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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Paul Erdős and prime numbers

Paul Erdős (1913-1996) was a Hungarian mathematician best known for his contributions to discrete mathematics. Mathematician Bela Bollobas said,


"Erdos knows about more problems than anybody else, and he not only knows about various problems and conjectures, but he also knows the tastes of various mathematicians." (N Is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdos, 1993)


Mathematician Richard Guy said,


"Erdos lived on the road, traveling from conference to conference, owning nothing but math notebooks and a suitcase or two." (The Mules that Angels Ride, 2005)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Erdős.


Prime numbers


"It will be another million years, at least, before we understand the primes." (


"God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with prime numbers." (




"Why are numbers beautiful? It's like asking why Beethoven's Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is." (