TIL: Prime Numbers… Can Be Sexy?

Today I Learned that there is such a concept as “sexy prime numbers” – and no, 69 is not one of them.

These aren’t primes that tease you with their indivisibility. They are, according to Professor Wikipedia, “prime numbers that differ from each other by six. For example, the numbers 5 and 11 are both sexy primes.” [“sexy,” from the Old English “sex” or “six”] 

This is being explained to Stephen Colbert (and us) by Terence Tao, commonly dubbed the “Mozart of math.” He’s a Fields Medal winner, meaning he’s probably one of the smartest people in the world with the numbers and the maths and the formula things. I stopped after AP Calculus (only passing by the skin of my teeth) and I am never going back. [I know, I fail as an Asian. But I’m culturally white, so there’s that.] Terry’s intelligence is amazing – he’s researching whether or not water can spontaneously explode. I mean, how ridiculously wonderful is that? And here’s his own WordPress blog here: What’s new. (It’s just as nerdy as you’d expect).

Learn more about sexy primes from Numberphile. Their explanations are always interesting and accessible.

Had you previously known about “sexy primes?” If so, why the Hell didn’t you tell me about this before?


[Learn more random things with other entries in Today I Learned (TIL)]

6 Replies to “TIL: Prime Numbers… Can Be Sexy?”

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