Viggo Brun

Mathematician, Deceased Person

1885 – 1978

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Who was Viggo Brun?

Viggo Brun was a Norwegian mathematician.

He studied at the University of Oslo and began research at the University of Göttingen in 1910. In 1923, Brun became a professor at the Technical University in Trondheim and in 1946 a professor at the University of Oslo. He retired in 1955 at the age of 70.

In 1915, he introduced a new method, based on Legendre's version of the sieve of Eratosthenes, now known as the Brun sieve, which addresses additive problems such as Goldbach's conjecture and the twin prime conjecture. He used it to prove that there exist infinitely many integers n such that n and n+2 have at most nine prime factors; and that all large even integers are the sum of two 9-almost primes.

He also showed that the sum of the reciprocals of twin primes converges to a finite value, now called Brun's constant: by contrast, the sum of the reciprocals of all primes is divergent. He developed a multi-dimensional continued fraction algorithm in 1919/20 and applied this to problems in musical theory.

He also served as praeses of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in 1946.

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Born
Oct 13, 1885
Lier
Profession
Education
  • University of Oslo
Employment
  • Norwegian Institute of Technology
  • University of Oslo
Died
Aug 15, 1978
Drøbak

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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