Zhang is the typical demonstration of pure perseverance of traditional Chinese mathematicians: knock harder and harder until the truth is finally cracked.
His work is based on the prior half-way proof by 3 other mathematicians “GPY”:
Gap between Primes:
Let p1 and p2 be two adjacent primes separated by gaps of 2N:
p1 – p2 = 4 (cousin primes)
eg. (7, 11)
p1 – p2 = 6 (sexy primes)
eg. (23, 29)
p1 – p2 = 2N
Euclid proved 2,500 years ago there are infinite many primes, but until today nobody knows are these primes bounded by a gap (2N) ?
Zhang, while working as a sandwich delivery man in a Subway shop, kept trying alone for 7 years with the GPY method, finally in 2013 he found the bounded gap:
Recent mathematicians (Terrence Tao’s Polymath Project and others) follow his technique to narrow 2N down from 70 million to, hopefully, 16.
At age above 50, Zhang (1955 -) has shown that Mathematics is not limited to only young minds – as GH Hardy had set 35 the age limit for any great math achievements.
2. 张益唐(中文) 伯克利大学演讲记:
3. Euclid’s Proof of Infinite Primes: