Having foolishly ventured out to Monash Uni last Tuesday to see the Evil Mathologre give a Lunchmaths talk, I found myself roped in to giving the next one. So, anyone who is around Monash next Tuesday and has nothing better to do is welcome to attend. Details below, and here.
Not Quite the Prime Number Theorem
The Prime Number Theorem is one of the real gems, telling us in a very precise way the probability that a natural number is prime. The theorem is also hard work to prove. However, with just a few factorials and a little factoring we can sort of, kind of, almost* prove the Prime Number Theorem.
In this talk we’ll go through some easy, high schoolish arguments that give some surprisingly precise information about what the prime numbers are doing.
* Not really.
6 Replies to “Marty Talk – Not Quite The Prime Number Theorem”
A bit of searching shows me that Rainforest Walk is somewhere in the Clayton campus, so not any of the other possibilities.
Ah, yes. Thanks, Tom. I forgot that Monash is now a multinational corporation. Iv’e updated the info.
I’m hoping to attend.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how to use “the definition of a prime number [(Prime number: A natural number that is greater than 1 and its only factors are 1 and itself.)] to explain why one is not a prime number”.
Any one interested in the historical back ground to the Riemann Hypothesis could do worse than read
Marcus Du Satuoy’s text “The Music of the Primes” IMO
It covers the major attempts at a solution over past 2 centuries with very little mathematics
a plug from the original publisher is attached
The music of the primes
That’s what I like in my mathematical popularisations: very little mathematics.
Another reference below. An excellent popularisation that is also heavy with (accessible) mathematics:
I unreservedly recommend any of Paul Nahin’s books.