UNH professor solves ancient mathematics riddle
Who knows whether a mathematical breakthrough would equal box-office millions, but among those who crunch numbers for a career, Yitang Zhang has gone from relatively obscure to rock star status in four weeks, after word spread that he had taken a step toward solving one of the world's oldest mathematical problems.
Zhang said mathematicians like himself consider prime numbers to be the basis of all mathematics, similar to the periodic table in chemistry.
"The prime numbers are, by definition, very simple. But there are very deep mysteries about them, and been very difficult to prove this result," said Zhang, a lecturer in the department of mathematics for almost a decade.
"The jump from 2 to 70 million is nothing compared to the jump from 70 million to infinity," states an article in the journal Nature.
Zhang said had been thinking about the twin prime conjecture for three years with no success. He said the proof came to him while he was visiting a friend in Colorado on vacation.
"The idea is based on an accumulation of my thinking for several years," said Zhang. "I had tried various methods. To answer why others could not get it and I could, I may say that I had been working harder and never gave up."
After receiving word his paper had been accepted, Zhang was invited to give a lecture on his work at Harvard University.
Zhang said that, in the days since, he has received dozens of emails and requests to talk about his breakthrough. He said his new 'celebrity' status has been a bit "unnerving."
"There is really only interest from people in this field," said Zhang.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pinkerton prepares for headmaster to live on campus - 0
- Three named to Manchester school posts - 0
- Derry Early Education Program to relocate - 0
- Manchester panel OKs new academic standards, despite Common Core criticism - 2
- Nashua school staff see tests as key to tracking student growth - 0
- Two Manchester schools off 'priority' list - 0
- Nashua officials seek advice on issue of student cellphone searches vs. privacy - 9
- Manchester school district makes bid to run Job Corps center - 2
- NEASC votes to reaccredit Central High - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Meriam Ibrahim, Sudanese family arriving in Manchester tonight - 1
- Pembroke couple recovering from injuries in Dixville ATV crash - 0
- Patriots Notebook: Physical Browner brings it - 0
- Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse - 5
- City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us - 2
- Punch line: The NFL blows it - 1
- George Will: A conservative internationalism - 0
- Sox Beat: Red Sox haven't made a deal for Lester — yet - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: The Democrats' cynical impeachment play - 0
Canobie Lake Park shuts down popular ride
Supporters are now 'Abby Strong'
Dover man sought in Rochester shooting
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us