Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future... show more
xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years. In Fermat's Enigma--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it. Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.
Publish date: September 8th 1998
Pages no: 315
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Popular Science
, History Of Science
I bought this book after seeing the documentary that went with it.It tells how one person (Andrew Wiles) worked to prove a theorem that had stumped mathemeticians for over 3 centuries after reading about it when he was in primary school. Singh explains the ideas behind the eventual solution in a cle...
"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 ...
Very Enjoyable. Even if I didn't understand the difference between an elliptical equation and modular forms!
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...