Thursday, March 17, 2016


"Lemke Oliver again found that primes seem to avoid being followed by another prime with the same final digit. The primes “really hate to repeat themselves,” Lemke Oliver said." It doesn't matter what base (> 2) you use. In base 3, primes can end in 1 or 2 (not 0--that would mean they were divisible by 3 and therefore not prime). On the average, a prime ending in 1 tends to be followed more often by a prime ending in 2, and vice versa. It isn't a huge effect, but it needed some explanation, and the team found one.

If you want details, this should more than satisfy your curiosity.

AVI discusses a First Things article about curiosity as a temptation. The researchers who found this feature of primes are certainly deeply curious about primes, but this is their life-work, and probably their calling. I would never be more than a dilettante in that field, and more likely merely a curious onlooker.(*)

So how much time can I spend on learning about such things before it becomes a failing?

(*)The last thing I investigated turned out to have been solved more than two centuries ago. I'm a bit behind the times. (I didn't solve it.)

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