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05/14/2013

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Dave

"infinitely many pairs of prime numbers p,q where p-q is less than 70,000,000..." like what is an example of what you mean?

Marcus Arvan

Dave: I have no clue! I'm not a mathematician, and don't know a wit about number theory. But it's a very big deal in the math community. You might want to check out Peter Woit's post on it over at his blog "Not Even Wrong" (he's a mathematics professor at Columbia). He has a link to a lot of stories and discussions on it over there. There's also a post to a story on it over at NewAPPS.

anonymous grad student

Dave: the following are all examples: (3,13), (13, 27), (7, 41), (11, 257), (607, 1151), (5, 4729). Pairs of prime numbers where the difference between the two numbers is less than 70 million. The discovery is important because it brings us much closer to a proof of the twin prime conjecture, which says that there are infinitely many primes, p, where p+2 is also a prime. Zhang's proof shows that there are infinitely many primes, p, where p+n is also a prime, n<7million.

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