Longest math proof would take 10 billion years to read
July 9, 2016 06:19 PM NPT
PARIS, France, July 9: An Anglo-American trio presented the prize-winning solution to a 35-year old maths problem on Friday, but verifying it may be a problem in itself: reading it would take 10 billion years.
"Boolean Pythagorean Triples" is not a shameful contagious disease, but a long-unsolved enigma within a field called Ramsey Theory.
It was such a brain-teaser that nearly 30 years ago fabled American mathematician Roland Graham offered a cash prize to anyone who could solve it.
It was only $100, but still.
The self-declared winners -- Marijn Heule, Oliver Kullmann and Victor Marek, of the universities of Texas, Swansea and Kentucky, respectively -- unveiled their proof at the international SAT 2016 conference in Bordeaux, France.
By their own account, they cracked the puzzle "using Cube-and-Conquer, a hybrid satisfiability testing (SAT) method for hard problems."