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Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story Of A Riddle That Confounded The World's Greatest Minds For 358 Years

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9781841157917: Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story Of A Riddle That Confounded The World's Greatest Minds For 358 Years
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'I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.' It was with these words, written in the 1630s, that Pierre de Fermat intrigued and infuriated the mathematics community. For over 350 years, proving Fermat's Last Theorem was the most notorious unsolved mathematical problem, a puzzle whose basics most children could grasp but whose solution eluded the greatest minds in the world. In 1993, after years of secret toil, Englishman Andrew Wiles announced to an astounded audience that he had cracked Fermat's Last Theorem. He had no idea of the nightmare that lay ahead. In 'Fermat's Last Theorem' Simon Singh has crafted a remarkable tale of intellectual endeavour spanning three centuries, and a moving testament to the obsession, sacrifice and extraordinary determination of Andrew Wiles: one man against all the odds.

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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:

‘If you enjoyed Dava Sobel’s “Longitude” you will enjoy this.’ Evening Standard

‘This is probably the best popular account of a scientific topic I have ever read.’ Irish Times

‘Reads like the chronicle of an obsessive love affair. It has the classic ingredients that Hollywood would recognise.’ Daily Mail

‘To read it is to realise that there is a world of beauty and intellectual challenge that is denied to 99.9 per cent of us who are not high-level mathematicians.’ The Times

‘This tale has all the elements of a most exciting story: an impenetrable riddle; the ambition and frustration of generations of hopefuls; and the genius who worked for years in secrecy to realise his childhood dream.’ Express

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781857025217: Fermat’s Last Theorem

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ISBN 10: 1857025210 ISBN 13: 9781857025217
Publisher: Fourth Estate, 1997
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Softcover

9780007241811: Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle That Confounded the World's Greatest Minds for 358 Years

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