Fermat's Last Theorem

The story of the solving of a puzzle that has confounded mathematicians since the 17th century The solution of Fermat s Last Theorem is the most important mathematical development of the 20th century In 1963, a schoolboy browsing in his local library stumbled across the world s greatest mathematical problem Fermat s Last Theorem, a puzzle that every child can understandThe story of the solving of a puzzle that has confounded mathematicians since the 17th century The solution of Fermat s Last Theorem is the most important mathematical development of the 20th century In 1963, a schoolboy browsing in his local library stumbled across the world s greatest mathematical problem Fermat s Last Theorem, a puzzle that every child can understand but which has baffled mathematicians for over 300 years Aged just ten, Andrew Wiles dreamed that he would crack it Wiles s lifelong obsession with a seemingly simple challenge set by a long dead Frenchman is an emotional tale of sacrifice and extraordinary determination In the end, Wiles was forced to work in secrecy and isolation for seven years, harnessing all the power of modern maths to achieve his childhood dream Many before him had tried and failed, including a 18 century philanderer who was killed in a duel An 18 century Frenchwoman made a major breakthrough in solving the riddle, but she had to attend maths lectures at the Ecole Polytechnique disguised as a man since women were forbidden entry to the school.
Fermat s Last Theorem The story of the solving of a puzzle that has confounded mathematicians since the th century The solution of Fermat s Last Theorem is the most important mathematical development of the th century

  • Title: Fermat's Last Theorem
  • Author: Simon Singh
  • ISBN: 9781841157917
  • Page: 187
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Fermat's Last Theorem”

    1. Simon Singh has the ability to present a story about a mathematics problem, and tell it like a detective story. He makes the subject exciting, even though the outcome is well known. Singh intersperses history with discussions about the mathematics, and makes it quite understandable. Singh starts with the roots of the famous Fermat's Last Theorem, by recounting the stories and mathematics of Pythagoras, Euclid, and Euler. Other, less well-known mathematicians are also given credit, for example So [...]

    2. Before delving into the book itself, I thought I’d start things off by introducing the problem it’s concerned with, just in case you aren’t already familiar with it.So, what exactly is Fermat’s Last Theorem? Well, basically, this is it:As you can see, the conjecture is quite easy to understand, and yet, believe it or not, it was so remarkably difficult to prove that it took over 350 years to accomplish! The fact that Fermat (teasingly?) scribbled this rather infuriating note in the margi [...]

    3. The story starts with Pierre de Fermat, one of the all-time great mathematicians, who claimed he could prove that the equation (an + bn = cn) has no whole number solutions when n is greater than 2. There are some near misses (e.g 63 + 83 = 93 – 1), but no numbers that make the equation balance properly.Andrew WilesGiven that there are infinitely many possible numbers to check it was quite a claim, but Fermat was absolutely sure that no numbers fitted the equation because he had a logical water [...]

    4. Being a scientist of long standing and loving all aspects of science and maths, Fermat's Last Theorem in itself was a wonderful mystery, what I would give to see Fermat's note book with a note in the margin about cubic numbers as opposed to squares. A very trite remark, too lengthy to write in the margin so it is elsewhere, and no one has ever found it or managed to prove his statement, until - - - this book is a brilliant read, you would think it would be as dry as dust, but no! It is a superb [...]

    5. “সমকোণী ত্রিভুজের অতিভুজের ওপর অঙ্কিত বর্গক্ষেত্রের ক্ষেত্রফল অপর দুই বাহুর ওপর অঙ্কিত বর্গক্ষেত্রদ্বয়ের ক্ষেত্রফলের সমষ্টির সমান”-বাংলা মধ্যম শিক্ষা ব্যবস্থার ছাত্র-ছাত্রীরা বিজ্ঞা [...]

    6. Simon converts what could have been a dry chronicle of proofs into an ode full of excitement, inspiration and intrigue worthy of a gothic love affair. Full review to follow.

    7. What a fun book this was (thanks, Trevor, for the recommendation)! There are many reasons I think I like (good) nonfiction -- a sense of direct relevance, gravitas, frequent insights into the workings of the universe (and people), but mostly for knowledge narcs -- high levels of information density served up into an intriguing package by someone else who has undertaken the heavy lifting (research, organization, thinking). So, here in Singh's work I get a solid lay understanding not only of the p [...]

    8. This is the kind of book that we non mathematical minds can easily digest and love. It gives you an epic scope of the number of minds that it takes to build new ideas. I doubt if Fermat had actually solved this theorem correctly, but this is impossible to prove. Fermat's theorem however was not impossible to prove! It was solved! Thanks to the efforts of many men (and women!) over many lifetimes and one final man who had the determination and persistence to finish the unthinkable. This book has [...]

    9. Un teorema è per sempreUn tale Fermat, che nel diciassettesimo secolo si dilettava di matematica ed era un po' buontempone, enunciò un teorema all'apparenza banale e lasciò scritto sul margine di una pagina di un libro:“Dispongo di una meravigliosa dimostrazione di questo teorema, che non può essere contenuta nel margine stretto della pagina”Il teorema era banale, come pure l'affermazione. Non poteva che scaturirne una dimostrazione banale. Eppure La dimostrazione di quell'equazione bana [...]

    10. I guess the author does a reasonable job. But when I reached the end, I still didn't feel I understood at all how the proof worked. Probably that's just because it's so bloody hard. I got a lot more though out of Prime Obsession, Derbyshire's book on the Riemann Hypothesis, where the author opens up the box and shows you some of the actual math

    11. This book is as interesting as a detective story while being about quite advanced mathematics - as such it is quite a book showing the remarkable skill of its writer to explain complex ideas in ways that are always readable and enjoyable.A mathematician finds a simple proof to what seems like a deceptively simple problem of mathematics - that pythagoras's theorem only works if the terms are squared, and not if they are any other power up to infinity. Sounds dull. Except that the mathematician jo [...]

    12. Vodeći nas kroz istoriju matematike i teorije brojeva, Singh pripoveda uzbudljivu priču o problemu koji je mučio matematičare od 17. veka, pa sve do oktobra 1994. godine, kada je Andrew Wiles konačno kompletirao svoj dokaz pretpostavke koju je formulisao Pierre de Fermat 1637. godine.Ovaj "princ svih amatera", koji je radio izolovan od matematičke zajednice, uživao je u rešavanju problema, ali nije se trudio da ponudi potpunija objašnjenja, često izazivajući kolege da ih dokažu i pok [...]

    13. If you buy the latest Jilly Cooper instead of this you WILL go to hell!This one languished on my bookshelf for the best part of a year as I was too scared to pick it up & start it. What held me back is what will probably put a lot of other potential readers off trying it - the boring old "I'm no good at maths" argument. Although my maths education is probably little above average (a good O Level and a terrible A Level, after which I rallied somewhat to obtain a reasonable HNC maths module) i [...]

    14. A fantastically entertaining and educational book about the quest to solve the oldest math problem: Fermat's Last Theorem. The intrigue, mystery, and drama surrounding the famous theorem without a proof (but that Fermat had said he had a proof for, just not enough space to write it in the margins) is exciting enough. All the math greats who have attempted to solve it but come up a little short, or a lot short.But it's much more than that, since the final proof of Fermat's Theorem involves so man [...]

    15. This book is a biography of the epic quest to solve the eluding Fermat's last theorem. It chronicles the life and works of not just Fermat, but most of the mathematicians having even a tiny bit to do with the conjecture/theorem. Curious and strange revelations into the lives of many of the princes and princesses of mathematics are presented. It presents the case of lives, pursuits and the times that they lived in. The problems that they face (mathematical and others), how these affect the progre [...]

    16. From my reading journal:May 31, 2009. Yesterday I finished reading Fermat's Last Theorem. I plan to write a glowing book review but this space is too limited to contain it.

    17. Simon Singh gives an excellent account of the quest for the solution to Fermat's puzzle. Starting off with ancient Greeks and arriving at the proof using modern mathematics, he explains the struggles of generations of mathematicians. The author never tries to overwhelm us with the mathematics, but tells us about the people who were involved in proving the theorem. Having said that, all the mathematics in the book can be understood with a background in high school mathematics. This book is a grea [...]

    18. Había leído parte de este libro cuando estudiaba periodismo, gracias a Alejandra Carmona, una profe muy inquieta que daba el ramo de Antropología y que siempre llegaba con lecturas nuevas y actuales. Por ella descubrí no sólo a autores “académicos”, como Lévi-Strauss y Ángel Rama, sino a escritores que cruzan el periodismo con la etnografía y la literatura, como Martín Caparrós y Simon Singh, autor de El Último Teorema de Fermat. Es un libro hermoso, como hermosas son las matemá [...]

    19. Reading this book I caught a glimpse of the rarefied atmosphere of mathematicians and their processes of discovery. I don't do mathematics and haven't studied anything beyond the bare minimum required for a Bachelor's degree, but I find something wonderful about the pursuits of people like Andrew Wiles and the number theorists who spend years of their lives working on a set of problems. Wiles's obsessive mindset and solitary quest reminded of Ron Carlson's short story "Towel Season" and I wonder [...]

    20. Most interesting non-fiction book I have ever read.Simon Singh's style of weaving a scientific concept into a beautiful story leaves no occasion for the fictional characters and plots. The narration flows like acetone. The book starts with the climax moment of a 358 year old struggle “Fermat's last theorem”. Singh's writing style paints the whole view (awestruck people, ecstatic protagonist, exuberant surroundings) in front of your eyes. Singh is successful in seizing reader's undivided atte [...]

    21. This book was absolutely fabulous. Simon Singh does a great job of dramatizing the story of Fermat's Last Theorem, its history, and surrounding areas of Mathematics.I love the fact that I actually learned a ton from this book too - things I should have learned in school - such as the actual methods of proofs used for several theorems we know and use often. The book also included the actual proofs in the appendix (for the simple ones) and at least bothered to name-drop technical terms (so I could [...]

    22. Perfect numbers. Complete numbers. Irrational numbers. Friendly numbers. Imaginary numbers. Negative numbers.Method of infinite descent. Who knew math could describe the ways of the heart so well? I think that what I liked the most about this book is that I was actually able to understand a good sixty percent of it. With the other forty percent, I proceeded on faith. Come to think of it, those percentages hold true for the rest of my life. There are times when your best bet is to find a good mat [...]

    23. Một cha toán học gia tỏ ra nguy hiểm giật tít. Nhiều cha tò mò tốn bao nhiêu công sức nhưng đành bó tay. Và cuối cùng cũng có một ông kiếm ra lời giải!! :D

    24. This book finds a way to narrate the chain of events from the time of Pythagoras to the final proof of Fermat's last theorem by Andrew Wiles, entwining with it the key mathematical concepts presented in an accessible form and stories of the mathematicians who made those contributions. It conveys perfectly to a layman the sense of accomplishment that the mathematical community associates with cracking the proof for this theorem. In that sense, it has the effect of a self-help book even without tr [...]

    25. By a happy coincidence, I came across this book when I was reading about Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession. It is an epic tale of how a deceptively simple-looking problem baffled the mathematicians for more than 350 years, became a holy grail of mathematics and how Wiles solved it by spending almost 7 years in total isolation. P.S. : I have written a marvelous review about this book, which this margin is too narrow to contain.

    26. "My butter, garcon, is writ large in!"a diner was heard to be chargin'."I HAD to write there,"exclaimed waiter Pierre,"I couldn't find room in the margarine."Ever since I recently stumbled upon the documentary called 'The Proof' I've become extremely interested (almost obsessed) in Wiles's proof of Fermat's last Theorem and have been searching for a good book that would provide me with a real, mathematical explanation of it (mainly the connection between modular forms and elliptic curves), becau [...]

    27. iandbooks.wordpressIn a way this book “Fermat’s Last Theorem” is a fantasy come true. To be able to read about complex Mathematics in a story book style is something that was possible only in this book by Simon Singh. Before I picked up this book I had no idea about Fermat’s last theorem or its significance. I just read the summary on the back page and felt like picking up the book and once I started reading it, there was no stopping it, though I did skipped over complex mathematical equ [...]

    28. Fermat's Last Theorem is simple enough that anyone who understands Pythagorus' technique for finding the longest side of a right-angled triangle, can understand the conjecture that Fermat provides:a^n + b^n = c^n has no solutions in positive integers, if n is an integer greater than 2What is not easily understood is the story of how it was proved some 350 years later, but Simon Singh turns this story, over three-hundred years of mathematics, into a manageable and thrilling (yes thrilling!) read. [...]

    29. Absolutely fantastic.The descriptions of all the maths and discoveries in this book are nothing short of joyful, and I felt so excited to be reading all of it. The book explains and shows why math is so amazing, how it is a divine language that describes something (i.e number properties and their relationships) that exists outside of the physical world, how mathematicians are then often more in search of a truth in the real sense of the word than in search of a practical application or an explan [...]

    30. Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh is a very captivating read. The book describes the origin of the theorem, and the consequent journey towards the proof. The proof was released in 1994 by Andrew Wiles, after 358 years of effort by mathematicians! However, this apparently innocuous theorem stimulated the development of number theory in mathematics. And it all started with Fermat's famous margin note "I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to [...]

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