Cool Math: Riemann Hypothesis

I’m moving up about fifteen weight classes when I dabble in the Riemann Hypothesis (link is to the Riemann zeta function).  It’s really more a matter of what the problem represents, and my (perhaps) odd views on infinity, than it is about the zeta function itself or my ability to hack the math.  I won’t be the one solving it, that’s for sure!

This video gives you a neat look at the problem although it’s a bit brief on the setup:

I thought I’d comment on why I find RH interesting.

It tickles me to no end that at the foundation of some really profound mathematics–mathematics, that realm of certainty beyond anything the physical universe allows–we have an unsolved and possibly unsolvable problem.  That mystery and beauty could–and for now, in some ways, do–undergird the realm of the rational appeals to me in a highly iconoclastic way.  Anselm was right and Boso was wrong!  Conveniens is the more fundamental proof! (That’s a Cur Deus Homo joke.  Sorry)

There’s also some low-brow humor mixed in, Pratchett-style.  “Whoops, I guess everything we know about primes is wrong!” gives me a giggle.  I don’t think it will turn out that way, but the idea of it delights me.  Just like dying and finding out that the solar system really is geocentric would.

It’s also a really neat illustration of the difference between induction and deduction.  We’ve tested trillions of candidates and they all conform to the Riemann Hypothesis…but that’s not a proof!  Not in math anyway.  Maybe in one of those filthy natural sciences, but Never. In. Math!

Enjoy vid, and math on.


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