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primespiral.jpg
a simple line & dot plot, invented by Polish-American mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, in which the positive integers are arranged in a spiral with the prime numbers highlighted in some way along the spiral. non-random patterns of diagonal lines become unexpectedly apparent.

see also number spiral.

[links: wolfram.com & monash.edu.au]

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primespiral2.jpg

5 COMMENTS

So ... how does this work, exactly?

Fri 15 Sep 2006 at 3:55 AM
Trogdor

It could be an artifact of the human brain/visual perception. First test would be to see if diagonal lines appear when plotted with random numbers. Our brains are trained to pickup subtle patterns from noise, maybe we pick this up because evolutionarity in nature prime patterns occur in more "valuable" and "interesting" objects. Another good experiment would be determining if monkey/dogs/rats can distinguish this vs. a random pattern, and give reward accordingly.

Fri 15 Sep 2006 at 7:58 AM

It could be an artifact of the human brain/visual perception. First test would be to see if diagonal lines appear when plotted with random numbers. Our brains are trained to pickup subtle patterns from noise, maybe we pick this up because evolutionarity in nature prime patterns occur in more "valuable" and "interesting" objects. Another good experiment would be determining if monkey/dogs/rats can distinguish this vs. a random pattern, and give reward accordingly.

Fri 15 Sep 2006 at 7:59 AM

No, it's not just a brain pattern. You can search for functions (Euler one, for example) where one of that diagonal's match. It isn't a perception issue. I can provide links and maybe some pdf's about both subjects, just ask sending an e-mail to luizrakkan@gmail.com with the location you read this message. Thanks.

Wed 29 Aug 2007 at 11:21 AM
Luiz

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Mon 28 Jan 2008 at 7:44 PM
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