Math Basics

More About Numbers

What is the Reimann zeta-function?

German mathematician Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) was responsible for the Riemann zeta-function—the master of all the L-functions that would reveal how the prime numbers are distributed. (There are two types of L-functions— algebraic and transcendental—classified according to their degree, including the zetafunction.) Involved in all of this is the Riemann Hypothesis, an important unsolved mathematical problem. The Riemann Hypothesis is an example of something that should be true for every L-function. In 2008, researchers exhibited the first example of a third degree transcendental L-function—with the researchers’ studies showing that some conditions could be confirmed in the Riemann Hypothesis. Now scientists hope these L-functions will help interpret many connections between different areas of mathematics.


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