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It was early April, and the conference was in early August. At the very latest, he had to complete his Navier–Stokes equation thesis by early July.
Which meant he only had three months left.
In a situation like this, his only option was to go on a grinding session…
The days of researching quickly flew by, and it was soon July.
It was getting closer and closer to the conference date, and the International Mathematical Union had sent Lu Zhou multiple emails to remind him to update his report content information on the website.
Normally, partic.i.p.ants had to disclose the content of their report before the conference began. They also had to upload the entire report script before a certain date.
Lu Zhou finally got around to doing this. He logged into his International Mathematical Union account and updated his report information for the International Congress of Mathematicians.
Most people updated their report information half a year ago, and it was rare to see people updating information a month before the conference.
Since it was a one-hour report, and the report presenter was a well-known international scholar, everyone was paying attention to Lu Zhou's report content.
A few months ago, various online mathematics forums were talking about what Professor Lu was cooking up.
Many people in the number theory field checked the official website daily, in hopes of seeing Lu Zhou's topic for his report.
Lu Zhou's report content met everyone's expectations.
When the community saw the report topic was on the Navier–Stokes equation, the entire mathematics community exploded…
On a well-known Europe mathematics forum.
[The existence of a smooth Navier–Stokes equation solution? How is this possible?]
[How many times have people claimed to have solved the Navier–Stokes equation?]
[Last time was the scholar from Kazakhstan, this time it's a Chinese scholar. Do third world countries really want the one million dollar prize that bad?]
[Let's wait until we see his thesis. No one knows yet. What if he really solves the Millennium Prize Problem? Just like how he solved Goldbach's conjecture.]
[This is impossible! Navier–Stokes equation and Goldbach's conjecture are on completely different levels! One is a partial differential equation, the other is number theory! No matter how smart he is, there is no way he can reach the top of two different fields!]
The online debate was fierce.
It wasn't just people online, but many famous mathematics scholars were also paying attention to this unexpected announcement.
Tao Zhexuan was obviously one of them.
Actually, Tao Zhexuan had been doing research on the Navier–Stokes equation in as early as 2007. He had even published a couple of theses.
Tao Zhexuan expressed his opinion on his most recent blog.
[… It is difficult for me to give my opinion before reading the thesis. But according to my understanding of him, although he likes taking risks, he won't do anything that he is unsure of.
[Also, two months ago, I noticed his latest research on Annual Mathematics. Many of you might know the thesis contained a very novel differential manifold. It was called the L Manifold.
[I was confused at L Manifold's specific use. That was until I delved into research on the relations.h.i.+p between partial differential equations and topology.
[Undoubtedly, this is a very interesting differential geometry tool. Since then, I had a feeling that it might be used to solve the Navier–Stokes equations.]
The discussions weren't just happening online.
Two weeks after Lu Zhou posted his report topic, a silver plane flew across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America.
Lions dragged his suitcase out of New York International Airport. He then gave his old friend Fefferman a warm hug.
"Long time no see, my friend."
"Long time no see!" Professor Fefferman patted his old friend's shoulder and asked, "What brings you here?"
Standing in front of Professor Fefferman was Professor Lions from École Normale Supérieure. He was a 1994 Fields Medal winner who had made outstanding contributions to nonlinear partial differential equations and Boltzmann equations.
Lions had always paid attention to the latest research results on the Navier–Stokes equation.
What he saw that Lu Zhou chose the Navier–Stokes equation as his report topic, he immediately hopped on a plane from Paris to Princeton. He also visited his old friend who was the head of the mathematics department at Princeton.
"… I'm curious," Lions said as he placed his suitcase into the trunk. Before he could fasten his seatbelt, he asked, "Did you guys really solve the Navier–Stokes equation?"
Professor Fefferman was holding the steering wheel, and he paused for a second.
After a while, he shook his head.
"… Sorry, I don't know."
Lions was stunned.
He spoke in disbelief.
"You don't know? Haven't you guys been working on this research project together?"
"That's right." Professor Fefferman started the car and said, "We were actually working on the Navier–Stokes equation project together, but two months ago, we decided to work on the problem in different ways and to do independent research…"
Until now, he was still trying to use his abstract proof method.
He wasn't sure which step Lu Zhou was on.
Conducting research using two completely different methods.
Only geniuses could do something like this.
Lions went silent for a while before he said, "Can you take me to see Professor Lu? I want to talk to him."
Fefferman shook his head and said, "I'm afraid I can't."
Lions asked, "Why?"
Fefferman sighed and said, "He likes to lock himself in his house when he dives deep into research. Whenever he enters a state like this, unless he was satisfied with his research progress or an earthquake happened, he won't leave his house."
To be honest, Fefferman didn't even think an earthquake would do it.
Lions was astonished. "This… is ridiculous."
Fefferman smiled and shook his head. He then said, "I was just as surprised as you at first. After all, this is the 21st century. I can't believe there's someone using this type of retreat method other than Perelman. And even Perelman only reduces his traveling. He doesn't s.h.i.+eld himself completely from the outside world. But I'm used to it."
The professor asked, "Is he… that type of introverted scholar?"
Professor Fefferman waved his hand and said, "Not exactly. He's quite easy to get along with. Everyone in Princeton knows about his unique research method. I heard from my Chinese students that this method is very common in China."
Lions immediately asked, "What research method?"
Fefferman had a serious look on his face as he said, "They call it 'grinding'…"