In May 2016, the world's longest math proof was written. The entire proof takes up nearly 200 terabytes, beating out the previous record-holding proof, which took up "only" 13 gigabytes. The Boolean Pythagorean Triples problem was first posed in the 1980s by a California-based mathematician named Ronald Graham. The problem, which was solved and proved by Marijn J. H. Heule, Oliver Kullmann, and Victor W. Marek, centers around the Pythagorean theorem: a^2 + b^2 = c^2. There are specific sets of positive integers, known as Pythagorean triples, that can be inserted into the formula, such as 32 + 42 = 52, and 52 + 122 = 132. Now imagine that every positive integer is either red or blue. Graham asked if it's possible to color all the integers either red or blue so that no set of Pythagorean triples were all the same color. The solution in the record-setting proof states that this is impossible.
Curiosity StaffJune 10, 2016
Wake up with the smartest email in your inbox.
Our best articles a few times a week.