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Bertrand's Postulate

If $n>3$, there is always at least one Prime between $n$ and $2n-2$. Equivalently, if $n>1$, then there is always at least one Prime between $n$ and $2n$. It was proved in 1850-51 by Chebyshev, and is therefore sometimes known as Chebyshev's Theorem. An elegant proof was later given by Erdös. An extension of this result is that if $n>k$, then there is a number containing a Prime divisor $>k$ in the sequence $n$, $n+1$, ..., $n+k-1$. (The case $n=k+1$ then corresponds to Bertrand's postulate.) This was first proved by Sylvester, independently by Schur, and a simple proof was given by Erdös.

A related problem is to find the least value of $\theta$ so that there exists at least one Prime between $n$ and $n+{\mathcal
O}(n^\theta)$ for sufficiently large $n$ (Berndt 1994). The smallest known value is $\theta=6/11+\epsilon$ (Lou and Yao 1992).

See also Choquet Theory, de Polignac's Conjecture, Prime Number


Berndt, B. C. Ramanujan's Notebooks, Part IV. New York: Springer-Verlag, p. 135, 1994.

Erdös, P. ``Ramanujan and I.'' In Proceedings of the International Ramanujan Centenary Conference held at Anna University, Madras, Dec. 21, 1987. (Ed. K. Alladi). New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 1-20, 1989.

Lou, S. and Yau, Q. ``A Chebyshev's Type of Prime Number Theorem in a Short Interval (II).'' Hardy-Ramanujan J. 15, 1-33, 1992.

© 1996-9 Eric W. Weisstein