It’s the largest math proof. A supercomputer solved
it in just 2 days. And it’s 200 terabytes. Yes, 200

*terabytes.*That’s the size of the file containing the computer-assisted proof for a mathematical problem that has boggled mathematicians for decades—known as Boolean Pythagorean triples problem.
The proof was compressed into a 68-gigabyte file,
meaning anyone who wants to can download, reconstruct, and verify all the
information embedded onto it. And individuals can do so, if they have the space
processor time, in just about 30,000 hours. The 200 terabyte file ultimately
beats a previously established record for the largest-ever computer-assisted
proof. It had a size of just 13 gigabytes.

##
__Problem
behind the Proof__

__Problem behind the Proof__
According to Ronald Graham, a University of
California, San Diego mathematician and previous record-holder of the then
biggest proof, having computers assist in creating proofs for combinatorics
problems is quite common. He even offered a prize of US$100 for to anyone that
could solve it.

As previously mentioned, the 200-terabyte proof
solved a combinatorics type of mathematical problem called the Boolean Pythagorean
triples. It asks whether each positive integers can be colored either red or
blue, so that a combination of three integers

*a*,*b*, and*c*, (Pythagorean Triple) can satisfy the Pythagorean equation,*a*^{2 }+*b*^{2 }=*c*^{2}, wherein none of the integers have the same color.##
__Computer
Run-Time__

__Computer Run-Time__
Though the problem presented many allowable ways to
color integers in different combinations, the scientists took advantage of
techniques and symmetries in number theory to lessen the number of checks that
the computer had to do. This step minimized the number of runs performed by the
computer by almost 1 trillion.

Two days and 800 parallel running processors later,
the Stampede supercomputer of the University of Texas produced the 200 terabyte
file. A separate computer program was then used to verify the produced proof. Despite
having cracked the infamous Boolean Pythagorean triples problem, the
record-breaking file still fails to provide answers as to

*why*the coloring scheme is possible.
The proof revealed that yes, it was possible to
color the integers in multiple ways; however, only up to 7,824. After this
point, it’s not possible. This raises more questions: Why is there a
cut-off point at 7,825? Why is the first stretch possible?

The team’s findings are featured in
the Cornell University online library.

References: Nature News & Comment

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