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Topic: Accessible problems
Replies: 5   Last Post: Apr 27, 1995 9:09 PM

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Ronald A Ward

Posts: 298
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Accessible problems
Posted: Apr 26, 1995 6:01 PM
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How about the question: Are there infinitely many twin-prime pairs?
e.g., 3,5 5,7 11,13 17,19 ... [primes that differ by exactly 2]
As I recall, when you look at a table of primes, the farther out
you go, you always seem to find another twin-prime pair, so some have
conjectured that there are infinitely many. On the other hand, the pairs
appear to become more and more scarce, so some have conjectured that
eventually the pairs will "peter out."
I have checked with two number theorists who say that, as of
1994, this was still an unanswered question, so it probably still is!

Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225

On Tue, 25 Apr 1995, Ed Wall wrote:

> I was reviewing a video of the Fermat Fest held to celebrate Andrew Wyles (sp?)
> solution of Fermat's Last Theorem to see if it was reasonable for my Algebra
> class to view (I've been doing a little with Diophantine problems so it
> probably is). Andrew was talking about when he was ten of trying it for the
> first time. I can remember when I 'tried' also (with less result :) ) and
> probably others can remember also. It was an accessible problem and definitely
> a challenge.
> Some of the panel members were talking about this accessibility and the fact
> that some major mathematics was being done later in one's career because of
> the need to gain more background. I began wondering what were the new
> accessible challenges for our 'teens'. Are there any more accessible, easily
> stated, unproven mathematical statements or are those days over?
> Ed Wall

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