Dark Matter Mathematics – Jim Free Associates

Chemical and Engineering News recently had an article (locked online) on the iGEM synthetic biology competitions.  I wondered if I was young and strong  would I be a participant?  As part of a rationalization for my never-obsessive life endeavors and consequent lack of creativity, I concluded “no”.  Instead I would study (futilely?) the structure of prime numbers.  Prime numbers fit no pattern – that is we need to know all the smaller prime numbers to find the next.  Counting numbers are the most fundamental numbers we can imagine.  Multiplication is a very natural extension of addition and yet some numbers are prime (can’t be factored) and some are not (composite) and there is no rule to tell which is which.  To find if a number  is prime the best we do is try to form a rectangle with that number of dots.

So maybe counting numbers are not fundamental.  Maybe there is another number structure wherein prime numbers emerge naturally – some dark matter mathematical structure that holds everything together.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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