# Mathematician Claims Proof of Riemann Hypothesis

#### timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the peer-review-pending dept.

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."*

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382541)

## WOW NUMBER LINES (1)

## Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382563)

## first (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382542)

## Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382708)

it's

NOT!

hahahahha you are so LAME.

--CSLib Menace

(temporarily unbanned)

## Apology (5, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382552)

"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 9 years ago | (#9382582)

## Re:Apology (5, Funny)

## Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382613)

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 9 years ago | (#9382813)

## Re:WTF? Mods? (5, Funny)

## thefinite (563510) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382614)

## Re:Apology (-1, Redundant)

## Shaklee39 (694496) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382616)

## Re:Apology (4, Informative)

## ssssmemyself (709098) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382635)

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 9 years ago | (#9382560)

## Re:Good job (1)

## Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382643)

most people here on /., as representatives of the intelligent future of sentient lifeGOD HELP US

## Re:Good job (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382686)

spell'mathematician'.Or at least the submitter couldn't.

## Re:Good job (3, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382691)

## Re:Good job (5, Insightful)

## nametaken (610866) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382707)

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382565)

## Gotta prove 'em all (5, Funny)

## foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382570)

Riemann-chu, I prove you! Then bust out the paper.

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

## TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382640)

Introducing - (

Cheesy Background Music)The Theorem CCG - Gotta Prove 'Em AllMy Riemann beats your Trans-Zeta !## Re:Gotta prove 'em all (1)

## frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382689)

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 9 years ago | (#9382825)

## Re:Gotta prove 'em all (1)

## per11 (650595) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382764)

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382574)

## Nope! Nice try (5, Funny)

## ajboyle (547708) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382576)

## Proof of theory (-1, Troll)

## TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382578)

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 9 years ago | (#9382615)

## Re:Proof of theory (4, Insightful)

## k98sven (324383) | more than 9 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

neverin it for the money.Wonder what he'll do with the money?Seems like he wants to restore the old family castle:

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 9 years ago | (#9382698)

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 9 years ago | (#9382702)

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 9 years ago | (#9382753)

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 9 years ago | (#9382796)

## Re:Proof of theory (1)

## BennyProfane (171159) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382836)

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 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382679)

## More like the Hymen hypothesis (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382586)

## This is great for academia (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382587)

## He is very brave (2, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382594)

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 9 years ago | (#9382638)

1. A formal justification or defense.

2. An explanation or excuse.

## idiot (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382657)

## Re:He is very brave (1)

## frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382595)

## Hilbert Turns in his Grave? (5, Interesting)

## kaalamaadan (639250) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382598)

## But you're interested, right? (1)

## Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382629)

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

## Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382699)

## Re:I'm in trouble (1)

## Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382648)

## The Answer is easy (1)

## Psymunn (778581) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382750)

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 9 years ago | (#9382599)

## Re:I submitted this story this morning (1)

## Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382812)

## Is it... (5, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382602)

## Impact on crypto? (4, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382624)

## There is no impact on crypto (4, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382664)

## Re:Impact on crypto? (1)

## NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382709)

## Re:Impact on crypto? (4, Informative)

## mdrejhon (203654) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382714)

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 9 years ago | (#9382738)

## Re:Impact on crypto? (3, Informative)

## Mahrtian (238199) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382787)

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 9 years ago | (#9382683)

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 9 years ago | (#9382756)

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 9 years ago | (#9382799)

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 9 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 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382654)

## Interesting ZDNet Error Message (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382668)

## Check out Prime Obsession (1)

## AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382670)

## Re:Check out Prime Obsession (1)

## Tet (2721) | more than 9 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 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382793)

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 9 years ago | (#9382840)

## Apologies to the proof? (3, Funny)

## ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382681)

## The media never learn? (3, Insightful)

## TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 9 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 9 years ago | (#9382706)

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382693)

doeshave the Bieberbach proof under his belt, though, so you never know.## A Proof .... Maybe (4, Interesting)

## BrownDwarf (615206) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382697)

## Already failed once! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382716)

## Re:Already failed once! (4, Insightful)

## pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382751)

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 9 years ago | (#9382718)

## quick google search (2, Interesting)

## cancerward (103910) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382723)

## Re:quick google search (5, Insightful)

## Lane.exe (672783) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382810)

## verification (0, Flamebait)

## kylemonger (686302) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382737)

## I thought I had seen this before (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382740)

## Hm (5, Funny)

## blitzoid (618964) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382741)

what?

## Riemann hypothesis proof is useless (2, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382745)

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

-Johan

## Mathemetician Claims Proof Of Riemann Hypothesis (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382754)

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

## k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382760)

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 9 years ago | (#9382791)

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382809)

## RSA algorithm and the Riemann Hypothesis (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382765)

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 9 years ago | (#9382788)

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 9 years ago | (#9382792)

## Wow... (1)

## T3kno (51315) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382801)

## Pwned. (0)

## i_am_syco (694486) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382803)

## The Reimann Hypothesis (0, Redundant)

## Silverlancer (786390) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382804)

## So does this mean... (1)

## jwcorder (776512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382814)

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

## elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#9382823)

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

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9382838)