Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Germain’

As I was looking at my Site Stats, I saw for the first time that I had options. I could view my stats By Day, By Week, By Month or Humanize. Intrigued as to what Humanized stats might look like, I clicked on it. Here is what it said:

Today you have had 2 views.

Two and three are the only two consecutive prime numbers. 2 is the first Sophie Germain prime, the first factorial prime, the first Lucas prime, and the first …

Other than feeling sad that I only had 2 views, I found this to be strangely coincidental. I couldn’t remember ever learning about Sophie Germain until last night when I was reading. I am currently reading The Square Root of Murder by Ada Madison.

I’d never heard of the book or the author prior to picking it up at Borders last month. It was an impulse buy. I was a math major in college so I was drawn to the term Square Root in the title. I occasionally enjoy a good mystery as well. The main character Sophie is a mathematics professor at a fictional college in Boston. She happens to be named after Sophie Germain.

Here’s a picture and some information from Wikipedia about Sophie Germain:

picture from wikipedia.com

Marie-Sophie Germain (April 1, 1776 – June 27, 1831) was a French mathematicianphysicist, and philosopher. Despite initial opposition from her parents and difficulties presented by a gender-biased society, she gained education from books in her father’s library and from correspondence with famous mathematicians such as Lagrange, Legendre, and Gauss. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Her work on Fermat’s Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians exploring the subject for hundreds of years after.[1] Because of her gender, she was unable to make a career out of mathematics, but worked independently throughout her life.[2]

I’m sure I must have learned about Sophie Germain during four years of studying mathematics in college. And I must have learned about Sophie Germain primes at some point.  According to wikipedia:
Sophie Germain prime is a prime p such that 2p + 1 is also prime.[47]
So 2 is a the first Sophie Germain prime since it is a prime and when you multiply by 2 and add 1 you get 5 which is also prime.  7 would not be a Sophie Germain prime because 2×7 + 1 = 15  which is not a prime number.
OK, sorry. I can get carried away by my nerdiness.
Anyway, yesterday I didn’t know anything about Sophie Germain and today I do. And now you do too!


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