After Sir Michael Atiyah’s presentation of a claimed proof of the Riemann Hypothesis earlier this week at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, we’ve shared some of the immediate discussion in the aftermath, and now here’s a round-up of what we’ve learned.
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Today the internet has been getting excited about Sir Michael Atiyah’s claimed proof of the Riemann Hypothesis, which he presented at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum this morning. We’ve collected all the relevant links and tweets to help you make sense of what’s going down in critical-line-town.
This week, Katie and Paul are blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.
This year at the HLF there are multiple sessions in the program concerning the Riemann Hypothesis, including a talk from one of the laureates, and one of the young-researcher-led workshop sessions. But what exactly is the Riemann Hypothesis, and what is its place in mathematics?
Is Sir Michael Atiyah giving lecture on Monday Sept. 25 @ #HLF18? Yes.
Will he presenenting a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis? Yes, that is what his abstract says. pic.twitter.com/v1dJhUUUEk
— Heidelberg Laureate Forum (@HLForum) September 20, 2018
The internet is buzzing with the news: algebraic topologist and geometer Sir Michael Atiyah has announced that at his talk next Monday at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, he will deliver a simple new proof of the long-standing Riemann Hypothesis. The news comes as a surprise to many, considering that since the result has been unproven since its conjecture in 1859, if a proof does exist it will likely be far from simple.
Here are a few of the stories that we didn’t get round to covering in depth this month.
Turing’s Sunflowers Project – results
Manchester Science Festival’s mass-participation maths/gardening project, Turing’s Sunflowers, ran in 2012 and invited members of the public to grow their own sunflowers, and then photograph or bring in the seed heads so a group of mathematicians could study them. The aim was to determine whether Fibonacci numbers occur in the seed spirals – this has previously been observed, but no large-scale study like this has ever been undertaken. This carries on the work Alan Turing did before he died.
The results of the research are now published – a paper has been published in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal, and the findings indicate that while Fibonacci numbers do often occur, other types of numbers also crop up, including Lucas numbers and other similarly defined number sequences.
Who could have guessed that this non-story about somebody being out of his depth and quite obviously wrong would get so out of hand? Here’s an update on The Continuing Tale Of The Man Whose Claims Couldn’t Be Verified.
Here’s a tweet from Alex Bellos this morning:
BBC claims Nigerian solves Riemann Hypothesis, most famous problem in maths. Surely a hoax! https://t.co/Wkltfkh2P3 https://t.co/UHGy9W8shC
— Alex Bellos (@alexbellos) November 17, 2015
He’s right to be surprised – as reported in Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:
The 156-year old Riemann Hypothesis, one of the most important problems in Mathematics, has been successfully resolved by Nigeria Scholar, Dr. Opeyemi Enoch.
Suspicion levels are raised, as the paper also reports:
Three of the [Clay Millenium Prize] problems had been solved and the prizes given to the winners. This makes it the fourth to be solved of all the seven problems.
Unless we missed something, that’s not massively true – the only Millennium Prize problem solved so far is the Poincaré conjecture.