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Alternative Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem?

  1. Jul 18, 2012 #1
    I found this paper, which is a supposed "proof" of Fermat's Last Theorem, while I was doodling around online. I would have normally ignored it, due to the vast quantity of crackpot proofs that are available on the subject. But the author of this proof (someone named Andrew H. Warren) claims in the paper, "Originally submitted to American Mathematical Society on February 16, 1991. Not rejected – no flaws
    were found. Not accepted – the referees could not grasp the key concept. The author hopes that improved presentation and better graphics will make the understanding of the concept easier to grasp.
    ".

    I'm just a beginner in proofs, but it certainly didn't seem like an "algebra-without-justification" type proof. Could anyone here have a look at it, and tell if it's genuine, or just another crank playing with big words?

    Here's the file:- files.asme.org/MEMagazine/Articles/Web/15299.pdf
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2012 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    I find the phrase "not rejected- not accepted" very strange. If it was not accepted then it was rejected! He says "no flaws. The referees could not grasp the key concept". That makes me think he did what cranks usually do. Having no idea what a mathematical proof is there was so much handwaving, undefined terms, and non-sequiturs that that the referees could NOT grasp what he was saying and did not point out specific "flaws". Cranks never realize the fact that making no sense is a flaw- and an uncorrectable one.

    I looked at the paper briefly. I would say it is NOT a case of an "algebra without justification". There is little to no algebra in the paper. The writer interprets the theorem geometrically, in terms of hyper-cubes, and then starts talking about painting portions of the hyper-cubes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  4. Jul 18, 2012 #3


    Just from reading the beginning one can tell: this is not a mathematician's paper, not even a well-educated, lover-of-mathematics- non-mathematician paper. These are just the geometric-like rantings of someone who thinks she/he knows better, and if the paper looks as it does now after the author "improved" the presentation, no wonder the first one was such that no referee won't even try to read, let alone to check to depth.

    First condition to be taken seriously in the mathematical realm: learn how to write mathematics. This is way beyond knowing how to write down equations or stuff: the writing must be wrapped with a logical, sound and consecutive sequence of reasonings, not drawings, arrows or stuff.

    DonAntonio
     
  5. Jul 18, 2012 #4

    micromass

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    It's a crackpot paper.
     
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