Two mathematicians from the University of Bristol and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have used a global network of 500,000 computers to solve an intricate problem 65 years ago that involves the number 42.
The original problem, which was established in 1954 in the University of Cambridge (Uk) and that could have been raised by Greek thinkers already in the third century ad, raises how to express each number between 1 and 100 as the sum of three cubes. this Is the equation diofántica x ^ 3 + y ^ 3 + z ^ 3 = k , with k equal to any whole number from 1 to 100. The name is due to the ancient mathematical Diofantus of Alexandria , who proposed a similar set of problems makes it some 1,800 years
The mathematical modern found solutions quickly when k is equal to many of the smaller numbers, but soon emerged some integers larger than resisted. Slowly, over many years, each value of k was finally solved (or proved which could not be solved), thanks to sophisticated techniques and modern computers, except the last two, most difficult of all: 33 and 42.
After weeks of work with a supercomputer of the University of Bristol, the ingenious professor Andrew Booker managed to solve a few months ago, the challenge of the 33, with an innovative solution for sum of three cubes . This left the 42 as a single number to be resolved.Hitchhiker galácticoAndrew Booker, professor of the University of Bristol - U. Bristol
however, to resolve 42 was another level of complexity. Booker turned to the professor of mathematics at MIT Andrew Sutherland, a world-record computations massively parallel. At the same time, secured the services of a computing platform planetary reminiscent of "deep Thought", the giant machine that gives the answer 42 in the "hitchhiker's Guide".
The solution of the professors Booker and Sutherland to 42 used Charity Engine; a "computer world" that harnesses the computing power, idle, and not used in more than 500,000 PC home to create a platform super eco-source public entirely made of wasted capacity.
The answer, which took more than one million hours of computation , is the following: X = -80538738812075974 And = 80435758145817515 Z = 12602123297335631
As explained by the University of Bristol in a press release, these numbers are almost infinitely improbable, the famous solutions of the equation diofantina (1954) finally can have a rest for every value of k from one to 100, even 42.
"I am relieved. In this game it is impossible to be sure that you're going to find something. It is a bit like trying to predict earthquakes, since we only have probabilities approximate," says Booker. "This way, we could find what we are looking for with a few months of search, or it could be that the solution is not even within a century."Updated Date: 21 September 2019, 10:01