Quantum mechanical potentials related to the prime numbers and Riemann zeros

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 Nov;78(5 Pt 2):056215. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.78.056215. Epub 2008 Nov 25.


Prime numbers are the building blocks of our arithmetic; however, their distribution still poses fundamental questions. Riemann showed that the distribution of primes could be given explicitly if one knew the distribution of the nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta(s) function. According to the Hilbert-Pólya conjecture, there exists a Hermitian operator of which the eigenvalues coincide with the real parts of the nontrivial zeros of zeta(s) . This idea has encouraged physicists to examine the properties of such possible operators, and they have found interesting connections between the distribution of zeros and the distribution of energy eigenvalues of quantum systems. We apply the Marchenko approach to construct potentials with energy eigenvalues equal to the prime numbers and to the zeros of the zeta(s) function. We demonstrate the multifractal nature of these potentials by measuring the Rényi dimension of their graphs. Our results offer hope for further analytical progress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't