I found a paper on arXiv.com that claims that P=NP is proved. The paper is written by a professor in Russia and it looks well-writen. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.0954v31.pdf

Can I ask whether or not the paper is correct on Mathoverflow.net?

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    $\begingroup$ That would be too general and controversial. You might me able to ask a very specific focused question about a particular point in the proof if you can motivate it and put into context. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ I agree for the general considerations with existing replies. For this particular paper: it is now at 30+ version on arXiv carried out over a year. This is a huge warning sign. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ The abstract link is here: arxiv.org/abs/1208.0954 . Please do not link directly to PDFs on arXiv. Clicking on the PDF link from the abstract page is trivial, whereas no link goes in the opposite direction, and one has to meddle with the URL manually. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Emil, to go the opposite direction click on the arXiv stamp on the left margin. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AntonKlyachko true, still it can be desirable (say on some mobile device), not having to open a pdf to find out which article is meant. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible we could work out a scheme to discourage people from downvoting a question to indicate disagreement? I don't want to discourage people from checking on meta first! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Scott Morrison This could worth a question on its own. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @ScottMorrison: Indeed, the question is definitely (in the context of meta) "useful and clear". $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ Just posted meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/1269/… $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


Questions asking for the correctness of certain papers are generally off-topic on MathOverflow. Concerning the particular problem whether P=NP or not, there have been a lot of claimed proofs or disproofs, as well as claimed proofs that the question is undecidable -- see e.g. http://www.win.tue.nl/~gwoegi/P-versus-NP.htm.

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    $\begingroup$ The paper in question is entry 95 on the list there. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 16:52

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