A mystery of mathematics that has remained unsolved for more than 150 years can be unraveled thanks to a completely unexpected approach coming from statistical physics. This is the important conclusion of Giuseppe Mussardo, professor of Theoretical Physics at SISSA, and Andrè Leclair of Cornell University reported in an article just published in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics (JSTAT). The two scientists have shown that not only one can arrive at the solution to one of the most famous problems in mathematics, the Riemann conjecture, but that it is the physics of chaotic motions and the probability laws that regulate them that provide the elegant key to understand this great mathematical enigma. The research behind the article just published, lasted three years and the final part of it, the authors said, was “a real tour de force in the data analysis of an incredibly large set of prime numbers, the basic constituents of arithmetic, i.e. the real atoms of mathematics.”

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