]

Not the best explanation, I prefer this [amazon.com]

Re:Impact on crypto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382787)

if you have two primes a and b and multiply them together to get c, c is only divisible by a and b.
In some encryption algorithms, c is known to everyone, but a and b are "secret" because they can be used to generate everything needed to decode the shiat. look up the RSA encyrption algorithm

Re:Impact on crypto? (2, Informative)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382683)

I don't know nearly enough math to understand the proof, but judging that the hypothesis was made by Reimann quite a while ago, and this is a proof of that hypothesis, I would conclude that the theory has been extant but unsubstantiated until now.

So, in short, no, no help for cracking crypto based on primes...though the article does mention possible crypto applications down the line. I'm not sure what, exactly, those would be.

Re:Impact on crypto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382756)

There are various primality tests which return results which in the past had to be qualified with the Riemann hypothesis, i.e. number p is prime assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis. In such cases it used to be necessary to further verify the primality of such numbers with stronger (and generally slower) tests. A proof of Riemann thus means that certain numbers can now be proven quicker than before.

I assume that are many other consequences, particularly in number theory, and especially those areas dealing with the distribution of prime numbers.

There way be some connection with the twin prime conjecture (for which a proof was also recently offered -- although it apparently has problems).

However, in practice I doubt this will make much difference to selecting primes for use with public-key cryptosystems.

Re:Impact on crypto? (0)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382799)

One of the fallout corollaries from a proof of the Riemann hypothesis is that there exists a simple algorithm for factorization (read: p-time).

Releasing a proof of this magnitude in this fashion before sending it for formal peer review is definitely a loss of points for the mathematican who has shown his work - It seems to me that his proof is probably like a donut: small, fluffy, with a giant hole in the middle, but if he sugar coats it, people will eat it up. However, this is for the mathematics community to decide, and certainly not me, I'm but a lowly math undergrad.

Re:Impact on crypto? (3, Informative)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382819)

One of the fallout corollaries from a proof of the Riemann hypothesis is that there exists a simple algorithm for factorization (read: p-time).

No. GRH implies that isprime() is in P (by bounding the cost of a strong pseudoprime test); but we already knew that, thanks to AKS.

Re:Impact on crypto? (5, Informative)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382824)

This theorem is a theory of how prime numbers are distributed...

It's actually a little more complex than that.

Riemann was investigating the distribution of prime numbers. Along the way he devised (discovered?) the Zeta Function, which describes with considerable accuracy the distribution of prime numbers. While working with the Zeta Function, he discovered an interesting property: It appeared that all the non-trivial zeroes of the function had a real part of one-half. However, since this property of the function was not related to the prime-distribution work he was doing, he did not bother to prove this apparent property, which came to be known as the "Riemann Hypothesis" (presumably, once it is proven it will be known as the Riemann Theorem, or some such).

Thus, the Riemann Hypothesis is in fact tangential to (and possibly unrelated to) the distribution of prime numbers. Riemann's notes on the Zeta Function, regarding his work on prime distribution, are pretty explicit about this.

Poor Nash :( (2, Funny)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382654)

Poor Nash is either going to find a mistake in this guy's work or go insane trying to ...

Interesting ZDNet Error Message (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382668)

Interesting error message at the bottom of the ZDNet article referred to [com.com] in the submitted story...

500 Servlet Exception

javaxzservletzServletException: exception -- forward to module for page
type=2100 failed:
CNETNetworks Exception Chain START

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at implementation path=/common/presentation/ZDNET_en_US/setZdnetDefE nvzjsp
2) javaxzservletzjspzJspException: NextModuleTag caught MaceException:
CNETNetworks Exception Chain START

1) comzcnetnetworkszapizmacezMaceException: Error in module name=SetByline_News
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2) javaxzservletzjspzJspException: NextModuleTag caught MaceException:
CNETNetworks Exception Chain START

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at comzcauchozserverzhttpzQRequestDispatcherzforward( QRequestDispatcherzjava:106)
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at comzcnetnetworkszappzmacezMaceServletzdoGet(MaceSe rvletzjava:411)
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at comzcauchozserverzhttpzInvocationzservice(Invocati onzjava:312)
at comzcauchozserverzhttpzCacheInvocationzservice(Cac heInvocationzjava:135)
at comzcauchozserverzhttpzHttpRequestzhandleRequest(H ttpRequestzjava:244)
at comzcauchozserverzhttpzHttpRequestzhandleConnectio n(HttpRequestzjava:163)
at comzcauchozserverzTcpConnectionzrun(TcpConnectionz java:137)
at javazlangzThreadzrun(Threadzjava:534)

Check out Prime Obsession (1)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382670)

By John Derbyshire... It's a great read and covers it in detail.

Re:Check out Prime Obsession (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382807)

By John Derbyshire... It's a great read and covers it in detail.

Seconded. "Prime obsession" is a great book.

What are the consequences for cryptography? (3, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382676)

Does this affect prime based public key schemes at all? How does it affect them?

Re:What are the consequences for cryptography? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382793)

Nope, probably not.
Most mathematicians felt that the Riemann Hypothesis was true so that this view has been taken into consideration into mathematics for a long time. Perhaps if he developed some new methods for playing with numbers in the proof, but it doesn't seem like it to me.
There's a ton of math papers that begin with "Assume the extended riemann hypothesis...".

At least that's my guess.

Re:What are the consequences for cryptography? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382840)

I believe that if the Riemann hypothesis holds, then a certain factoring algorithm is in P. But this doesn't make the algorithm faster, it just means that we know it's polynomial time.

Apologies to the proof? (3, Funny)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382681)

I knew it was a hoax when he started discussing his Paley-Wiener space...

The media never learn? (3, Insightful)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382682)

Will the media keep publishing claims of extraordinary mathematical findings without checking the facts forever?

Just like this one over again:
Swedish Student Partly Solves 16th Hilbert Problem [slashdot.org]

That's what I like about /. If the article is wrong, there is always the comments there to solve it.

Re:The media never learn? (2, Insightful)

stigin (729188) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382706)

Uhm, because none of the media have the experts to check if claims like this are true. And there is no harm in publishing that a claim has been made.

de Branges' reputation with other mathematicians (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382693)

Although I hope de Branges has found a proof, I'm not too optimistic. It seems that de Branges has a reputation among mathematicians for going off half-cocked. He does have the Bieberbach proof under his belt, though, so you never know.

A Proof .... Maybe (4, Interesting)

BrownDwarf (615206) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382697)

It seems that the proof hasn't been reviewed yet. He may have it -- but lots of good folks have tried, without success. This from Science Daily: http://www.math.purdue.edu/~branges/ . While mathematicians ordinarily announce their work at formal conferences or in scientific journals, the spirited competition to prove the hypothesis - which carries a $1 million prize for whomever accomplishes it first - has encouraged de Branges to announce his work as soon as it was completed. "I invite other mathematicians to examine my efforts," said de Branges, who is the Edward C. Elliott Distinguished Professor of Mathematics in Purdue's School of Science. "While I will eventually submit my proof for formal publication, due to the circumstances I felt it necessary to post the work on the Internet immediately."

Already failed once! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382716)

His earlier attack on reimann hypothesis was disproven: http://www.aimath.org/WWN/rh/articles/html/40a/ [aimath.org]

Re:Already failed once! (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382751)

So if a guy fails you should never listen to him again?

It took Einstein many tries to arrive at the correct fomulation for general relativity. I guess according to you, he should have just given up after his first failure?

Nice Work (1)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382718)

This is very cool for me because I'm planning on going to Purdue next year for computer science/math =)

quick google search (2, Interesting)

cancerward (103910) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382723)

... shows [google.com] that he's been offering "proofs" since July 1989. I see from MathSciNet [ams.org] that he has 87 papers from 1958 to 1994, but isn't this a bit like the boy who cried wolf?

Re:quick google search (5, Insightful)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382810)

Not really. It means he's a prolific member of the community who is not afraid to take risks with his work. Consider an experimental scientist -- in an experiment, one that turns back negative results, or on that fails, still produces important data. Similarly, this is like "experimental mathematics." If he fails, then we'll know why he fails, how far he got doing things right and other things which can point us to the correct proof.

verification (0, Flamebait)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382737)

It is interesting that a mathematical proof such as this, which is an exercise in logic, can't yet be verified by typing it into a computer program to verify that all the steps make sense.

I thought I had seen this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382740)

I saw this last year. If you look in the header at the top of the even pages in the PDF of the proof, "Apology for the proof of the Riemann hypothesis", you will see that it is dated March 18, 2003.

Hm (5, Funny)

blitzoid (618964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382741)

I think I speak for all non-mathematicians when I say:

what?

Riemann hypothesis proof is useless (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382745)

There are no practical applications of knowing that the Riemann hypothesis is true.

Sorry but I dont agree that this is "the most important math problem"

Not to take away from the brilliant work of this guy, and I'm sure his work will have generated some good math on the way. But just knowing whether the Riemann hypothesis is true is not of much help (people have been assuming it to be true for a while).

Math problems that do have direct practical application:

fast N-body calculation
P=NP ?
Factorization.

Solving the above (especially the first two) will have immediate positive impact on society .. mechanical simulations will be easier, we'll have better material science, drug discovery and design will be easier and better, CPUs will get faster (due to efficiency in layout) .. Etc.

-Johan

Mathemetician Claims Proof Of Riemann Hypothesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382754)

Don't you mean Mathematician?

Seems not-unlikely to be wrong (4, Informative)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382760)

Sorry to burst the bubble, but some usenetting shows:

The same guy claimed [google.com] to have solved the same problem at least 4 years ago.
The guy has a reputation [google.com] for sometimes getting it wrong.

(Probably because he has published flawed proofs [google.com] of other well-known problems.)

He could be right, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Re:Seems not-unlikely to be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382791)

I think he is only posting this on the net to make sure that no-one posts the same proof ahead of him, thus taking the million dollar prise.

Re:Seems not-unlikely to be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382809)

Why the urgency? You do realize this problem has been around for 150 years?

RSA algorithm and the Riemann Hypothesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382765)

"The most important algorithm of cryptography, which is in use today, uses the factorization of primes as its basis. This algorithm called the RSA will be in jeopardy if method to find the distribution of the primes is devised. All the mathematicians now believe that a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis would lead to a great understanding of this distribution. This would then in turn put the whole system of Internet security in danger."

So basically, a valid proof of the hypothesis will give mathematicians an edge in finding methods to breaking encryption based on prime number algorithms.

The Problem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382788)

The problem is simple enough to understand, assuming you know some math basics. As most of you know, any function f(X) where f(Xo)=0 is said to have a zero at Xo. For functions of complex numbers f(z) where z=x+iy and x,y are real numbers, you obviously have the function taking on different values for every x and y, so the zeros can be anywhere on the x-y plane. For the zeta function, "trivial zeros" occur at the negative even integers (z=-2+i0,-4+i0,...) and also at points on the line x=1/2 (i.e 1/2 +iy for certain y).The Riemann Hypothesis says that all zeros that aren't negative even integers lie on this line.

Most of you have who have taken basic calculus courses have probably seen a simplified definition of the zeta function for real intergers greater than 1. when z=n, a natural number, the zeta function reduces to the infinite series Zeta(n)= SUM (k=1-->inf) 1/k^n

Damn Procrastination (1)

Highwayman (68808) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382792)

Dammit! I kept meaning to prove the Riemann hypothesis myself but keep putting it off for "just one more game" of UT2004.

Wow... (1)

T3kno (51315) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382801)

It's like reading a Knuth book :)

Pwned. (0)

i_am_syco (694486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382803)

Fermat, eat your heart out.

The Reimann Hypothesis (0, Redundant)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382804)

For those of you who don't know, a proof of the Reimann Hypothesis is THE HOLY GRAIL OF MATHEMATICS. It is like a room temperature superconductor for engineering, a quantum computer for computing, or a Theory of Everything for physics. There have been many false proofs, but considering that Fermat's Last Theorem was proved, this might be too.

So does this mean... (1)

jwcorder (776512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382814)

they figured out how to get more beers in a case? AH!...well shit....

I think that this is what they call... (1)

elid (672471) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382823)

...proof by obfuscation.

Slashdot rejected it when I submitted it weeks ago (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9382838)

I came up with this proof weeks ago aqnd submitted it, but Slashdot rejected it.
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