'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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(197mm x 130mm x 25mm)
Fourth Estate Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This tells a fascinating tale spanning more than 350 years of investigation into the greatest riddle in mathematics. Whether Fermat himself ever did have a proof of his famous last theorem we will never know; but the saga of the many attempts to find a proof, and the ultimate success of Andrew Wiles in the 1990s, makes absorbing reading. In 1993, Wiles, a Cambridge mathematician, electrified the world of mathematics - and appeared in the news worldwide - when he announced he had solved the eponymous theorem. To do this he had worked alone for seven years; when his proof was found to have a flaw, he had to devote another year to it. Singh's book is respectful of the maths, but also offers a colourful history of the theorem and the personalities of the mathematicians involved in it. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Dr. Simon Singh
Simon Singh received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA Award-winning documentary film 'Fermat's Last Theorem', about Andrew Wiles and the world's most famous maths problem, and he wrote the book of the same title. He is also the author of 'The Code Book' and 'Big Bang'.