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Twin Prime Conjecture July 29, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Humor, Mathematics.

You find the funniest things on the web…  The other night I found this recording while snooping around in the in the on-line NPR archives.  It’s a Nova scienceNOW produced song called “The Twin Prime Conjecture” with music by Rob Morsberger.  Well, anyway, I have been cracking up ever since I heard it and it is by far one of the geekiest things out there.  Have a listen

A prime number is a positive whole number which is only divisible by itself and one.  So, what is the twin prime conjecture?  “There are infinitely many primes p such that p + 2 is also prime.” (Quoted from Wikipedia)  In other words, the sets like (3,5) (11,13) (17,19) … continue to happen with infinitely large prime numbers.  This conjecture may have been around from as early as Euclid’s time (300 BCE).  What made such big news last year was that Goldston, Yildirim, and Pintz published papers proving that there will always be pairs of primes a bound distance apart.  This is a big step in the direction of proving the twin prime conjecture.  Read some of Goldston’s papers here

What I have found really cool about a bunch of news sites lately is that they are set up for discussions.  PBS is no exception.  They have a discussion of twin primes and Goldston has even chimed in.

In addition to this, there are a TON of fabulous podcasts on the NPR Health and Science site.  I highly recommend it for causal and serious nerds alike.  

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