Brun's constant (WP 34S)



#2

In 1919 the Norwegian mathematician Viggo Brun proved that the sum of the reciprocals of the twin primes (pair of prime numbers which differ by 2) converges to a finite value now known as Brun's constant (B2). Unlike some constants related to divergent sums of reciprocals of integers, like the Euler-Mascheroni constant (harmonic series) and Mertens constant (prime numbers), which are respectively known to millions and thousands of digits, the Brun's constant is known to 9 or 10 digits only. The sum converges very slowly, so slowly that the sum will not reach the value 1.9 until all the reciprocals of the twin prime pairs up to 10530 are summed up. Thus, an indirect method is used, assuming the Twin Prime Conjecture is true:

     B*2 = B2(p) + 4*C2/log(p)
where
     B2(p) = sum of the reciprocals of the twin prime pairs up to p
C2 = Twin primes constant (0.66016181584686957..)
B*2 = Approximation to Brun's constant

B*2 has been calculated for p up to 1015 and 1016 by Thomas R. Nicely (1999) and Pascal Sebah (2012), respectively:

http://www.trnicely.net/twins/twins2.html

http://numbers.computation.free.fr/Constants/Primes/twin.pdf

By the way, the famous Pentium bug was discovered by Dr. Nicely in 1994 when calculating B2 for p up to 1014.

Let's now compute a the constant to a few digits on the WP-34S:

001 LBL A		018 x<>y   		
002 STO 03 019 RCL L
003 2 020 x>? 03
004 +/- 021 SKIP 007
005 STO 02 022 ||
006 0 023 RCL L
007 STO 01 024 x<>y
008 + 025 1/x
009 RCL L 026 STO+ 01
010 DEC X 027 x<>y
011 NEXTP 028 BACK 018
012 ENTER^ 029 RCL 00
013 ENTER^ 030 RCL 03
014 NEXTP 031 LN
015 - 032 /
016 x<>? 02 033 RCL+ 01
017 BACK 008 034 END

2.64064726339 STO 00 ; 4*C2

10 A --> 2.02300901133 ; B21
RCL 01 --> 0.87619047619 ; (1/3 + 1/5) + (1/5 + 1/7)

100 A --> 1.90439963329 ; B22
RCL 01 --> 1.33099036572 ; (1/3 + 1/5) + (1/5 + 1/7) + (1/11 + 1/13) + ... + (1/83 + 1/89)

EEX 3 A --> 1.90030530861 ; B23
RCL 01 --> 1.51803246356 ; (1/3 + 1/5) + (1/5 + 1/7) + (1/11 + 1/13) + ... + (1/991 + 1/997)

EEX 4 A --> 1.90359819122 ; B24

EEX 5 A --> 1.90216329186 ; B25

EEX 6 A --> 1.90191335333 ; B26

EEX 7 A --> 1.90218826322 ; B27 (about 15 minutes on the WP-34S emulator)

The most accurate value of B2 to date is
1.902160583104

from which the last two or three digits are uncertain.

Now let's find a couple of suitable approximations:

On squaring

1.902160583104
we get
3.61821488391
Notice the three digits after the decimal point resemble those of the golden-ratio. Let's add 2 to the built-in Phi constant:
1.61803398875
2 + -->
1.61803398875
Let's divide the value obtained earlier by this one:
/   --->
1.00004999819
Not bad! But there's more. Let's take the square of B2 again
3.61821488391
and divide it by the golden-ratio:
1.61803398875
/ -->
2.23617977686
Notice this is close to the square root of 5. So, let's square it:
2.23617977686
ENTER * -->
5.00049999444
One 9 better! These allow for the following nice approximations:

B2 ~ Sqrt(1.00005*(Phi + 2)) = 1.90216058482
and
B2 ~ Sqrt(Phi*Sqrt(5.0005)) = 1.90216058363

The latter is a great mnemonic aid: Phi, a constant related to the square root of 5, and a 5-digit number, beginning and ending with 5 and zeroes in the middle.

P.S.: No bugs were found on the WP-34S when running the above program :-)

----------------------------------

P.S.: Some optimization:

001 LBL A 019 x!=? 02
002 STO 04 020 BACK 007
003 # 048 021 x<> L
004 SDR 002 022 x>? 04
005 °->G 023 SKIP 007
006 STO 01 024 ||
007 2 025 y<> L
008 +/- 026 1/x
009 STO 02 027 STO+ 01
010 5 028 x<>y
011 + 029 RCL+ 03
012 STO 03 030 BACK 015
013 RCL L 031 RCL 00
014 DEC X 032 RCL 04
015 NEXTP 033 LN
016 FILL 034 /
017 NEXTP 035 RCL+ 01
018 - 036 END

2.64064726339 STO 00

Emulador @ 1.86 GHz:

10^5: 1.90216329186 ( 6.1 s)
10^6: 1.90191335333 ( 63.1 s)
10^7: 1.90218826322 ( 759.6 s)
2*10^7: 1.90217962170 (1692.3 s)

Edited to add P.S.

Edited: 1 Jan 2013, 7:19 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#3

Not all that relevant to the discussion but this was one of the constants that didn't make it into the 34S constant table :-)

There were others.


Still a nice short piece of methematics to get a very nice approximation.


- Pauli


#4

What about an efficient NEXTTP function on the next WP-43S? :-)

Gerson.


#5

Just do it as user code. NEXTP is a keystroke program on the 34S after all :)


- Pauli


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