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# Fermat's Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem

Simple, elegant, and utterly impossible to prove, Fermat's last theorem captured the imaginations of mathematicians for more than three centuries. For some, it became a wonderful passion. For others it was an obsession that led to deceit, intrigue, or insanity. In a volume filled with the clues, red herrings, and suspense of a mystery novel, Amir D. Aczel reveals the previ
...more

Paperback, 160 pages

Published
October 12th 2007
by Basic Books
(first published 1996)

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,150)

Fermat's question, what happens if you put a cube on the hypothenuse - doesit equal the sum of the cube of the other two sides (Okay I paraphrase her don't lynch me - and the what hap ...more

Wiles’ first attempt to prove the theorem fail ...more

Jun 10, 2010
Linda I
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
science

Interesting read. While Fermat's Last Theorem was a mathematical conundrum for hundreds of years, the author presents the quest to proof the theorem in a concise and engaging manner. I particularly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at each mathematicians personality and motivations.

This book is a popular history of Fermat's Last Theorem, from its original conjecture by Fermat to its solution by Andrew Wiles. As a history, it works quite well, with occasional infelicities (mainly to do with forced, false sounding connections between unrelated parts of the narrative, such as linking mathematicians because they were both interested in some fairly large division of mathematics). From a mathematical point of view, I felt it wa ...more

Jun 29, 2008
Robert
rated it
it was ok

Recommends it for:
those interested in the history but not much detail

A typical general reader math book on the low math content side. Admittedly this particular topic (a proof that runs about 200 pages of terse writing and mathematical symbols) is hard to describe briefly, and this is a very brief book, or with much detail accessible to people who have not acquired the equivalent of a decent graduate level understanding of mathematics. About half of the book is a light survey of very familiar (to the point in some cases of being boiler plate for books likes this)
...more

Jan 26, 2014
dejah_thoris
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
history

A tiny little book that covers all the developments leading up to the solving of Fermat's Last Theorem. (The public presentation of the solution is pretty cool too.) Not too heavy on the mathematical concepts until the twentieth century, allowing you to focus more on the history, though Aczel does a good job explaining complicated theories and manipulations. (Don't get stuck if you can't follow the occasional paragraphs on new theories and manipulations after non-Euclidian geometry is introduced
...more

Myślę, że wystarczająco przystępnie napisana, żeby zrozumiała ja osoba nie zainteresowana matematyką(nie wiem tylko po co miałaby po nią sięgać).

Skupia się na historiach matematyków, którzy przyłożyli rękę sformułowania dowodu wielkiego twierdzenia Fermata. Nie interesuje się zbytnio życiorysami sławnych ludzi, ale wydaje mi się, że dałoby się znaleźć trochę więcej ciekawych anegdot. Nie jest to lektura w stylu tych, które czyta się do 4 nad ranem ale też nie jest strata czasu.

Ever since Fermat mentioned that he'd solved the problem, mathematicians all over the world attempted to find a solution, knowing that it must be solvable. It wasn't until 1995 that an American mathematician, with the help of some incredibly advanced number theory w ...more

L'histoire de tous les concepts mathematiques qui sont lies a la demons ...more

He does a better-than-average job of making the narrative thread interesting (a better job than Prime Obsession did with the Riemann Hypothesis, for instance) but in 136 pages one shouldn't expect to come away from a book with a greater mathematical understanding of the soluti ...more

May 09, 2015
Cameron
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
documentary-biography,
science

I really enjoyed this book, yet I think my "nerd" phase of reading has come an end for this year. I think I enjoyed the history of all the steps it took to solve the theorem more then when they actually proved it. amazing that it took so long, about 300 years, and that who proved it discovered it when he was a child and it was his dream to solve it. lucky he was born when he was.

You don't need to be fluent in mathematics to enjoy this book. But, you must have a basic understanding of algebra and, more importantly, you must have a ...more

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