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Probability and Number Theory Collide — in a Moment
Mathematicians are taking ideas developed to study random numbers and applying them to a broad range of categories.
Mathematical Trio Advances Centuries-Old Number Theory Problem
The work — the first-ever limit on how many whole numbers can be written as the sum of two cubed fractions — makes significant headway on “a recurring embarrassment for number theorists.”
Teenager Solves Stubborn Riddle About Prime Number Look-Alikes
In his senior year of high school, Daniel Larsen proved a key theorem about Carmichael numbers — strange entities that mimic the primes.
A Numerical Mystery From the 19th Century Finally Gets Solved
Two mathematicians have proven Patterson’s conjecture, which was designed to explain a strange pattern in sums involving prime numbers.
Mathematicians Crack a Simple but Stubborn Class of Equations
Ever since Archimedes, mathematicians have been fascinated by equations that involve a difference between squares. Now two mathematicians have proven how often these equations have solutions, concluding a decades-old quest.
A Question About a Rotating Line Helps Reveal What Makes Real Numbers Special
The Kakeya conjecture predicts how much room you need to point a line in every direction. In one number system after another — with one important exception — mathematicians have been proving it true.
How Can Infinitely Many Primes Be Infinitely Far Apart?
Mathematicians have been studying the distribution of prime numbers for thousands of years. Recent results about a curious kind of prime offer a new take on how spread out they can be.
How Do Mathematicians Know Their Proofs Are Correct?
What makes a proof stronger than a guess? What does evidence look like in the realm of mathematical abstraction? Hear the mathematician Melanie Matchett Wood explain how probability helps to guide number theorists toward certainty.