Three centuries of brain racking discovery xn + yn =zn ?

Shah, Tanuj (2012) Three centuries of brain racking discovery xn + yn =zn ? At Right Angles, 1 (1). pp. 61-63. ISSN 2582-1873

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To talk about a book on mathematics as ‘entertaining’ or a ‘page-turner’ may look out of place; but that is exactly how one would describe Simon Singh’s book, Fermat’s Enigma. The book starts in a dramatic manner: “This was the most important mathematics lecture of the century”. Singh is writing about a lecture to be delivered by Andrew Wiles on 23 June, 1993; he was going to sketch a proof of Fermat’s last theorem in this lecture. It was known as the ‘last’ theorem because it was the only remaining ‘theorem’ stated by the 17th century mathematician Pierre de Fermat which had neither been proved nor disproved, despite close attention given to it over the course of three and a half centuries by some of the greatest mathematicians. (Technically it ought to have been called a ‘conjecture’ as no proof had been found as yet). One can imagine an atmosphere of tension and excitement in the lecture hall at the prospect of the theorem finally being proved.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Shah, Tanuj
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Book review, Mathematical Problem, Theorum
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Mathematics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > At Right Angles
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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