Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RH Day is just a few weeks away

I wonder if google will change their header to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the RIemann Hypothesis. One of the most (if not the most) important open problems in mathematics turns 150 next month.
On November 18th, mathematicians around the world (several, at least, and I suspect quite a few more) will turn out to talk to audiences local and global about this amazing problem. It is a strange and fascinating problem, taking a slew of completely different-looking forms, some of them relatively simple to state: (the number of primes up to n is relatively close to this simple function) or compact (the zeta function's non-trivial zeros have real part equal to 1/2) while other equivalent forms are, shall we say (even) less than transparent.
It has numerous consequences, so that theorems in number theory are often stated in the from "Unconditionally, this number is at most N, and if the Riemann Hypothesis is true, then it is at most M" (in which M is usually much smaller than N).
And of course, over the years, there has been progress, the proof of the Prime Number Theorem, the combinatorial proof of the same, bounds on what proportion of the roots can lie off the line 1/2+it. And even some claimed proofs, none of which have come close to being accepted by the mathematical community.

Anyway, it looks (for a mathematician, at least) as if this will be a fun birthday.
So, I'll sign this as.

Yours, hoping nobody solves the Riemann Hypothesis in the next few weeks,


Anonymous said...

Information about RH day is available at


Unknown said...

Information about RH Day is available at


BreadBox said...

Thanks for adding the link. I should have thought
to do so earlier.