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

Singh, Simon

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9781841157917: Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle That Confounded the World's Greatest Minds for 358 Years

'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 Andrew Wiles of Princeton University announced a solution of 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 labored 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 star-, trauma-, and wacko-studded history of Fermat's last theorem. Fermat's Enigma contains some problems that offer a taste of the math, but it also includes limericks to give a feeling for the goofy side of mathematicians.

From the Publisher:

"An excellent account of one of the most dramatic and moving events of the century."
--Sir Roger Penrose, New York Times Book Review

"It is hard to imagine a more gripping account of...this centuries-long drama of ingenious failures, crushed hopes, fatal duels, and suicides."
--Jim Holt, The Wall Street Journal

"Though Singh may not ask us to bring too much algebra to the table, he does expect us to appreciate a good detective story."
--Boston Sunday Globe

"The history of mathematics comes alive even for those who dread balancing their checkbooks."
--Publishers Weekly

"Singh captures the joys and frustrations of this quest for an extremely elusive proof...and builds to a truly engrossing climax. It's a mathematical page-turner."
--Library Journal

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781841157917

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781841157917

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