The recent post("Long-standing conjectures in analysis ... often turn out to be false") prompted me to think about a question which I have not given much though before: to what extent the Riemann hypothesis (RH) may be regarded as a problem in *analysis*. It may actually be not as silly as it sounds.

The particular side of it I am curious about is the following. The

*Theorem* : $\zeta(s)\neq 0$ for $\Re s>1$.

may be considered a very weak consequence of RH. However, this statement is only trivial in the context of number theory. One may ask, is it possible to give it a "purely analytic" proof, without using Euler product and other stuff related to the primes? Apparently, it is not possible to formulate this as a precise mathematical question because all the theories used to formalize analysis contain a good deal of arithmetic, but it should be precise enough for practical purposes. (You know number theory when you see it.)

Most likely such a proof does not exist yet, but some readers may know more about the relevant things then I do. I am honestly curious because while it definitely looks tough, it may be not entirely implausible. If such a proof is found, it might give us a fresh look on the old problem.

It is my belief that RH is a genuinely arithmetic question that likely will not succumb to methods of analysis. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that one needs to consider families of L-functions in order to make progress on this difficult question. If so, then number theorists are on the right track to an eventual proof of RH, but we are still lacking many of the tools.ams.org/notices/200303/fea-conrey-web.pdf $\endgroup$4more comments