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Two Elusive Prime Number Problems Solved

After centuries of flummoxing number crunchers, two mathematical puzzles about prime numbers were cracked this year.

RELATED TAGS: MATH

Prime numbers — those divisible only by 1 and the number itself, like 5, 11 or 37 — are like the atoms of mathematics: All numbers are formed by multiplying these building blocks together. 

But what happens when you add a number to a prime number? When will the sum be prime? Or, conversely, when is a number a sum of primes? Mathematicians have been working to answer these fundamental questions for centuries, and on the same day in May, two mathematicians finally found tantalizing partial answers to both of them...

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