Thursday, February 6, 2014

Prime… Yes or No

Returning from their excursion into the addition of infinite series, to just plain ol' normal levels of incredibleness ;-) Numberphile is back with the AKS primality test (initials from the names of its three originators), which amazingly, is an algorithm discovered only in 2002, for testing whether or not any integer is a prime. There are some other similar algorithms, but as Wikipedia states, "AKS is the first primality-proving algorithm to be simultaneously general, polynomial, deterministic, and unconditional." And from Wolfram MathWorld this Paul Leyland quotation regarding the finding: "One reason for the excitement within the mathematical community is not only does this algorithm settle a long-standing problem, it also does so in a brilliantly simple manner. Everyone is now wondering what else has been similarly overlooked."
Anyway, watch and enjoy as James Grime explains further:

ADDENDUM:  just discovered that Grey Matters blog has also done a nice explanatory post on the Numberphile video here:

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