"One of the world's foremost mathematicians, Prof Sir Michael Atiyah, has died at the age of 89," reports the BBC.

"One of the world's foremost mathematicians, Prof Sir Michael Atiyah, has died at the age of 89," reports the BBC.

"He has been described to me by more than one professor of mathematics as the best mathematician in this country since Sir Isaac Newton," his brother tells the BBC: Sir Michael was best known for his co-development of a branch of mathematics called topological K-theory and the Atiyah-Singer index theorem. His research also involved deep insights relating to mathematical concepts known as "vector bundles". His work in these areas has helped theoretical physicists to advance their understanding of quantum field theory and general relativity.

In September, Atiyah also claimed to have proved the 160-year-old Riemann hypothesis.

"If the hypothesis is proven to be correct," New Scientist reported, "mathematicians would be armed with a map to the location of all such prime numbers, a breakthrough with far-reaching repercussions in the field."