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WBU 32 – Relatively Prime and Primes

February 1, 2016

Note: I’ve been making a podcast with Colin Beveridge for a long time now and rarely mention it on this blog. It strikes me that that’s a bit odd. So, I’m going to try to do that each episode from now on, partly to help promote it and partly to explore some parts in more detail.

In this month’s episode of Wrong, but Useful, I talk to Colin mostly about Relatively Prime. This is a series of mathematical stories that Samuel Hanson produced after his second successful Kickstarter.

Near the end, we talk about the latest prime number found by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime search (Alex Bellos’s write up here). Colin and I aren’t massively impressed about it but Samuel is more enthusiastic. It is a massive, massive number but finding them by simply crunching numbers isn’t desperately appealing to me. I suppose the main problem I have (which I failed to mention in the show) is that this doesn’t really get us anywhere closer to understanding more about where the other primes are and that doesn’t feel like proper maths to me.

Anyway, I mentioned Matt Parker’s numberphile video that you might like to see:

And he’s also got this one which gives a bit more of an insight into it too.

Finally, we briefly discuss my Christmas tree decorating exploration where I try to explain the concept of a counter-example and Colin and Samuel just don’t get it. I’m still not sure why I bother!

Hope you enjoyed listening.

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