A new pattern in primes

A major subject of interest among mathematicians who work in number theory is the study of prime numbers. Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and themselves, and large primes are used, among other things, in encrypting data. But perhaps, the best motivation for mathematicians to study them has been the aesthetics of seeing patterns among them. A new and interesting pattern has emerged among prime numbers thanks to the work of Kannan Soundararajan and Robert Lemke Oliver of Stanford University.

They have found a pattern in the last digits of successive prime numbers, by analysing numerically the first 100 million numbers. For example, they see that a prime number ending in 9 is much less likely to be followed by another prime number ending in 9; it is more likely to be followed by one ending in 1, and so on. This study is important because it is a hitherto unexplored idea in the quest of understanding the blend of random distribution and patterns in prime numbers.

Read the full article from The Hindu.

(Information about the news received from Dr.B.Radhakrishnan Nair, Department of Mathematics,D. B. College, Sasthamcotta)

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