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Beautiful maths

Mathematicians dream of proving Riemann's Hypothesis.

By Karl Sabbagh   January 2002

Over the last century or so, maths became “modern.” It has reached new heights of abstraction and provided tools for the revolution in physics and cosmology that came to the public’s attention with Einstein. Modern mathematics now routinely handles concepts such as infinities of different magnitudes and has invented new numbers which lie nowhere on the line from minus infinity to plus infinity. It has devised closed shapes with finite areas but infinite perimeters. Techniques which at first seem to have no useful function turn out decades later to provide tools for use in the real world. But the essential…

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