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p. 1409. Partitionslocked

  • Robin Wilson


How many ways can a number be split into two, three, or more pieces? ‘Partitions’ considers this interesting problem and the way in which Leonard Euler started to investigate them around 1740. Euler considered the generating function of the sequence of partition numbers and devised his pentagonal number formula. His publication Introduction to the Analysis of Infinities in 1748 outlined the difference between distinct and odd partitions. Many mathematicians worked on the partition problem, but it was not resolved until G. H. Hardy and his collaborator Srinivasa Ramanujan in 1918 published an exact formula for partition numbers using a new method in the theory of numbers called the ‘circle method’.

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