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Old 2006-11-17, 15:31   #1
mfgoode
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Lightbulb Future of Primes.


Marcus du Sautoy forecasts the future
18 November 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Marcus du Sautoy

The next 50 years hold the real prospect that we might finally reveal the secrets behind prime numbers. Primes, the indivisible numbers like 17 and 23, are the atoms of mathematics. Every other number is built by multiplying these numbers together.

Mathematicians have wrestled for 2000 years to understand how nature chose these enigmatic numbers. As you count higher and higher through the universe of numbers, it seems impossible to predict where you are going to find the next prime. They appear as wild as lottery numbers. Deeply frustrating for the pattern searcher.

In the past 150 years, though, we have gained new insights into these numbers. Scientists have picked up strange resonances between the primes and energy levels in heavy nuclei of elements such as uranium. These new connections provide the hope that the next generation of mathematicians will finally discover the hidden template to explain the distribution of these numbers.

Mally
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Old 2006-11-18, 00:12   #2
jasong
 
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There wouldn't be a whole heck of a lot of math DC projects if the problem were solved. Although, it would be very, VERY helpful to the Odd Perfect Number search. People would be looking for math projects, and that would be one of the few left.
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Old 2006-11-18, 20:28   #3
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I know that there are proofs that state that Odd perfect numbers must contain at least x factors. Can these proofs be turned around in to a program that can take the number of factors higher?

Willem
Probably betraying some more math innocence here.
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Old 2006-11-18, 23:43   #4
jasong
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemelink View Post
I know that there are proofs that state that Odd perfect numbers must contain at least x factors. Can these proofs be turned around in to a program that can take the number of factors higher?

Willem
Probably betraying some more math innocence here.
Try asking in the Official Odd Perfect Number Thread. (Sounds distinguished, doesn't it? ;)
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