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News Picks : Fluid-dynamics proof may claim million-dollar math prize

By: Physics Today
24 January 2014
New Scientist: Mukhtarbay Otelbayev of the Eurasian National University in Astana, Kazakhstan, claims he has found a solution to the Navier–Stokes existence and smoothness problem, one of the seven Millennium Prize problems established in 2000 by the Clay Mathematics Institute. If so, he stands to win $1 million. The problem involves looking for a solution to a set of equations that describe the motion of a fluid, including the effects of turbulence. The international mathematical community hopes to be able to evaluate Otelbayev’s proof soon. However, he published the paper in Russian, so most mathematicians are waiting for an English translation. To qualify for the prize, the proof will have to be published in a journal of “worldwide repute” and survive two years without any successful challenges to its validity. To date, only one of the seven problems has been solved: Grigori Perelman proved the Poincaré conjecture in 2002, although he turned down the prize. A highly publicized solution to another problem proposed in 2010 was later proven incorrect.


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