Tim Trudgian: Improving our Understanding of Prime Numbers
2006 John Monash Scholar Dr Tim Trudgian, who completed a DPhil in mathematics at Oxford, has recently been involved in a global collaborative effort to improve our understanding of prime numbers (numbers only divisible by 1 and themselves).
A longstanding problem of number theory is called the twin prime conjecture. Twin primes are those primes which occur just two apart, like 3 and 5, or 17 and 19. The conjecture (originally proposed by Euclid) says there are an infinite number of these pairs, but the conjecture has yet to be proven or disproven.
Last month Yitang Zhang of the University of New Hampshire in the US made an important advance by showing there are infinite number of primes that are separated by 70 million or less. It was the first time an upper limit on the gap between pairs of primes had been established. Following Zhang's work, Tim was ...