Applying the Explicit Formula

It’s quite some time since we arrived at Riemann’s main result, the explicit formula \[ J(x)=\mathrm{Li}(x)-\sum_{\Im\varrho>0}\left(\mathrm{Li}(x^\varrho)+\mathrm{Li}(x^{1-\varrho})\right)+\int_x^\infty\frac{\mathrm{d}t}{t(t^2-1)\log t}-\log2, \] where \(J(x)\) is the prime power counting function introduced even earlier. It’s high time we applied this! First, let’s take a look at \(J(x)\) when calculating it exactly: You see how this jumps by one unit at prime values (\(2\), \(3\), \(5\), \(7\), \(11\), \(13\), \(17\), \(19\)), by half a unit at squares of primes (\(4\), \(9\)), by a third at cubes (\(8\)), and by a quarter at fourth powers (\(16\)), but is constant otherwise. [Read More]

Are Primes Independent?

The question may sound silly, but I hope it will become apparent that it’s very reasonable to ask. What we will examine here is the probabilistic interpretation of the prime distribution. So, essentially we ask: “What’s the probability that a randomly chosen number is prime?” Those familiar with some basic probability theory know the notion of independency in this context, so the question I’m basically interested in here is if the probability to find a prime is independent of the preceding or following numbers. [Read More]