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Why proving the Riemann hypothesis matters


A photograph of the Greek letter pi, created as a large stone mosaic embedded in the ground.
pi in mosaic, Berlin/Holger Motzkau
Prime numbers are the “building blocks for larger numbers”:

The Riemann hypothesis is a statement about a mathematical curiosity known as the Riemann zeta function. That function is closely entwined with prime numbers — whole numbers that are evenly divisible only by 1 and themselves. Prime numbers are mysterious: They are scattered in an inscrutable pattern across the number line, making it difficult to predict where each prime number will fall (SN Online: 4/2/08).

But if the Riemann zeta function meets a certain condition, Riemann realized, it would reveal secrets of the prime numbers, such as how many primes exist below a given number. That required condition is the Riemann hypothesis. It conjectures that certain zeros of the function — the points where the function’s value equals zero — all lie along a particular line when plotted (SN: 9/27/08, p. 14). If the hypothesis is confirmed, it could help expose a method to the primes’ madness.Emily Conover, “Here’s why we care about attempts to prove the Riemann hypothesis” at Science News

See also: Prime numbers are not “nearly as scattershot” as previously thought

Tom @2: Part of the philosophy of mathematics should ask whether all these patterns we find in math could have been different? Most people agree that we discover rather than invent math. But if the Creator created all things, could mathematics have been different, and if not, how can we credit the Creator with all those wonderful and mysterious patterns and relationships we find? We can certainly attribute their applicability within creation to the Creator, but the patterns themselves? How could they have been different, even conceptually? Perhaps we need Plato's forms here? Just thinking out loud... Fasteddious
Tom Robbins @ 2 A beautiful view of the world, from not only the intellect but also the heart. Too bad this combination is so rare in our present society. doubter
For those who want to learn even more about the Zeta function. PaV
This is really interesting. Thanks for posting it here. PaoloV
For those who want to learn just a little bit more. PaV
I see where it relates to ID - in that everything, even prime numbers, have laws governing them, that math and data are primary. There is one thing I believe deeply and it is always intertwined with my faith. That MIND is primary, Matter, space-time, and energy are secondary. We were quite literally, in ways we cannot understand spoke or thought into existence. In so many ways, Biology, the reality of near death experiences, even in people blind from birth, quantum mechanics, DNA which contains immaterial information of astounding complexity, all are trying to tell us this...I believe... so even math, is not invented by man, but a immaterial basis for it all. There is actually one popular quantum gravity theories, that has finally included consciousness as a unit of choice, along with the fibonacci sequence - its called the emergence theory - I think simulation theories, higher dimensional theories like the Holographic principle, are all coming from the fact we are a creation in the mind of God - I like to think of it as a 4-D, 3D + T, work of art, that include free will, by God. And love indeed holds it all together, just love on a level we cannot imagine here in this world. Tom Robbins
Fascinating stuff! I can't see what it has to do with ID but really, really interesting. JVL

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