Prime numbers and <var>L</var>-functions

  • Henryk Iwaniec

    Rutgers University, Piscataway, USA
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The classical memoir by Riemann on the zeta function was motivated by questions about the distribution of prime numbers. But there are important problems concerning prime numbers which cannot be addressed along these lines, for example the representation of primes by polynomials. In this talk I will show a panorama of techniques, which modern analytic number theorists use in the study of prime numbers. Among these are sieve methods. I will explain how the primes are captured by adopting new axioms for sieve theory. I shall also discuss recent progress in traditional questions about primes, such as small gaps, and fundamental ones such as equidistribution in arithmetic progressions. However, my primary objective is to indicate the current directions in Prime Number Theory.