A mathematical puzzle that resisted solution for 80 years — including computerized attempts to crack it — seems to have yielded to a single mathematician.
Tao’s proof comes after years of attempts to solve the problem by hand and computer.
In February of 2014, researchers presented a computer proof for a special case of the conjecture. They showed that it is always possible to find a sum that is bigger than 2 but failed to prove that there is always a sum bigger than 3. Tao’s proof demonstrates that there is always a sum bigger than any finite number.
Paul Erdős and Terence Tao study maths at the University of Adelaide in Australia, in a photo taken when Tao was 10 years old.