Gregory Perelman, the man who has solved one of the most complicated mathematical mysteries, which were an object of attraction of the most brilliant minds of the world during one hundred years. And now the world can face a new surprise from this man – he can refuse his award for his prominent mathematical solution, he can refuse the Fields medal.
During the millennia mathematicians have pointed to a few mathematical enigmas, and one of the greatest among them is a famous Poincaré conjecture. During 100 years since 1904 none of the numerous versions that were proposed by different mathematicians were rejected as incorrect. Even a few years ago the idea of this task to be solved seemed to be unreal, and nobody expected the right solution in next few decades. But in November 2002, Russian mathematician from St. Petersburg, Gregory Perelman, son of the famous Russian physicist, author of well known in Russia course of physics “Amusing Physics”, astounded the mathematical world by posting to arXiv the first of a series of eprints in which he claimed to have outlined a proof of Thurston’s geometrization conjecture, a result that includes the Poincaré conjecture as a particular case.
The world science society was really astounded and accepted his solution after a deep research.
In 1999, the Clay Mathematics Institute announced a one million dollar prize for the proof of several conjectures (these are known collectively as the Millennium Prize Problems), including the Poincaré conjecture. And after the fact that Perelman found a solution, there appeared rumours that the Institute is ready to give the prize to him.
In recent weeks, there has been growing speculation in the mathematical world that Perelman may be awarded a share of the next Fields Medal. This is the highest award in mathematics; it is awarded every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). The 2006 ICM will take place in Madrid (22 to 30 August). This is an analogue of Nobel prize for mathematicians.
But Perelman started to behave strangely. He refused from publishing his works fully, thus refusing the money prize suggested by Clay Mathematics Institute. The followers who have understood his ideas and made a full solution based on his ideas have already all the material handy and can go to Clay Mathematics with it – but they think it’s unfair – Perelman was the man who solved, and they waited for him to publish the work. But he didn’t. And now people doubt if he come in August to Madrid to receive his Fields Medal or not. As it has been known even organizers of Medal Prize award event don’t hope that Perelman would come. They have prepared the report regarding Perelman’s achievement in mathematics that would be announced by some other scientists, in case he won’t come, but they can’t hand out the award to “other scientists”, and nobody knows if he accepts it himself.