Issue 4 - October 2000
PUBLISHING giant Faber and Faber is offering a prize of one million dollars to anyone who can prove the theory known as Goldbach's Conjecture within the next two years.
The offer is part of the publicity drive for a new book by a Greek mathematician and author Apostolos Doxiadis called Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture in which a man dedicates his life to the challenge.
The book has already been translated into 15 languages and Faber has high hopes of it becoming a bestseller, given the recent success of stories about great scientific quests like Dava Sovel's Longitude and Simon Singh's Fermat's Last Theorem.
If you don't know what Goldbach's Conjecture is, see the box below.
If you do, then there is a chance you may want to throw your hat into the ring and have a shot at the million dollar prize. Be warned though, the proof has to be published by a respectable mathematical journal within two years and proved correct by Faber's panel of experts.
Faber has spent a five-figure sum insuring itself again a pay-out, but boss Tony Faber said he would be happy to hand over the prize.
He said: "Now that we are insured, I'd love it if someone won."
Professor Ian Stewart of Warwick University was optimistic about the likehood of someone solving the challenge.
He said: "I think some mathematicians will be dazzled by a million dollars. It might just tilt the balance."
Source: Pass Maths
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