LHC Grid tackles 270-year-old maths problem

The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid is taking on a mathematical conjecture first written down by Christian Goldbach in 1742

LHC Grid tackles 270-year-old maths problem

Servers at the CERN Data Centre form Tier-0 of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. As well as LHC physics, the Grid is helping to verify the Golbach conjecture for high numbers (Image: CERN)

In 1742, Prussian mathematician Christian Goldbach wrote down a mathematical conjecture that in its simplest form states: "every even integer greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two primes". Despite the simple formulation, it is notoriously difficult to find a proof for this conjecture; 270 years later, one remains to be found.

Now, computer-science technologist Silvio Pardi at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and mathematicians Tomás Oliveira e Silva and Siegfried Herzog are using an algorithm on the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) to verify that the Goldbach conjecture holds for ever larger numbers.

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