Summary #970

Elusive mathematical mystery one step closer to being solved

quantamagazine.org
  • 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.

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