1
vote
4answers
156 views

Why didn't Fermat provide proofs of his theorems?

Apparently Fermat stated but didn't provide proofs of various theorems named after him, including Fermat's little theorem, Fermat's theorem on sums of two squares, Fertmat's polygonal number theorem, ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Calculation involving $\int_2^x \frac{dx}{\log x}$

Background (skip to the gray if you prefer). In Legendre's 1798 work on number theory he conjectured that $\pi(x)\sim \frac{x}{\log x - A}$ in which he proposed that $A = 1.08366.$ Gauss disputed the ...
30
votes
2answers
6k views

Yitang Zhang: Prime Gaps

Has anybody read Yitang Zhang's paper on prime gaps? Wired reports "$70$ million" at most, but I was wondering if the number was actually more specific. *EDIT*$^1$: Are there any experts here who ...
3
votes
2answers
901 views

Can somebody simply explain Wilson's theorem (for a 13 year old)

I am Rohan Kapur. This is my first time posting on the Mathematics site, although I am quite active on StackOverflow, the programming site. I am doing a Islamic Maths assignment at the moment for ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do we consider prime numbers important, and what are their applications other than number theory in pure math?

Why do we consider prime numbers important, and what are their applications other than number theory in pure math? I know that Number theory is devoted to studying prime numbers, but there must be ...
31
votes
4answers
1k views

Could G. H. Hardy make a product of two primes so big he couldn't find out which?

This question of course began as a slightly irreverent play on the riddle, "Can God make a stone so big He can't lift it?" Then I wondered about the answer. Is it possible to exhibit a number that is ...
21
votes
2answers
878 views

Did H. Lebesgue claim “1 is prime” in 1899? Source?

John Derbyshire, in his text "Prime obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the greatest unsolved problem in mathematics" states that The last mathematician of any importance who did [consider the number ...
3
votes
2answers
466 views

When was the last prime number discovered? [closed]

By last, I mean the most recently discovered prime number. What was the length of time between the discovery of the last two prime numbers?