„I would teach the world how the Greeks proved, more than 2,000 years ago, that there are infinitely many prime numbers. In my mind, this discovery is the beginning of mathematics – when humankind realised that, by pure thought alone, it could prove eternal truths of the universe.
Prime numbers are the indivisible numbers, numbers that can be divided only by themselves and one. They are the most important numbers in mathematics, because every number is built by multiplying prime numbers together – for example, 60 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 5. They are like the atoms of arithmetic, the hydrogen and oxygen of the world of numbers.“

—  Marcus du Sautoy, In "Life lessons" http://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/apr/07/science.highereducation?fb_ref=desktop The Guardian (7 April 2005)

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Carl Sagan photo
Bill Gates photo

„The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers.“

—  Bill Gates, livro The Road Ahead
The Road Ahead (1995), p. 265 in hardcover edition, corrected in paperback

Paul Erdős photo

„God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers.“

—  Paul Erdős Hungarian mathematician and freelancer 1913 - 1996
Misattributed, Referencing Albert Einstein's famous remark that "God does not play dice with the universe", this is attributed to Erdős in "Mathematics : Homage to an Itinerant Master" by D. Mackenzie, in Science 275:759 (1997), but has also been stated to be a comment originating in a talk given by Carl Pomerance on the Erdős-Kac theorem, in San Diego in January 1997, a few months after Erdős's death. Confirmation of this by Pomerance is reported in a statement posted to the School of Engineering, Computer Science & Mathematics, University of Exeter http://empslocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/mrwatkin//kac-pomerance.txt, where he states it was a paraphrase of something he imagined Erdős and Mark Kac might have said, and presented in a slide-show, which subsequently became reported in a newspaper as a genuine quote of Erdős the next day. In his slide show he had them both reply to Einstein's assertion: "Maybe so, but something is going on with the primes."

Donald Ervin Knuth photo

„How can you own […] numbers? Numbers belong to the world.“

—  Donald Ervin Knuth American computer scientist 1938
In his video account on the creation of TeX http://www.webofstories.com/people/donald.knuth/52?o=SH, he comments that Xerox offered to allow him to use their equipment, but that the fonts he created would belong to them.

Carl Eckart photo

„I shall here present the view that numbers, even whole numbers, are words, parts of speech, and that mathematics is their grammar.“

—  Carl Eckart American physicist 1902 - 1973
Our Modern Idol: Mathematical Science (1984), Numbers were therefore invented by people in the same sense that language, both written and spoken, was invented. Grammar is also an invention. Words and numbers have no existence separate from the people who use them. Knowledge of mathematics is transmitted from one generation to another, and it changes in the same slow way that language changes. Continuity is provided by the process of oral or written transmission. p. 95.

Douglas Adams photo
John Derbyshire photo
Dejan Stojanovic photo

„Mathematics doesn’t care about those beyond the numbers.“

—  Dejan Stojanovic poet, writer, and businessman 1959
The Shape (2000), Sequence: “Happiness of Atoms”, "I and I," p. 30

John McEnroe photo
George Boole photo

„It is not of the essence of mathematics to be conversant with the ideas of number and quantity.“

—  George Boole English mathematician, philosopher and logician 1815 - 1864
1850s, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought (1854), p. 12; Cited in: Alexander Bain (1870) Logic, p. 191

Nicholas Murray Butler photo
David Eugene Smith photo
Rush Limbaugh photo

„All equally truthful: number 1 is not more or less important than 35.“

—  Rush Limbaugh U.S. radio talk show host, Commentator, author, and television personality 1951
1990s

Carlos Ruiz Zafón photo
Aristotle photo

„The bodies of which the world is composed are solids, and therefore have three dimensions. Now, three is the most perfect number,—it is the first of numbers, for of one we do not speak as a number, of two we say both, but three is the first number of which we say all.“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 a.C.
On the Heavens, Moreover, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I. 1. as translated by William Whewell and as quoted by Florian Cajori, A History of Physics in its Elementary Branches (1899) as Aristotle's proof that the world is perfect.

Lucio Russo photo

„Euclid … manages to obtain a rigorous proof without ever dealing with infinity, by reducing the problem [of the infinitude of primes] to the study of finite numbers. This is exactly what contemporary mathematical analysis does.“

—  Lucio Russo Italian historian and scientist 1944
The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why It Had to Be Reborn (2004), 2.4, "Discrete Mathematics and the Notion of Infinity", p. 45

Paul Klee photo

„To emphasize only the beautiful seems to me to be like a mathematical system that only concerns itself with positive numbers.“

—  Paul Klee German Swiss painter 1879 - 1940
1903 - 1910, Diary entry (March 1906), # 759, in The Diaries of Paul Klee, 1898-1918; University of California Press, 1968

Pythagoras photo

„Number rules the universe.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 a.C.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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