Patented prime numbers

jim bell jamesdbell9 at
Tue May 13 01:29:58 PDT 2014

From: Georgi Guninski <guninski at>
On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 07:56:50PM +0200, Stephan Neuhaus wrote:

> On 2014-05-12, 18:25, jim bell wrote:
>> > Also, I believe there is a rule that says that laws of nature aren't
>> > patentable.  To the extent that primality is a law of nature, it
>> > shouldn't be patentable.
>> To be pedantic, primes aren't so much a law of *nature*, they're in
>> *maths*.  I'm not aware of any law of, e.g., physics that would depend
>> on primes, but would love to learn of one, if one exists.
>> Stephan
>Allegedly Riemann zeta function is related to
>physics, though this well might be just
>speculations (search the web for ref).

>It is more interesting to me if
>sqrt(-1), n-dimensional space, etc. are
>part of nature...

My understanding is that they are part of nature.  If you think about it, to hunter-gatherer-level societies, negative numbers could be called "imaginary":  There is no such thing as "negative-3 sheep", for instance.  Nor is there a third of a (living) sheep.  It was easy enough for people to divorce themselves from the idea of integers, or positive numbers.  It was much more difficult to deal with "irrational numbers" (numbers which could not be expressed as the ratio of two integers).  
Square roots were comparatively long as you were talking a positive number.  Computing imaginary roots seems terribly difficult, until you express the number in terms of a real/imaginary graph, and voila, it's trivial again.  I think that (e (to the power of (2 times pi times I)) -1) =0   was discovered at least a couple hundred years ago.   It's been attributed to Euler, nearly 300 years ago.
And the various string theories proposed in the last 20 years require the universe to contain 10 or 11 dimensions, with 6 (or 7) of them wound up tightly, perhaps near a Planck length.  (10e(-33)cm).
         Jim Bell
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