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twin primes conjecture

A photograph of the mathematician James Maynard outside his home in Oxford, England.

A Number Theorist Who Solves the Hardest Easy Problems

July 1, 2020

In his rapid ascent to the top of his field, James Maynard has cut a path through simple-sounding questions about prime numbers that have stumped mathematicians for centuries.


The Map of Mathematics

February 13, 2020

Explore our surprisingly simple, absurdly ambitious and necessarily incomplete guide to the boundless mathematical universe.

Colored spheres arranged in pairs.
prime numbers

Big Question About Primes Proved in Small Number Systems

September 26, 2019

The twin primes conjecture is one of the most important and difficult questions in mathematics. Two mathematicians have solved a parallel version of the problem for small number systems.

Art for "Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect"
Quantized Academy

Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect

March 14, 2019

In mathematics, where proofs are everything, evidence is important too. But evidence is only as good as the model, and modeling can be dangerous business. So how much evidence is enough?

Yitang Zhang
Thinking Places

Yitang Zhang’s Santa Barbara Beach Walk

June 15, 2017

An obscure number theorist who became an overnight sensation with a major proof about the gaps between prime numbers now finds quiet inspiration walking along the Pacific Coast.

number theory

Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy

March 13, 2016

A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a long-standing assumption about how they behave.


After Prime Proof, an Unlikely Star Rises

April 2, 2015

Two years ago, Yitang Zhang was virtually unknown. Now his surprise solution to a major problem in number theory has catapulted him to mathematical stardom. Where does he go from here?


Prime Gap Grows After Decades-Long Lull

December 10, 2014

A year after tackling how close together prime number pairs can stay, mathematicians have now made the first major advance in 76 years in understanding how far apart primes can be.

number theory

Together and Alone, Closing the Prime Gap

November 19, 2013

Working on the centuries-old twin primes conjecture, two solitary researchers and a massive collaboration have made enormous advances over the last six months.