*But in math, many is not enough to count as a proof.There are still some cases where they don't know if the criterion is true or false."It's like playing a million-number Powerball," Ono said. If even one of those last 20 numbers is wrong, you lose. It could still all fall apart."Researchers would need to come up with an even more advanced proof to show the criterion is true in all cases, thereby proving the Riemann hypothesis.*

The fact that this trick works, she said, convinces many mathematicians that the Riemann hypothesis must be true. So how did this small team of mathematicians seem to bring us closer toward a solution?

"What we have done in our paper," said Ken Ono, a number theorist at Emory University and co-author of the new proof, "is we revisited a very technical criterion which is equivalent to the Riemann hypothesis … We proved a large chunk of this criterion."A "criterion which is equivalent to the Riemann hypothesis," in this case, refers to a separate statement that is mathematically equivalent to the Riemann hypothesis.

But, there's so many equivalent formulations that maybe this direction isn't going to yield the Riemann hypothesis.

Maybe one of the other equivalent theorems instead will, if someone can prove one of those," Thompson said.

We'll come back to the details of the hypothesis later.

But the important thing to know now is that if the Riemann hypothesis is true, it answers a lot of questions in mathematics."So often in number theory, what ends up happening is if you assume the Riemann hypothesis [is true], you're then able to prove all kinds of other results," Lola Thompson, a number theorist at Oberlin College in Ohio, who wasn't involved in this latest research, said.Still, mathematicians are impressed."Although this remains far away from proving the Riemann hypothesis, it is a big step forward," Encrico Bombieri, a Princeton number theorist who was not involved in the team's research, wrote in an accompanying May 23 PNAS article."There is no doubt that this paper will inspire further fundamental work in other areas of number theory as well as in mathematical physics."(Bombieri won a Fields Medal — the most prestigious prize in mathematics — in 1974, in large part for work related to the Riemann hypothesis.)I promised we'd get back to this.Back in 1859, a German mathematician named Bernhard Riemann proposed an answer to a particularly thorny math equation.His hypothesis goes like this: The real part of every non-trivial zero of the Riemann zeta function is 1/2.That's a pretty abstract mathematical statement, having to do with what numbers you can put into a particular mathematical function to make that function equal zero.But it turns out to matter a great deal, most importantly regarding questions of how often you'll encounter prime numbers as you count up toward infinity.wiki How is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Using these strategies can also help you to improve your math skills overall.To create this article, 57 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Keep reading to learn about some of these math problem solving strategies. Graphs, equations, and data are obvious, but if you look at simple algebra, then you'll find there are patterns there as well.Although not all math questions need you to find a pattern, it is how Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and many other prominent minds considered mathematics.This section of the nzmaths website has problem-solving lessons that you can use in your maths programme.

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