Maths holy grail could bring disaster for internet

Anton Stiglic astiglic at
Tue Sep 7 23:06:39 EDT 2004

>Mathematicians could be on the verge of solving two separate million dollar
>problems. If they are right - still a big if - and somebody really has
>cracked the so-called Riemann hypothesis, financial disaster might follow.
>Suddenly all cryptic codes could be breakable. No internet transaction
>would be safe.

Looks like they are saying that if one can disprove the Riemann hypothesis,
then one could break (presumably) public key crypto, (presumably) by
factoring or computing DL.  But I am not aware of any factoring or DL
algorithm that can be drastically sped up if Riemann hypothesis is proven to
be false?

Here the author quotes the mathematician:

 "The whole of e-commerce depends on prime numbers. I have described the
primes as atoms: what mathematicians are missing is a kind of mathematical
prime spectrometer. Chemists have a machine that, if you give it a
molecule, will tell you the atoms that it is built from. Mathematicians
haven't invented a mathematical version of this. That is what we are after.
If the Riemann hypothesis is true, it won't produce a prime number
spectrometer. But the proof should give us more understanding of how the
primes work, and therefore the proof might be translated into something
that might produce this prime spectrometer. If it does, it will bring the
whole of e-commerce to its knees, overnight. So there are very big

This wording, with the word *might*, is more accurate, and not at all
equivalent to the assertion the author makes at the beginning.

Another bad article.



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