A few weeks ago the world of maths was pleasantly shocked when a hitherto largely unnoticed mathematician, Yitang Zhang, demonstrated that there are infinitely many (pairs of primes) primes at most 70,000,000 apart – ie find a prime, any prime, no matter how large, and there is another two at most 70,000,000 numbers away.

Zhang’s story is a great one – someone who loved maths so much he kept plugging away even when most other people would have given up and gotten a “proper” job. And, then, finally it all pays off with a breakthrough discovery of enormous importance.

But this his paper was published other have been working to refine his work and the latest proposal – this has been updated even since I started writing this blog minutes ago – is that there are infinitely many primes just 388,284 numbers apart.

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