Heidelberg Laureate Forum (@HLForum) September 20, 2018
😳 😥 hi all. am writing this with some heavy heart. in some ways there are a lot of angles to this story, in another way there are none at all. (to paraphrase one cold/ sarcastic respondent, nothing to see here, move along.)
the Riemann hypothesis is one of the worlds most premiere and probably hardest open problems, unsolved after 1½ century, and has a $1M Claymath prize now almost 2 decades old.
coincidentally, just did a brief survey on links between Riemann and physics/ quantum mechanics, a connection that was noticed decades ago by Dyson and has gotten further attention over the years. this crosscutting nature is somewhat rare of deep math/ physics problems, and esp wrt number theory. it even has significant connections to TCS.
Atiyah recently announced a “simple” proof presented at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum one of the premiere scientific conferences in the world. preprint is available on google drive (although these links are at risk to rot quickly, rats). he is one of the worlds premiere living mathematicians. he will be 90 years old in less than a year. theres an outstanding series of youtube lectures by him ranging over wide topics including physics + math crossover. wrt the proof “attack” theres substantial reaction across multiple blogs  and mainstream media including quick-to-react New Scientist.
there was mass buzz and excitement in cyberspace, eg across social media such as reddit quickly accruing hundreds of comments, some superficial, some substantial. (many people from laymen to professionals are interested in this problem, with good reason, theres real scientific drama here, a relatively rare occurence in that world.) alas, even much to my own chagrin, a lot/ most of that seems to have collapsed quickly in the immediate case.
before the definitely far-from-funny analysis, the episode is evocative of some relevant cartoon humor, which display a kind of timeless wisdom wrt capturing certain deep archetypes definitely in play here. sydney harris famous cartoon I think you should be more explicit here, xkcd number theory/ collatz eventually all your friends will stop calling you, and smbc old physicists, we had a lot of good times.