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K-State Today

April 26, 2016

Mathematics Colloquium Lecture April 26

By Reta McDermott

Daniel Goldston, San Jose State University, will present "Bounded Gaps Between Primes: Not As Hard to Prove As We Thought" as part of the Mathematics Department Colloquium Lecture series at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in 102 Cardwell Hall.

In this talk Goldston will describe the ideas that led to the recent work of Maynard and Tao in 2014 proving there are bounded gaps between primes, a result first proved by Zhang in 2013 using significantly more difficult methods. Thanks to the Polymath 8B project we now know that there are infinitely many pairs of primes that differ from each other by some number which is less than or equal to 246. It came as quite a surprise to some us "experts" that such fine-detailed structure of the primes could be detected at all, let alone by standard methods over 50 years old. These methods however fall short and can not prove the twin prime conjecture, or at least that is what us "experts" are now saying.

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