He collaborated for many years with G. H. Hardy, and together they devised the first Hardy-Littlewood conjecture, a strong form of the twin prime conjecture, and the second Hardy-Littlewood conjecture.
His collaborative work, carried out by correspondence, covered fields in Diophantine approximation and Waring's problem, in particular. In his other work Littlewood collaborated with Paley in Fourier theory, and with Offord in combinatorial work on random sums, in developments that opened up fields still intensively studied. Littlewood's inequality on bilinear forms was a forerunner of the later Grothendieck tensor norm theory.
He coined Littlewood's law, which states that individuals can expect miracles to happen to them, at the rate of about one per month.
He continued to write papers into his eighties, in analytical areas in what became the theory of dynamical systems, in particular.
Categories: 1885 births | 1977 deaths | Mathematicians | British mathematicians | Number theorists
Edward and Sylvia Littlewood went on to have three sons, their second being Martin Wentworth Littlewood, who went on to study medicine, and a third son who tragically died when he was eight years old by falling into a lake from a bridge.
Littlewood never regretted having tackled the Riemann hypothesis, remarking that if one attempted a problem that was too difficult then one would always end up proving some interesting related results.
E A Milne has described how Littlewood was able to discover techniques which greatly reduced the amount of work needed for making these accurate calculation of missile trajectories.
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