It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The great ATS Problem Solving Group

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 07:49 PM
I have a dream...

In the realm of physics and math certain problems remain unsolved to this day. I am sure you have heard of such elusive problems going unsolved for years, decades and even centuries. If you are fimiliar with Fermatt's Last Theorum you will know what I am talking about.

I know what some of you are thinking 'But Frosty I don't have the necessary qualifications, I am not a PhD like the guys who work on such problems'. I will be the first to say I don't have a strong math of science background and am only just enrolled in my first year of junior college. It is said that the sum of the whole is greater than the individual, so I've decided to start an ATS group (a think tank) to come together and discuss possible methods of how to solve current unsolved problems and to possibly help each other out personally.

Here is a list of some unsolved physics and math problems (links):

Accretion disc jets: Why do the accretion discs surrounding certain astronomical objects, such as the nuclei of active galaxies, emit relativistic jets along their polar axes?
Accelerating universe: Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating, as we have observed? What is the nature of the dark energy driving this acceleration? If it is due to a cosmological constant, why is the constant so small, yet non-zero? Why isn't it huge, as predicted by most quantum field theories, or zero for some yet unknown symmetry reason? What is the ultimate fate of the universe?
Amorphous solids: What is the nature of the transition between a fluid or regular solid and a glassy phase? What are the physical processes giving rise to the general properties of glasses?

Twin prime conjecture
Number of Magic squares
Gilbreath's conjecture
Goldbach's conjecture
Hilbert's sixteenth problem
Generalized star height problem
Collatz conjecture

Including these problems there are the Seven Millenium Prizes with rewards for solving:

P versus NP
The Hodge conjecture
The Poincaré conjecture
The Riemann hypothesis
Yang-Mills existence and mass gap
Navier-Stokes existence and smoothness
The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture

I am not suggesting that we get into the problems which offer money upon completion, but rather think we should come together discuss the idea and elect a few problems to work on specifically. The reward for solving such a problem is priceless. And even if we can't solve a single problem at least offering a greater knowledge of the problem to the scientific community as a whole should be as equally great.

I also understand that there are unsolved problems in other fields, but I thought this would be the coolest and most popular.

So tell me what you think.

[edit on 16-9-2005 by TheBandit795]

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 09:38 PM
Why, certainly, Frosty.

I would positively be delighted to pontificate at great length upon absolutely any topic of your choosing...whether or not I have any knowledge or experience with it whatsoever.

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 09:50 PM
You have voted Frosty for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

Sounds like a pretty cool idea. I don't yet know how busy school will be keeping me this term, but if I can spare time for this, I'd be happy to participate.

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 10:04 PM
Sounds like fun..Geeky fun...But I like that kind of fun.

I'm up for it...
Easier to solve than geo-political problems, right?

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 11:06 PM
I'd be in, sounds like some heavy stuff though. Maybe it would be better to put it in the Research Forum. That way its like more formal. Just a thought though cool idea

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 06:17 AM
One day In 1939, George Bernard Dantzig, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, arrived late for a graduate-level statistics class and found two problems written on the board. Not knowing they were examples of "unsolvable" statistics problems, he mistook them for part of a homework assignment, jotted them down, and solved them. (The equations Dantzig tackled are perhaps more accurately described not as unsolvable problems, but as unproved statistical theorems for which he worked out proofs.) Six weeks later, Dantzig's statistic professor notified him that he had prepared one of his two "homework" proofs for publication, and Dantzig was given co-author credit on another paper several years later when another mathematician independently worked out the same solution to the second problem.

George Dantzig recounted his feat in a 1986 interview for the College Mathematics Journal:
It happened because during my first year at Berkeley I arrived late one day at one of [Jerzy] Neyman's classes. On the blackboard there were two problems that I assumed had been assigned for homework. I copied them down. A few days later I apologized to Neyman for taking so long to do the homework — the problems seemed to be a little harder than usual. I asked him if he still wanted it. He told me to throw it on his desk. I did so reluctantly because his desk was covered with such a heap of papers that I feared my homework would be lost there forever. About six weeks later, one Sunday morning about eight o'clock, [my wife] Anne and I were awakened by someone banging on our front door. It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: "I've just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication." For a minute I had no idea what he was talking about. To make a long story short, the problems on the blackboard that I had solved thinking they were homework were in fact two famous unsolved problems in statistics. That was the first inkling I had that there was anything special about them.

The moral of this story is not to be presumed by mere limitations, and if you work for something hard enough you can be successful.

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 09:25 AM
If you look at many of the great inventions of the last century an astonishing number of them were invented by someone with an informal education working in a garage or home workshop. One thing that needs to be considered is what happens if someone actually solves one of these problems. I don't know what the legalities of a group like this may be. I would really hate for someone to post a solution and get screwed out of the potential personal and financial gain because he posted it here.

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 09:37 AM
This is right up my street.Sign me up! My main interesting are physics and astronomy but ill take a shot at any problem.Even if were not nobel prize material I'm sure it will be great fun along the way.So when can we expect the first meeting eh ? I'm looking forward to this

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 10:43 AM

Originally posted by JIMC5499
If you look at many of the great inventions of the last century an astonishing number of them were invented by someone with an informal education working in a garage or home workshop. One thing that needs to be considered is what happens if someone actually solves one of these problems. I don't know what the legalities of a group like this may be. I would really hate for someone to post a solution and get screwed out of the potential personal and financial gain because he posted it here.

I forgot to say COUNT ME IN!!! Sounds like fun, I solve problems at work for a living, but they rarely interest me.

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 01:55 PM
The problem which interest me the most is in physics - the problems surrounding the relativistic jets in accretion disk. This one sounds particularly cool. It will take a good deal of understanding realitivity as these are relativistic jets. So if we decide to gander into this it would be best to start a research group focused towards the theories and works of Einstein, Lorentz and anyone else associated with a relativistic view of the geometry of space.

I haven't yet looked into the math section but hopeful you guys have and are willing to share your ideas of which problems seem to be the best to take care of first.

I know that many of the problems...well all of them for the matter take a very advanced understanding of math and physics and are rather difficult. I know that also we lack certain resources such as certain computer software and sources which to identify the problems surrounding these conjectures, hypothesis and the like. Wikipedia and the web seem limited in providing this field.


I have just completed reading this months issue of Discover magazine and read an interview with Dean Kamen who has devoted a great deal of his time towards science eduaction, incouraging young peoples to become involved in science. You may know him better as the inventor of the Segway.

He has a group called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and what we are trying to achieve here on ATS is rather intertwined to what he is doing. So I have decided to write a letter on behalf of this group (if it is alright with you guys) to explain to him who we are and what we are about, to see if he would like to become involved or whether he likes the idea.

I think the whole idea of a research group such as this could serve well as a paradigm for future groups. Entire web communities devoted to research and problem solving such as this one. After all some agrue that this is what the internet is meant for, the flow of knowledge through a world wide easily accessable medium. Wikipedia in particular (as mentioned on another ATS thread) is considered one of (if not the most) important website for this very reason.

EDIT: It has just come to my attention that the use of the word 'official' is against forum rules at the moment and the edit button is currently not presenting itself. So in order to keep this thread alive and not be shut down for such a violation I would hope that one of the mods would be kind enough to edit this (as it is not allowing me to do so).

[edit on 16-9-2005 by Frosty]

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 07:32 PM
Well, if the first problem you are geared up to solve is the accretion disk one, I would still like to help, but I may not be too much use. I don't know too much about relativity, though my math is pretty good, so I may be of use there. I haven't got any really expensive computer software, but I have a few useful programs, like Matlab 7.0, which are good at numerical computations.

(as for writing a letter to Kamen, I have no objections)

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 07:41 PM
Hah ! I posted a short encryption code I made for users to break and nobody even wanted to try.

Sounds like fun, but action is needed !

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 08:33 PM
Since no one seems to have any objections I believe I will go to work on my letter to Kamen.

I haven't been able to find my book by Einstein on Relativity so first thing tomorrow I will head over to the library and check out a copy as well as a few physics books pertaining to accretion disk and anything on the web.

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 08:37 PM
I do 3D modeling for a living and have the software at home including FEA if I can be of service.
I am just adding this so that i don't get tagged for another one line post.

posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 08:40 PM
I'm a self proclaimed Geek and I work with this kind of stuff every day.

Sounds like fun.



log in