Why Bother?
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"Why," you might be asking, "why listen to the primes?" I am tempted to just reply "why not," but let me give a more informative three part answer.

  • First, our goal in these short notes is to introduce some of the patterns in the primes and contrast them with the primes’ inherit irregularities. We all regularly use our ears to discern patterns. For example, we listen to our car's engine to see if it is running smoothly. Why not apply this natural ability to the primes?

  • Second, a fundamental pedagogical principle states that you may increase learning by increasing involvement. "Multimedia" computers address two of our senses: sight and sound. Why not use this to our advantage when teaching about primes?

  • Third, for the sake of novelty. I have always wanted to "hear the primes." Next I want to work on smelling the primes, but the net is not up to that yet (and I can not think of any useful way to do it--can you?)
Note that my goal was to use sound to recognize patterns in the primes, not to create "music." Any listening pleasure gained is an plus (and yes, I do like listening to the primes).
The Prime Pages
Another prime page by Chris K. Caldwell <caldwell@utm.edu>