Fermat's last theorem

Fermat's last theorem

Statement that there are no natural numbers x, y, and z such that xn + yn = zn, in which n is a natural number greater than 2. About this, Pierre de Fermat wrote in 1637 in his copy of Diophantus's Arithmetica, “I have discovered a truly remarkable proof but this margin is too small to contain it.” Although the theorem was subsequently shown to be true for many specific values of n, leading to important mathematical advances in the process, the difficulty of the problem soon convinced mathematicians that Fermat never had a valid proof. In 1995 the British mathematician Andrew Wiles (b. 1953) and his former student Richard Taylor (b. 1962) published a complete proof, finally solving one of the most famous of all mathematical problems.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Fermat's last theorem, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Fermat's last theorem? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More