Talk:Proof (2005 film)

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Mentioned Sophie Germain prime[edit]

The movie mentions the Sophie Germain prime 92305 × 216998 - 1 which Catherine says is the largest known. Unwittingly, this dates the movie a lot more than the technologies shown. In the age of cell phones (which Catherine and her sister are shown using) much larger Sophie Germain primes are known, like 1415551851 × 241282 - 1, which has over ten thousand base 10 digits. In some ways, though, the 92305 is still impressive. Approximately 7.466060811972647 × 105121, it takes Mathematica a while to confirm whether it's prime or not. PrimeFan 20:30, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

They had William Timothy Gowers, Fields medalist and author of Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction, as a consultant, so perhaps he didn't think it an important enough point to suggest changing the script. Or maybe he did suggest the change but the writer either argued that the 92305 was the number given in the original play or that the largest known at the time would take up too much screen time to say.
Gowers's book mentions some of the topics dealt with in the movie (chapter 8, questions 1 and 2). Robert Happelberg 23:02, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Does anyone know when (or if) the 92305 was the largest known Sophie Germain prime? I.e., how does it date the play? dbenbenn | talk 03:44, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
1995 see --Salix alba (talk) 07:51, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually its not listed, so may not be a SG prime, I presume its p=92305 × 216998-1, could anyone check if 2p-1 is also prime. --Salix alba (talk) 08:01, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I wrote the number down wrong. Mathematica takes less than a second to tell me it's not prime. It's trying to factor it for me as we speak, but I don't know how long that will take. But I don't feel like renting that movie again just to listen for one number. PrimeFan 21:59, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

For future reference, the number mentioned is actually 92305×216998+1 (not 92305×216998-1), which Mathematica confirms is a Sophie Germain prime. (talk) 23:22, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Other theories?[edit]

Several mathematical theories are mentioned throughout the movie, perhaps a list of them (linking to their places on Wikipedia) could be included in this article. - Kevingarcia 04:19, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Those theories are not all that relevant to the plot of the movie, and by extension I don't think they're important to this article either. For example, in one scene the young man lists a few of the theories involved in Catherine's proof and says that it proves that she wrote the proof because those theories are "hip," they were developed in the 1980s, 1990s. We are never told exactly what the proof is supposed to prove (there's a vague hint that it involves an ancient unsolved problem about prime numbers) so it's difficult to say whether those "hip" theories are relevant to the issue tackled by the proof. PrimeFan 23:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to think the proof in question is related to the Twin Prime Conjecture, if only because it is (as far as I know) one of the longest standing unsolved mathematical problems. T4exanadu 12:23, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


Trivia: Although it's only a coincidence, "Proof" is also the name of a song (a b-side from Speed of sound) by Coldplay. Paltrow is married to Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin. --Coldplayer 22:46, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

String Quartet[edit]

This is perhaps something else to be relegated to the "trivia" section, but I wanted to know what string quartet is being played when Catherine interrupts the funeral service. Chubbles 03:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

According to the IMDb [1], it could be
"Mozart Quartet K157 in C (cde84431)"
Courtesy of Meridian Records, London
But I'd be surer if I asked User:Anton Mravcek about it, he likes classical music a lot more than I do. PrimeFan 21:28, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's it! It's the Andante (2nd movement). Thanks! Chubbles 00:21, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Proof poster.jpg[edit]

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Image:Proof poster.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:29, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Plot summary[edit]

I believe this summary to be entirely too long as well as grammatically incorrect in places and biased from an University of Chicago point of view. While I myself attend this particular institution, I believe that too much emphasis is placed upon trivial mentionings of the school within the text. Also Eckhart Hall is spelled incorrectly.

Character based on Nash?[edit]

I reverted the following addition:

Anthony Hopkin's character is most likely loosely based on John Forbes Nash, as in addition to contracting schizophrenia at a young age Nash had prior to his illness made original contributions to two of the fields attributed as areas of expertise to Hopkin's character; namely Game Theory and Algebraic Geometry.

I believe this is original research. For example, in this SIAM article a discussion of stereotypes of mathematicians in Proof are discussed. It mentions that Nash may come to mind as a similar character as the Hopkins character (Robert) and "has much in common" but "Auburn, although aware of the story of Nash, said that he hadn't consciously based the character on him."

According to this Osserman interview [2] David Auburn wrote the play initially on mental illness and only later chose mathematicians based on the idea that brilliant mathematicians were prone(susceptible?) to it.

In any case, while we can speculate on how Auburn came to arrive at the Robert character, it's only speculation. The removed content makes a couple deductions that are not justified on any sources and probably can't. --C S (Talk) 18:13, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Maybe they got it from the DVD commentary. Do you know who wrote that bit? PrimeFan 21:23, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Actual Location of Northwestern Univ. 'Math' Building used[edit]

Catherine approaches the Northwestern Univ. (Evanston) Math building and past a sign for the Kellogg School of Business---seemingly at the correct angle but hard to tell if Kellogg was actually in the scene. However the 'Math' building is not the Northwestern U. Math building. Is it known if this is an actual university building in the U.S. or a 'stage' building in England ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 17 April 2008 (UTC) IMDb lists Glaxo SmithKline, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, UK as a filming location and from a picture of a building at Glaxo's Stevenage Web, that appears to be the building used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate "Reaction" section[edit]

There is a section in the article "Reaction" that seems to be written from the first-person(!) perspective of a rambling schizophrenic, contemplating things from the movie such as mathematical concepts and meeting Gwyneth Paltrow. It is so ridiculous, I cannot tell whether it was meant to be vandalism or not. Whoever wrote this: unless you can figure out a way to fix this to meet encyclopedia standards, I recommend deleting this section. You can't put original research/theory or first-person narratives in an encyclopedia. --k19170 (talk) 23:16, 15 March 2012 (UTC)