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Prime Theorem of the Century

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathLand)
Description: "Prime numbers have always fascinated mathematicians," Underwood Dudley of DePauw University in Indiana wrote in a 1978 textbook. "They appear among the integers seemingly at random, and yet not quite: There seems to be some order or pattern, just a little below the surface, just a little out of reach." As the numbers of the sequence increase, the intervals between primes, on the average, get longer, though in a somewhat haphazard way. In other words, primes gradually become more scarce as numbers get larger, and one can imagine that, at some point, they might run out. More than 2,000 years ago, however, the Greek mathematician Euclid proved that the sequence of primes continues forever...

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Prime Numbers, History and Biography

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