In number theory, fermats last theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy. Fermat s last theorem is a theorem first proposed by fermat in the form of a note similarly, is sufficient to prove fermat s last theorem by. For more than 300 years, mathematicians labored to crack the secret of fermat s last theorem, without any success. Simple, elegant, and utterly impossible to prove i think that fermats last theorem is one of the most interesting theorems ever created. This book will describe the recent proof of fermat s last the orem by andrew wiles, aided by richard taylor, for graduate students and faculty with a. Aczel, a visiting scholar in the history of science at harvard, earned both his b. Unlocking the secret of an ancient mathematical problem by amir d. The purpose of aczel is to introduce the origins of. Wiless proof of fermats last theorem is a proof by british mathematician andrew wiles of a special case of the modularity theorem for elliptic curves. Finally, in 1995, a princetonbased mathematician named andrew wiles solved the riddle.
Aczel sought out scientific topics with a colorful narrative behind them, including fermats last theorem, a mathematical mystery. Both fermats last theorem and the modularity theorem were almost universally considered inaccessible to proof by contemporaneous mathematicians, meaning that they were believed to be impossible to prove using current knowledge. Amir aczel s account of this brainteaser and its solution is an irresistible read. Together with ribets theorem, it provides a proof for fermats last theorem. Unlocking the secret of an ancient mathematical problem amir d. Simple, elegant, and utterly impossible to prove, fermats last theorem captured the imaginations of amateur and professional mathematicians for over three centuries. It presents a look at the mathematicians who provided various keys to professor andrew wiles 1993 confirmation of a note made in a margin three centuries. Amir aczel was an israeliborn american author of popular science and mathematics books. Aczel over three hundred years ago, a french scholar scribbled a simple theorem in the margin of a book. It would become the worlds most baffling mathematical mystery.45 629 517 1225 1042 1264 287 236 1310 718 1449 718 1462 78 50 557 214 755 950 1300 1215 339 96 1162 496 747 1393 835 410 30 163 1194 295 1345 313 1457 956