Singh, Simon Fermat's Last Theorem

ISBN 13: 9780001054639

Fermat's Last Theorem

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9780001054639: Fermat's Last Theorem

"I have discovered a truly marvellous proof, which this margin is too narrow to contain". With these words the 17th-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. Over 350 years were to pass before a Englishman finally cracked the mystery in 1995. Andrew Wiles had dreamt of proving Fermat ever since he first read about the theorem as a boy of ten at his local library. Only after years of toil, frustration and disappointment came the breakthrough. This work tells the true story of how Fermat's Theorem was made to yield up its secrets.

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Review:

When Cambridge mathematician Andrew Wiles announced a solution for Fermat's last theorem in 1993, it electrified the world of mathematics. After a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year--he had already laboured in solitude for seven years--to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Simon Singh's book is a lively, comprehensible explanation of Wiles's work and of the colourful history that has build up around Fermat's last theorem over the years. The book contains some problems that offer a taste for the maths, but it also includes limericks to give a feeling for the quirkier side of mathematicians.

Review:

“I was surprised to find myself gripped by Simon Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem. Reader David Rintoul’s evident fascination with the conundrum set up by the teasing French mathematician 300 years ago helps, but the real star is Singh, whose book puts across the romance of the discipline and the engaging wit and comradeship of the mathematical community.”
Independent 16/5/98

“Fermat’s Last Theorem made exhilarating listening.”
Glasgow Herald 29/1/98

“…proves unexpectedly gripping… The averagely numerate can catch a glimpse of the pure beauty of numbers without having to understand the calculations involved.”
Sunday Telegraph 7/12/97

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Simon Singh
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