The Corner

Proof of The Riemann Hypothesis

Thanks to the many readers who alerted me to Louis de Branges’ “proof” of

the Riemann Hypothesis, news of which has shown up on the web.

Louis has been announcing proofs of the RH pretty much annually for 20

years. Looking (cursorily, I admit) at the paper that has prompted this

latest flurry of interest, it seems to me the same as one he offered in

2003.

The reason people are willing to suspend their skepticism in the case of de

Branges is that he is the guy who, in 1985, proved the Bieberbach

Conjecture, a long-outstanding problem in mathematical analysis. Even at

that time, he had issued so many false “Eurekas!” that when he announced the

Bieberbach proof, people just yawned. He then took it to Russia, where his

track record was less well known and mathematicians were willing to give his

proof proper scrutiny. It turned out he really *had* proved the Conjecture!

If all that put you in a mathy mood, here is something to meditate on.

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