Music of the Primes - Welcome From Marcus du Sautoy

What's the obsession with prime numbers? Why make a programme about them? Marcus DuSautoy explains all by way of welcome.

By: Professor Marcus du Sautoy (University of Oxford)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Thursday 15th September 2005
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under TV, Music of the Primes
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Marcus du Sautoy in front of a blackboard Copyrighted image Copyright: Production team

Prime numbers have fascinated people for centuries and I’m no exception. I live in a prime obsessed world. I have a prime number of children – twin girls - and a boy makes three. My house number is prime, 53; my car registration is prime, 47; my car is a Primera!

I even persuaded the football team I play for to wear prime number shirts. So we do, from 2 up to 41. And, ever since, the results have been remarkable. We’ve shot to the top of the league.

But my other passion is the search for patterns and the primes offer the ultimate challenge. These fundamental numbers look as wild as stars in the night sky. How did Nature choose the primes?

This is the story of a 2000-year journey across cultures and continents in humankind’s attempts to solve the riddle of these enigmatic numbers. Welcome to The Music of the Primes.

Marcus DuSautoy Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission