Fermat's last theorem

mathshead

Main Question or Discussion Point

can someone tell what fermat's last thearom is? who prove it in 1993, and why it was a such great things to prove?

Answers and Replies

The theorem says that;

The equation x^n + y^n = z^n has no solution for non-zero integers x, y, and z if n is an integer greater than 2.

Fermat said he had a proof for this in the 17th Century but died before ever showing the proof. A guy called Andrew Wiles finally fully prooved it in 1993 after spending much of his life on it.

You'll find much more on google.

FZ+
Fermat probably lied, as Wiles' proof took mathematics it took hundreds of years to derive.

BoulderHead
Originally posted by FZ+
Fermat probably lied, as Wiles' proof took mathematics it took hundreds of years to derive.
I have a proof that Fermat lied, alas, I haven't the time in this thread to demonstrate it.

Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
*snicker*

Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT) itself isn't anything particularly special, it's just one of those "thorn in your side" type problems.

The reason why it's so great, though, is that entire branches of mathematics were invented in an attempt to prove it.

Wiles proof, in particular, is actually partial progress on one of the most fundamental conjectures in the study of elliptic curves, he proved that a certain type of "bad" elliptic curves cannot exist. It just so happens that a counterexample to FLT would allow one to construct one of those bad elliptic curves, so FLT is merely a rather minor corrolary to Wiles' theorem.

Hurkyl

Boulderhead
I have a proof that Fermat lied, alas, I haven't the time in this thread to demonstrate it.
You Bould me over with your Wiles.

mathshead
can someone link me to page, that has a proof for it, what other famous did fermat have?

selfAdjoint
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Gold Member
Dearly Missed
A lot of the theorems in basic number theory are by Fermat. He invented the method of infinite descent, a kind of induction in reverse. In his time he was regarded as the best number theorist around, and everybody was eager to read his work when it was published. It was in the form of notes on Bachet's translation of Diophantus. Diophantus was an ancient Greek number theorist.

He is also one of the pre-inventors of the calculus. He did (simple) derivatives and integrals, but didn't see the point that they are inverse operations. Using this pre-calculus he proved Snell's law that when a light beam is refracted by a change of medium, the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction are in constant ratio depending on the media.