Well. It would be very odd if he had our general proof. That's not to say he didn't have one at all. (Not that I believe he did...)(Original post by DFranklin)
Which would be very odd if he had a general proof.
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IMO 2009 Q6, Terry Tao and William Gowers watch
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- Wiki Support Team
- 22-07-2009 18:33
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(Original post by generalebriety)
- 22-07-2009 18:44
Well. It would be very odd if he had our general proof. That's not to say he didn't have one at all. (Not that I believe he did...)
It would be like me saying "I have a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis", and then 10 years later posting a 20 page paper showing "At most 1% of zeroes of the Zeta function lie of the critical line". At that point you'd be thinking "Yeah, so? Bit of an anticlimax when you say you've proved all zeroes lie on the critical line".
When you also factor in that the claim is one "off the cuff" comment in the margin of a notebook, and there's evidence that he since put in serious amounts of effort proving special cases, the most likely explanation is "he thought he had a proof, he realised he was wrong, and because it was just a note in the margin of a book, he never bothered to go back and say 'actually, I didn't have a proof after all'."
[Of course, we're arguing human nature rather than mathematics at this point].
- 27-07-2009 18:34
it also demonstrates how incredibly good those three contestants who solved it in the exam hall are at the form of maths that they do.