prime number theorem

prime number theorem

noun Mathematics.
the theorem that the number of prime numbers less than or equal to a given number is approximately equal to the given number divided by its natural logarithm.

Origin:
1660–70

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prime number theorem definition

mathematics
The number of prime numbers less than x is about x/log(x). Here "is about" means that the ratio of the two things tends to 1 as x tends to infinity. This was first conjectured by Gauss in the early 19th century, and was proved (independently) by Hadamard and de la Vall'ee Poussin in 1896. Their proofs relied on complex analysis, but Erdös and Selberg later found an "elementary" proof.
(1995-04-10)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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