ABC May Not Be Quite So Easy As 123

I learned early on in college that I didn’t have what it took to be a professional in math and science, but the material still fascinates me:

On August 31, 2012, Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki posted four papers on the Internet.

The titles were inscrutable. The volume was daunting: 512 pages in total. The claim was audacious: he said he had proved the ABC Conjecture, a famed, beguilingly simple number theory problem that had stumped mathematicians for decades.

Then Mochizuki walked away. He did not send his work to the Annals of Mathematics. Nor did he leave a message on any of the online forums frequented by mathematicians around the world. He just posted the papers, and waited.

Read the whole thing. If you can verify Mochizuki’s proof, or even explain how it works in conventional math speak, do so in comments, will you?

 

 

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