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Check in with Navier Stokes, Otelbayev, and Tao


Andy Kiersz, BI, A Kazakh Mathematician Claims To Have Solved An Enormously Important Equation, here.

A huge mathematical breakthrough might have just been made, but a language barrier is slowing things down.

New Scientist reports that Kazakh mathematician Mukhtarbay Otelbayev may have solved an extremely difficult and useful mathematics problem: the Navier-Stokes equations.

This is another example of why you simply go directly to Tao, Gowers, and Lipton to see what is actually going on. The drama here is off the charts huge, you have a couple weeks until Tao presents his take on the Navier Stokes approach. He is thinking counterexample based on the non geometric approach. From Tao’s comment log:

Villatoro’s blog has some detailed analysis, and has recently raised some serious issues with the paper as well, in the crucial Section 6. (It’s in Spanish, but this is easy to translate online.)

I can’t read Russian either, so I am happy to defer the detailed checking to others, but my feeling is that this sort of abstract approach to the regularity problem, using only the energy identity and harmonic analysis estimates on the nonlinearity rather than more precise geometric information specific to the Navier-Stokes equation (e.g. the vorticity equation) is necessarily doomed to failure. I think I can formalise a specific obstruction in this regard and hope to present it here in a couple weeks.

Seriously, Netflix guys, you need something to replace CSI: Miami. This is way better –  Clay Scene Investigation: Los Angeles, get Keanu to play Tao in the series. Get Goldblum to grow a beard to play Lipton. Jeremy Irons for Gowers? Get Shelby Lyman from Fischer Spassky 1 to be the announcer for the show.  I’ll even spot you the elevator pitch – Reality TV meets Police Investigation Drama. Just have your writers point their feedlys to these blogs and the screenplays just pop out. You got Perelman, Twin Primes,  the ABC  conjecture, that Deolalikar P!=NP proof what else do you need to get started? There’s a bunch of guys working right now deep inside Fine Hall to save the proof that Peano Arithmetic is inconsistent. If they get it, all the math proofs in all the journals and math books have to be rechecked 1 by 1. A generation of young mathematics PhDs will have to be consigned to the old proof checking mines, like in that Indiana Jones movie Temple of Doom. The proposed show goes  like that Vaya Con Dios scene in Point Break, with a little more math thrown in. I assume that the UCLA Math department is in Malibu, right? That is all.


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