The prime number theorem determines the average distribution of the primes. The Riemann hypothesis tells us about the deviation from the average. Formulated in Riemann’s 1859 paper, it asserts that all the ‘non-obvious’ zeros of the zeta function are complex numbers with real part 1/2.

The Riemann hypothesis implies results about the distribution of prime numbers. Along with suitable generalizations, some mathematicians consider it the most important unresolved problem in pure mathematics (Bombieri 2000). The Riemann hypothesis and some of its generalizations, along with Goldbach’s conjecture and the twin prime conjecture, comprise Hilbert’s eighth problem in David Hilbert’s list of 23 unsolved problems; it is also one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millennium Prize Problems.

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