
Re: Goldbach conjecture
Posted:
Oct 30, 1997 10:41 PM


In article <3458CA74.900@math.okstate.edu>, David Ullrich <ullrich@math.okstate.edu> wrote:
> Gerry Myerson wrote: > > > > ...it has been obvious for a century or two that the Goldbach Conjecture > > is true. > > Really? Could you explain why this is obvious?
Well, there are so damn many primes. There are more than 1200 of them below 10000, for instance. That means over 700000 ways to account for the 10000 even numbers below 20000 as a sum of two primes. That's an overkill ratio of 70to1. And it just gets worse, if you go up to 100000, 1000000, etc. There would have to be a massive conspiracy of the prime numbers in order for any even number to miss out.
To put the same thing another way; anyone who sits down to verify Goldbach for small values will quickly find that not only can every even n exceeding 2 be written as a sum of two primes, but every n from some point on has at least two such expressions; from some further point on, she will find that every n has at least three, then four, then five...; eventually, it will become obvious to her that every sufficiently large even integer has more than 100, more than 1000, more than 1000000 representations as a sum of two primes. And if that's obvious, how much more obvious is Goldbach, a pathetically weak conjecture by comparison.
Gerry Myerson (gerry@mpce.mq.edu.au)

