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[Libro #25] The Music of the Primes, de Marcus de Sautoy

2016-10-29 13:00 Este libro préstamo de fernand0 lo he ido leyendo simultáneamente a los dos libros anteriores de la serie y otro que empecé en mayo y que ahora no me va a quedar otro remedio que terminar. Es síntoma, quizás, de que me voy haciendo viejo y de que me van interesando cada vez más los libros que cuentan historias reales; mientras que hace 3, 4 o 5 años no había nada que no fuera novela (y muy poco que no fuera ciencia-ficción), ahora, una y otra vez, aparecen libros serios, con enjundia y fundamento, como este.
Porque el libro tiene enjundia. Es un libro divulgativo sobre un tema matemático: la conjetura o hipótesis de Riemann, que, como todos sabemos, afirma que los ceros de la función zeta de Rieman son todos de la forma 1/2 +it. Hasta ahora no se ha encontrado ningún valor que lo incumpla, pero quién sabe. Las matemáticas son una ciencia que afirma absolutos, así que ni siquiera encontrar infinitos ejemplos basta si se encuentra un sólo contraejemplo que puede, o no, aparecer en el futuro. Que esto tenga o no que ver con los primos resulta del hecho de que los ceros de la Zeta de Riemann resultan ser efectivamente tales números primos, así que de camino se resolvería uno de los grandes problemas de las matemáticas: la fórmula para calcular el próximo número primo.
Ahora mismo se calculan por ensayo y error: si puedes factorizar un número, es primo o más bien si pruebas que se puede factorizar por una serie de pruebas lo es. Si no, pues no lo es. Y oiga, que los primos son algo imprescindible para la vida moderna: cada vez que haces una conexión https o una conversación cifrada por WhatsApp estás usando números primos, posiblemente a través de un algoritmo RSA (o quizás curva elíptica, pero esa es otra historia).
El autor hace todo el buen trabajo que se pueda hacer relacionando las circunstancias de los matemáticos con sus descubrimientos y haciendo una semblanza de las múltiples personalidades relacionadas con los primos, desde Gauss y Euler hasta, más modernamente, Conner y Wiles, relacionando también los diferentes descubrimientos en matemáticas con la aritmética de los números primos. El libro es muy efectivo: despierta la curiosidad, aunque a veces, el evitar usar fórmulas complicadas e incluso gráficos hace complicado entenderlo para quien ya tiene una pequeña base matemática. Nada que no se solucione, sin embargo, yendo a la Wikipedia.
En resumen, un libro interesante y recomendable para todo quisque, matemáticos o futuros matemáticos inclusive.

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De: felix1seid Fecha: 2019-02-19 10:14

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