Prime Time

Prime numbers are integers greater than 1 that just have factors of 1 and themselves.  Some examples are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and so forth.  Composite numbers are the ones in between, excluding 1.  (One is neither prime nor composite.)  Composites have more factors than just 1 and themselves.

Mathematicians, especially number theorists, love talking about prime numbers and looking for patterns in them.  One such mathematician, Bernhard Riemann, hypothesized that there is a hidden pattern to the way that prime numbers fall on the number line.  The hypothesis holds true for the first billion cases, but this does not stand as rigorous proof.  A proof has to show, without a doubt, that it is true for all cases.

You think that you can prove it?  If so, then you will be the next winner of $1 million, for the Riemann Hypothesis is one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millennium Prize Problems.  (4)


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