You may have heard about the well-known P versus NP problem. On the off chance that you can demonstrate or negate its mysteriously short equation, you’d be a million dollars richer—and perhaps billions of dollars richer, contingent upon your scruples.

The significance of P versus NP is predominantly in its ramifications for computing. It happens to be one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems, which means The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts will grant $1 million to whoever figures out how to demonstrate or negate the statement. Be that as it may, should you demonstrate that P, in reality, equals NP, you wouldn’t even need the $1 million prize. As theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson clarified a week ago at a lecture in a stuffy auditorium at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, demonstrating that P=NP would open up some captivating possible outcomes.

“On the off chance that somebody demonstrates P=NP, the main thing they should do is steal $200 billion in bitcoin. The second thing they should do is understand the majority of the other Millennium Prize Problems,” Aaronson said.

To get this, you have to realize that computers are gadgets that solve problems, abstracted into code readable by the physical computing device, in light of the standards set forth by Alan Turing. Solving problems takes various strides and a specific measure of time, with the amount of time required increasing as the problem becomes bigger.

“P” alludes to the problems that computers tackle constantly, from something as straightforward as increasing two numbers to progressively complex tasks like browsing the web. As a problem grows in complexity, the amount of time it takes to solve it grows in “polynomial time,” where a polynomial is a number with a power and a coefficient (like n2). On the off chance that a problem is solvable in n2 time and you double the size of the input, at that point, the amount of time it would take to solve would go up by four.

However, there are a lot of problems where one can confirm that a given answer is right in polynomial time, yet actually finding to that solution may or may not be possible in polynomial time. These are classified “Nondeterministic Polynomial time” or NP issues. Sudoku is an NP issue—hard to solve, simple to check. Another significant example today is factoring large-scale numbers into prime numbers. For now, at least, it takes an extremely lengthy timespan—slower than polynomial time—to factor exceptionally huge numbers into primes, yet checking that an answer is right is as correct as multiplying the subsequent numbers together. In fact, this careful thought is the premise of modern encryption, which depends on generating security keys that are easy to verify yet difficult to crack.

Newer numerical confirmations have found, and may continue to find, P solutions for a portion of these NP problems. The P versus NP problem asks whether each NP problem has a P solution, or if there exists some NP problem that can in no way be solved in P. It appears as though it should be clear that P does not equal NP, yet it isn’t rigorously mathematically proven. What’s more, on the off chance that you happen to demonstrate that P equals NP, you will have additionally demonstrated that there are polynomial-time algorithms for a ton of significant computer problems. You could make yourself rich—bitcoin mining and security keys depend on difficult-to-tackle, simple to-check NP problems.

Quantum computers, which depend on different mathematics in comparison to traditional computers, don’t guarantee P answers for each NP problem. It was once thought that they may most likely unravel the hardest class of NP problems, called NP-complete problems. In the event that you could find an efficient solution to those, you’d most likely find effective answers for all NP problems. This includes the traveling salesman problem and a large group of other comparative optimization problems. Be that as it may, quantum computers haven’t lived up to this hype. Rather, quantum computers might solve some P problems in a shorter time (as in, with a lower polynomial) or move some NP problems into the quantum generalization of P, called BQP or “Bounded-Error Quantum Polynomial Time.”

So go out there and attempt and prove that P does, or does not, equal NP. In case you’re successful, you’ll make at least a million dollars, and maybe a whole lot more. In case you’re unsuccessful, well, hopefully, you will have led a meaningful life researching computational theory.

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