Wednesday, 22 May 2013

One for the number theorists

Ok here is something which should interest the number theorists who read this blog (Duncan Neil possibly Daniel) . Some guy has shown that the gap between any two prime numbers is bounded to be less than 7.5*10^7. This was drawn to my attention by an article in todays independent

A bit more detail can be found here

If ever I do the analytical number theory options for the MSc I might get a glimmer of what is going on.

For those who have access to the Open University a draft of his paper can be found in the Annals of Maths forthcoming papers just search for Zhang. For those who don't I can download a copy for them just send me an e-mail

What is heartwarming about this story is that it shows the virtues of persistance and being willing to spend a lot of time on ones own in relative obscurity not publishing many papers. In these days of corporate research where everything is governed by how many papers you can churn out (a bit like meeting TMA deadlines) its great that some people still have enough independence to pursue their dream. Alas as my fellow blogger Nilo has pointed out this is all to rare.

Will give an update on progress in Fluids over the weekend completed about 60% worth of the last TMA which should be enough to enable me to get a grade 2 as far as OCAS is concerned but just missed the lunchtime post so don't know if I'll make the deadline Music this weekend.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Cutting one's losses

Well I've had to default on a couple of TMA's as I'm  sinking in them

The TMA's I've had to drop are TMA06 for the music course and TMA02 for quantum mechanics, the reason is really the lack of time between now and exam week which is on 13th June for me. I have to complete the Final TMA for the Fluids course and also the final EMA assignment for the music course before this. There really is far too short a gap between the deadlines for the final assigments and the exams normally one would expect 5-6 weeks for revison but we only have three.

Part of the problem is of course being caught between change over from Febuary starts to October starts so I really don't feel to bad about doing this. For Music I have alrady got 60% for the OCAS so on target for a grade three. I possibly would have got grade 2 had I submitted TMA06 but as I don't need this course for anything else I don't mind cutting my losses

As for QM the TMA's are formative and as I need to get 30% in at least seven of them I can drop one unfortunate as it is. I'll suspend my study of quantum mechanics till after the exam,

I've completed half the TMA for Fluids (more next week) and should finish by Monday next week, So I can start to look at past papers I should do at least 3 under exam conditions to get up to speed,
As for the EMA for music I hope to make a good start on it next week and should have completed it in time. It consists of two parts an analysis of the first movement of Beethoven's Ghost Trio and completion of the composition which was started in TMA05.

All of this is unsatisfactory but I don't really have any choice and the consequences aren't that fateful
If I can get up to speed for the Fluids I'm looking at grade 2 but as I tend to make silly slips in signs etc especially when under pressure a high end Grade 3just as with MS324  is more likely.

Must admit the pressure has been quite relentless the fact that there was no break between this batch of courses and the previous batch has meant a continous set of 18 months intensive study since Feb 2012, and I'm really looking forward to having to concentrate on one course after June.

Footnote added 13th May

My quantum mechanics tutor has offered me a three week extension so I should be able to complete the second TMA by then. One of the things about the third level physics courses is that there is a staggering 10 assignments to complete. 4 conventioonal ones and 6 Online ones. The Online ones are actually quite tricky and fiddly but there is no room to show how you arrived at your answer so I spent some rather tedious hours simply because I had got a sign wrong. OK I appreciate accuracy is important but this is a bit over the top. Anyway at least I should make a decent stab at the second TMA by early June.