Graduate Student’s Side Project Proves Prime Number Conjecture | Quanta Magazine

Jared Duker Lichtman, 26, has proved a longstanding conjecture relating prime numbers to a broad class of “primitive” sets. To his adviser, it came as a “complete shock.”

**Hasnain says:**

“Lichtman posted his proof online in February. Mathematicians noted that the work is particularly striking because it relies entirely on elementary arguments. “It wasn’t like he was waiting for all this crazy machinery to develop,” Thompson said. “He just had some really clever ideas.”

Those ideas have now cemented the primes as exceptional among the primitive sets: Their Erdős sum reigns supreme. “We all think of the primes as special,” Pomerance said. “And this just adds to their luster.””