A pair of mathematicians has made a breakthrough in understanding so-called prime numbers, numbers that can only be divided by themselves and one.
Other mathematicians have described the advance as the most important in the field in decades.



It was made by Dan Goldston, of San Jose State University, and Cem Yildirim, of Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. It has just been announced at a conference in Germany on Algorithmic Number Theory.



The advance is related to an idea called the twin prime conjecture. This idea, still unproved, is that there are an infinite number of pairs of prime numbers that differ only by two.
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