## Re: [PrimeNumbers] I need a little help

Expand Messages
• ... One problem in searching the mathematical literature for something is knowing what names others may have given to the object of interest. For example about
Message 1 of 3 , Jan 28, 2004
• 0 Attachment
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004, scotty4686 wrote:

> I have a theory and I have been researching it for a few days and I
> haven't found anything like it. I need to know where I can find if it
> has been made before but I don't want it to be stolen. So, if someone
> could show me a safe place to do that I would much appreciate it.
>

One problem in searching the mathematical literature for something is
knowing what names others may have given to the object of interest. For
example about 10 years ago a couple of us were looking at subsets S of a
semigroup M that satisfy the property x,y in S ==> xy is NOT in S. We
figured that someone had looked at such sets before, but couldn't think of
what to look for, we thought of anti-subsemigroup, explosive subsets, and
other such things. A year later I happen accidentally across a book which
contained an article on sum-free set of integers. Which in case the binary
operation is addition is exactly what we had been looking at. There were
lots of papers on the subject.

But one thing you can do is if you have a formula of some kind that gives
an integer value f(n) for n = 1, n = 2, n = 3, ... and if you can
calculate a few terms, say, f(1),f(2),f(3),f(4). --then you can look this
sequence up in Sloane's wonderful Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences at
http://www.research.att.com/%7Enjas/sequences/index.html
and there is a pretty good possibility that you will find out something
about what you are looking for and if you are lucky (or unlucky--if you
didn't want it to be previously known) you may find references there.

You should also search the usual sites on the web. Assuming it is number
theory if you try different combinations of words and formulas you just
may find something by Googling around.

If you are willing to give us some hints of the general topic without
giving away your discovery, someone here may be able to direct you to a
place you may find something.

If you are at a university or college whose library subscribes to
MathSciNet, you should by all means search there. It contains abstracts of
almost all mathematical papers published in the world since 1940. It is
run by the American Mathematical Society. Unfortunately it is not
free. Libraries have to pay a lot for it. But you should be able to walk
off the street into any library that carries it and use it. As with Google
it requires skill and some luck to find what you are looking for.

Some people find it easier to just write up a discovery and send it to a
journal for publication. If it is not new or sufficiently interesting you
will usually be told. In my opinion there is very little chance of an idea
being stolen by a referee or editor from an article submitted for
publication. It may have happened, but I'm sure it is extremely rare and