typodupeerror

## Claimed Proof of Riemann Hypothesis345

An anonymous reader writes "Xian-Jin Li claims to have proven the Riemann hypothesis in this preprint on the arXiv." We've mentioned recent advances in the search for a proof but if true, I'm told this is important stuff. Me, I use math to write dirty words on my calculator.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

## Claimed Proof of Riemann Hypothesis

• #### Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:38AM (#24031621) Homepage

Me, I use math to write dirty words on my calculator.

Such as 80085?

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:39AM (#24031671)

5318008

• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

in portuguese, 50135.50738 (nice breasts).
• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:44AM (#24031763)
No, you mean 5318008 or for the slashdot crowd, 55378008
• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:56AM (#24031985)

No for the slashdot crowd it would be: 58008uÉÉ . Because obviously we all have calculators that support unicode text entry.

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:57AM (#24032019)

That would've been a lot cooler if Slashdot supported Unicode.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

äOEæ--¥é..."ããï¼ï¼

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:34AM (#24032637) Homepage

At that point, isn't it safe to assume that our calculators can just draw a pair of boobs in 2-bit greyscale?

And that we've written apps that simulate what we assume bouncing would look like given our collective lack of experience outside of the pornographic realm?

• #### Re: (Score:2, Funny)

I had proof of concept Porn on my TI-89 in 2000.

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @07:56PM (#24038631)

Does your project have donation page?
• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @12:23PM (#24033421) Homepage

You haven't grafted a color TFT screen to your calculator yet?

Who let these guys in?

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:12PM (#24034159)

You just gave me the best idea for an iPhone app:

Boobies that bounce according to how the phone is bouncing....

• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:16PM (#24035013)
• #### Re:Dirty Words (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:59AM (#24032037) Journal

On linux, wouldn't it be ...

host:>man 80085

???

• #### Re: (Score:2, Funny)

Newbie...

correct spelling is "5318008" and you have to look at the calculator "umop apisdn"

Mod me down, I dare you!!!

• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

Nah, if you really want a dirty word, try 71077345...

37047734
• #### Yeah but did they point this out? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:39AM (#24031645) Journal
By using Fourier analysis on number fields, we prove in this paper E. Bombieri's refinement of A. Weil's positivity condition, which implies the Riemann hypothesis for the Riemann zeta function in the spirit of A. Connes' approach to the Riemann hypothesis. Weather permitting of course. (Just looking on the positivity side)
• #### Re:Yeah but did they point this out? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:18AM (#24032393)

By using Fourier analysis on number fields, we prove in this paper E. Bombieri's refinement of A. Weil's positivity condition, which implies the Riemann hypothesis for the Riemann zeta function in the spirit of A. Connes' approach to the Riemann hypothesis.

Weather permitting of course. (Just looking on the positivity side)

I thought you were randomly babbling, but then I RTFA and realized you were just quoting it...

• #### Re:Yeah but did they point this out? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @12:01PM (#24033039) Homepage
Wait... both of you RTFA?

We have a new /. record!
• #### Re:Yeah but did they point this out? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @12:39PM (#24033651) Homepage

Not so fast. I read it -2 times.

• #### Tried to RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:39AM (#24031657) Homepage

Man, where's Charles Eppes when you need something explained to you in layman's terms?

• #### Re:Tried to RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:00AM (#24032073)
Ummm...I think that WAS layman's terms. For you math geeks, try being a history major and looking at all that. It just looks like a cat walked on the keyboard to me...
• #### Re:Tried to RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:21AM (#24032439) Journal

Ummm...I think that WAS layman's terms. For you math geeks, try being a history major and looking at all that. It just looks like a cat walked on the keyboard to me...

Are you reading slashdot as some kind of anthropological study?

• #### Re:Tried to RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:17AM (#24032369) Homepage Journal
The Riemann zeta function is \zeta(s) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{s}} [written for LaTeX], or "the sum of 1/(n^s) as n goes from 0 to infinity (increasing by 1 repeatedly)" [in more human-readable form].

Riemann was interested in the zeros to this function, where s is a complex number. He conjectured that all zeros (aside from those of the form s = -2c, where c is a positive integer) would have to be of the form (1/2) + ki, where k is a constant and i is the square root of -1.

This paper is saying that they've found a way to verify this intuition by patching a hole in a previous attempt.

Assuming that everything is correct (a big assumption), this would finally solve a long-standing problem (dating back to 1859).

Details of the actual solution are a bit heavy. Those actually interested in this sort of number theory might want to start here [amazon.com].
• #### typo (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:24AM (#24032481) Journal

The Riemann zeta function is \zeta(s) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{s}} [written for LaTeX], or "the sum of 1/(n^s) as n goes from 0 to infinity (increasing by 1 repeatedly)" [in more human-readable form].

You have a slight typo. Should be: "... as n goes from 1 to infinity ..."

• #### Re:typo (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:47PM (#24034641) Journal

The Riemann zeta function is \zeta(s) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{s}} [written for LaTeX], or "the sum of 1/(n^s) as n goes from 0 to infinity (increasing by 1 repeatedly)" [in more human-readable form].

You have a slight typo. Should be: "... as n goes from 1 to infinity ..."

You have a slight typo. It should be: "You have a slight typo. It should be: ..."

• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

Okay...I would ask WHY this is important, but someone is ponying up a million bucks for the solution. THAT tells me this is important. I'm not sure if I care why...
• #### Re:Tried to RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:00PM (#24034827)

It's important because the zeros of the zeta function tell you how the prime numbers are distributed and prime numbers are to number theory as elements are to chemistry, everything you could care about is built out of them. The RH is also related to host of other more esoteric, but no less important conjectures; the truth of a large part of modern mathematics relies on knowing if the RH is true or false.

Although it's unlikely to impact the storage capacity of a flash drive any time soon the zeta function shows up in high energy physics and thus does have real world consequences.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Here's another easy-to-grasp one: public key encryption (think: credit card purchases online) is dependent upon the use of large primes. Large primes are currently not the easiest/fastest to find - what if you knew better where to look for them?
• #### Or, in layman's terms... (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:57PM (#24034787)

I just finally found a simple explanation of complex numbers, and just heard of this Riemann Hypothesis, so I may be way off, but let me try to put what (I think) I've figured out so far in layman's terms for the rest of the lost souls:

Riemann was interested in the zeros to this function, where s is a complex number. He conjectured that all zeros (aside from those of the form s = -2c, where c is a positive integer) would have to be of the form (1/2) + ki, where k is a constant and i is the square root of -1.

Basically, 10 trillian calculations have been done involving certain complex numbers, which all show a clear pattern: if you get an answer of 0, the real part of the number given to the function always seems to be 0.5. As yet, no one has proven this, and so, presumably, no one truly understands why that's the case yet. Also, presumably, when we do understand it, we'll have forward (either in a a step or a leap) in our ability to use complex numbers (and the multi-dimensional calculations they represent.

• #### Numb3rs (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:28AM (#24032541)
Charles Eppes: Imagine you have an infinite number of plot holes, and you want to test how they compare to imaginary numbers. The Riemann Hypothesis states that I can use the zeros in this formula to predict how bullets will bounce off of concrete to a degree of statistical accuracy that it will actually give me the social security number of the guilty shooter.
• #### Re:Numb3rs (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:47PM (#24034643) Homepage

Dude, you owe me a monitor.

Note to self: Do not drink coke while reading /.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

It's like 50 football fields laid in line from here to Riemann.
Rieman sounds like a place in Germany.

• #### Re:$1,000,000 prize to be collected then if true (Score:5, Informative) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:54AM (#24031953) Homepage Good explanation here too: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1960.html [irregularwebcomic.net] • #### Re: (Score:2) That is probably the best explanation I've seen, thanks! And it makes use of LEGO, another plus! • #### Re: (Score:2) http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1960.html Great! Now how am I supposed to get any work done. • #### Tough problems (Score:4, Interesting) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:55AM (#24031975) Homepage Part of the reason these problems are so tough because to solve them, you have to understand what the problem is first. I studied the Riemann hypothesis in college for a good week and I'm still not sure where you might begin solving it. Like the Navier-Stokes equations (another big problem with a big prize) solving it will probably require the invention of some new mathematics. Its not simply a matter of dividing by 3 and carrying the 2. I don't know about you but I haven't the slightest idea about how to go about inventing new math. That's the realm of Newton and Einstein, and few others. New math is the only way to go about solving some of these problems. • #### Re: (Score:3) New math is the only way to go about solving some of these problems. You mean like this? [aol.com] • #### Re:Tough problems (Score:5, Funny) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:39AM (#24032717) Homepage ...solving it will probably require the invention of some new mathematics. Its not simply a matter of dividing by 3 and carrying the 2. If you're carrying numbers when dividing, I guess you are inventing new math :-) • #### Re: (Score:3, Funny) by jd (1658) It's easier to have just one heavy maths function and one trivial maths function than two heavy maths functions, so division is easiest implemented as multiplication with the inverse of one of the two numbers, inverses being relatively trivial in exponential notation. As only computers operate this way, the grandparent poster is obviously an artificial intelligence. • #### Re:$1,000,000 prize to be collected then if true (Score:4, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:03AM (#24032131)

The Riemann hypothesis is considered the most important unsolved problem in math. But, considering the source here (random paper on ArXiv by complete unknown), there's no real reason to believe this paper is correct. The number of incorrect proofs to major mathematics problems every year is staggering.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

John Nash in "Beautiful Mind" tries to prove this one too.

One of the things I remember from the book is that he and his wife had a running joke that all babies know the solution to this problem and then forget it when they learn to talk. Maybe Xian-Jin Li had a flashback.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Ahh - here's where it came from:

Paul Erdos once said all babies (he used to call them epsilons, because babies are really small!) remember the solution for Riemann Hypothesis. The only problem though is that they tend to forget everything once they reach the age of six month.

Found that here [wordpress.com]

• #### Re: (Score:2)

He gets a million because a lot of modern mathematics assumes it is true but no-one can (so far) prove it ....

It he is correct a lot of mathematicians breathe a huge sigh of relief

If someone proves it is false then mathematics collectively panics and a lot of proofs will have to be re-written ...

• #### So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:47AM (#24031815)
arXiv has become the repository for junk that couldn't pass peer review. Wake me up when we see a published journal article.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Also, the proof of something that complicated is likely so complicated that only the very best minds would even be able to prove that the proof was wrong.

• #### Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:14AM (#24032335)

I think you misunderstand the scope and purpose of arXiv. arXiv is a repository for *preprints*.

• #### Re:not so fast (Score:4, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @11:54AM (#24032931)

They sent you your checks for cases where you are equal to 0.

Someone beat you to the "1" part.

• #### Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

Indeed. Among some mathematicians it is a pleasant diversion to take bets on which of the major unsolved (or unprovable) problems has the most solutions appear on the arXiv this week.
• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

That's true, but most of them are obvious drivel. I have looked through this one, and it is clearly a real attempt by a genuine mathematician who understands the relevant background. I'd still bet on it being wrong, but not stupidly wrong.
• #### Dolly Parton (Score:2)

Dolly Parton was 69 lbs over weight. The doctor said that's 222 much! You need to lose 51 x 8 days. That left her:

6922251x8=55378008

• #### Oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:56AM (#24031983)
• #### Apology for the Re (Score:2)

Ok, so many have tried, all have failed.

It may take a decade to test the assertions that this so called proof attempts to demonstrate.

Perhaps we could give the guy a consolation prize, wait for the work to be "proven" wrong and then off course, issue an Apology:

http://www.math.purdue.edu/~branges/apology.pdf [purdue.edu] :-)

-Hack

PS: Does anyone find it STRANGE that the guy who can solve this problem has issues finding a job?

WTF?

• #### Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

Not really, the kind of person who would solve a problem of this nature is probably going to be the Andrew Wiles reclusive genius type - a lot like the Russian gent whose name escapes me who solved the Poincare Conjecture. Thus he's not necessarily going to be too keen to teach/lecture/supervise and so would possibly not be too attractive to prospective employers.

I doubt too many Maths faculties in the world have people working full-time on the Riemann Hypotheses.

Of course I echo your sentiments that
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Interestingly, DeBranges was Xian-Jin Li's advisor:

hEll

• #### 53188008? (Score:2)

That reminds [explosm.net] me.

This guys advisor, according to the Math Genealogy Project, is Louis deBranges. DeBranges also claimed to have proven this a few years back, but his proof was not accepted (for reasons unknown to me). The $1M might still be safe. • #### You mean that... (Score:2) Simple Simon actually met a Riemann, after all?! I thought that was just a hypothesis! • #### The REAL importance is Primes (Score:5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @12:13PM (#24033239) Section two of the wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riemann_hypothesis) is the great importance here. If indeed there is a proof of Riemann's Hypothesis, then there is a similar proof of the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis, which is in turn a big step in finding the exact distribution of prime numbers. Finding the distribution of prime numbers has epic consequences, like breaking most encryption, for starters. • #### Re:The REAL importance is Primes (Score:5, Informative) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @04:26PM (#24036561) The Riemann Hypothesis and RSA encryption both have to do with prime numbers, but the relationship between the two pretty much ends there. To break RSA you need to know how to factor large numbers quickly. RH, on the other hand, pretains to the distribution of prime numbers. It's pretty unlikely that a proof would make computers any faster at factorizing. So this begs the question that a lot of people have been asking on this thread: why should you care? There tongue-in-cheek answer is that a solution is worth$1,000,000. While that response may suffice for non-mathematicians, mathematicians would have another, more important reason to celebrate. RH and its generalization, the Grand Riemann Hypothesis, have an absolutely enormous number of profound impliations in number theory, and it is difficult to overstate how critical a proof of either would be. (The implications are too technical to write about here, but you can read about them in most good survey books on analytic number theory; for example, see section 5.8 of Iwaniec & Kowalski [amazon.com]). A successful proof probably won't affect your life in any meaningful way (unless you work with analytic number theory for a living), but it would be monumental in the world of math - indeed, this is precisely why there's a reward for solving it. If that's not enough for you, just remember that many mathematicians are motivated not by fame or money but by the beauty and elegance of mathematics, and any proof of RH would establish a truly beautiful and amazing result.

Of course, there's also the question: is Li's proof correct? I certainily don't know, and I doubt anyone will for quite some time, but there's an interesting story. Li's Ph.D. adviser was Louis de Branges [nodak.edu] who, as noted on this very website [slashdot.org], claimed to prove RH in 2004. His proof has not been accepted by the mathematical community and is widely considered to be incorrect, in large part because the method he wclaims to use was shown, in a 2000 paper [arxiv.org] co-authored by none other than Xian-Jin Li, to have holes in it.
• #### DOOOOOMED!!!!!!! (Score:2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward

I can't believe they are brazenly going forward with research into this subject without knowing if it could possibly lead to the creation of a black hole that will swallow the earth.

Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. -- Russell

Working...