In 1844, Catalan conjectured that 8 and 9 were the only consecutive integral powers. The problem of consecutive powers is more easily grasped than Fermats last theorem, so recently vanquished. In this book, Paulo Ribenboim brings together for the first time the diverse approaches to proving Catalans conjecture. These range from the elementary methods that apply in special cases (Part A) to powerful and general results in diophantine approximation (Part C) which yieldthe strongest results to date.
In 1976, Tijdeman found a computable bound above which there are no consecutive powers. Langerin reduced this to an exponential: exp (exp (exp (exp (730)))). The enormous gap between such bonds-and the only known consecutive powers, 8 and 9-has been narrowed, but its immensity suggests the difficulty of such problems, as well as the interesting and fruitful methods developed for attacking them.
Ribenboims book will appeal to anyone interested in how number theorists attack difficult problems. Its concrete focus on an easy to state problem is a relief from such generalities as the related A, B, C conjecture, and will prove to be a good point ofdeparture for seminars in number theory. The text includes many beautiful results of classical number theory not found in any other book. The treatment is fully accessible and self-contained, making this book as attractive as the authors 13 Lectures on Fermats Last Theorem, and his book, Book of Prime Records.
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This book is a lively overview of the state of the art concerning a celebrated unsolved problem problem in number theory: Are 8 and 9 the only consecutive powers? Ribenboims treatment culminates with a complete proof of Tijdemanstheorem, and he offers many interesting complementary partial results along the way. This book offers much pleasure for lovers of number theory and is sure to become a classic.
--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
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Book Description Academic Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0125871708 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1037550