Summary #970

Elusive mathematical mystery one step closer to being solved
  • New clues to a notoriously unsolvable mathematical conundrum.
  • Mathematician Terence Tao used Partial Differential Equations to model the progression of the Collatz conjecture.
  • The key question therein is whether all numbers reach 1 after a process of multiplying by 3 and adding 1 (if it’s odd) and dividing by 2 (if it’s even).
  • Tao’s answer is that almost all numbers eventually reach a value close to 1.
  • It’s the closest that anybody has gotten to solving the Collatz conjecture, but it’s still not complete, and will probably require more than differential equations to solve.


  • Science Science (56) Elusive mathematical mystery one step closer to being solved
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  • Cosmos Cosmos (28) Huge black hole found, shouldn’t even exist
  • History History (14) Humans survived off rodents in the mountains during the last ice age, study says
  • Society Society (62) ISPs want to spy on your internet usage, and Google is trying to protect you from it
  • Medicine Medicine (58) New chemicals discovered in cannabis, showing how little we still know about cannabis because of nonsensical laws
  • Technology Technology (65) Device from University of Hong Kong makes electricity from waste heat
  • Nature Nature (43) Single-cell organisms might be able to process information and make decisions



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