Pierre De Fermat's Last Theorem

908 Words4 Pages
Pierre de Fermat was born August 17, 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France. After pursuing his bachelor in civil law from the University of Toulouse, he spent a great deal of time researching calculus and corresponding with other mathematicians. Fermat was perhaps best known for the “integrity of his commitment to the cause of mathematical truth” [1] and sought to establish himself as a legitimate mathematician aside from his main profession as a lawyer. He was rather political about his work and frequently disputed with René Descartes over matters of credibility and reputation. Fermat was prone to criticism from his contemporaries, who often viewed his problems as trivial. Nevertheless, many of his achievements proved invaluable to Newton and Leibniz during the evolution of calculus. Throughout the early 17th century, Pierre de Fermat made discoveries about number theory that were…show more content…
He determined that there was a finite amount of positive integers less than any given positive integer, which led to the proposition famously known as Fermat’s Last Theorem. In modern notation, this contends that if a, b and c are integers greater than 0, and if n is an integer greater than 2, then there are no solutions to the equation: an + bn = cn [3] . For instance, when n is equal to 1 or 2 there exists an infinite amount of integer solutions to the above equation. However, for n greater than or equal to 3, there are no natural numbers for which the statement is true. This equation could also be interpreted as a more general version of the Pythagorean Theorem, as both are concerned with the sums of squares of whole numbers. Since Fermat did not publish his work, his last theorem was discovered in a copy of Diophantus’ Arithmetica without a formal proof. In 1994, British mathematician Andrew Wiles officially proved Fermat’s Last Theorem by connecting elliptic curves with modular
Open Document