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Every odd number greater than 1 is the sum of at most five primes

  • Tao, Terence
Publication Date
Jul 03, 2012
Submission Date
Jan 31, 2012
arXiv ID: 1201.6656
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We prove that every odd number $N$ greater than 1 can be expressed as the sum of at most five primes, improving the result of Ramar\'e that every even natural number can be expressed as the sum of at most six primes. We follow the circle method of Hardy-Littlewood and Vinogradov, together with Vaughan's identity; our additional techniques, which may be of interest for other Goldbach-type problems, include the use of smoothed exponential sums and optimisation of the Vaughan identity parameters to save or reduce some logarithmic losses, the use of multiple scales following some ideas of Bourgain, and the use of Montgomery's uncertainty principle and the large sieve to improve the $L^2$ estimates on major arcs. Our argument relies on some previous numerical work, namely the verification of Richstein of the even Goldbach conjecture up to $4 \times 10^{14}$, and the verification of van de Lune and (independently) of Wedeniwski of the Riemann hypothesis up to height $3.29 \times 10^9$.

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