Sir Michael Atiyah is one of the world’s most renowned mathematicians and he claims that he solved the Riemann hypothesis. During a lecture which took place on Monday he showed how to solve the 160-year-old problem and if his solution is confirmed, he will receive a check for one million United States dollars.
This gentleman managed to obtain two of the biggest prized in the field of mathematics, the Abel Prize and the Fields Medal. On Monday, he took the stage at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany in order to showcase his work. In order to solve this old conundrum, you apparently have to discover a way which will allow you to predict the occurrence of every prime number.
This is extremely difficult to discover as prime numbers are notoriously random distributed, as they have been regarded as such since their discovery. Other mathematicians are required to check Atiyah’s solution and the next step would be to publish the work. After these two steps are completed, then the solution becomes fully accepted. Then, he can go ahead and claim the prize money from the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge.
The CMI has seven unsolved ‘Millennium Prizes’ and the Riemann hypothesis is one of them. Each of them is worth one million dollars to the person who manages to solve it. The one in question was posited by Bernhard Riemann in 1859 and it was his way of attempting to answer an ancient question about prime numbers.
This hypothesis says that the way that prime numbers are distributed isn’t so random after all. Instead, they may follow a pattern which can be described by using the Riemann zeta function equation. There have been over 10,000,000,000,000 prime numbers checked and so far they are consistent with the equation.