Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem

Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem

Paperback

By (author) Simon Singh

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  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 183mm x 25mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 1 February 1999
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385493622
  • ISBN 13: 9780385493628
  • Edition statement: Anchor Books.
  • Sales rank: 122,963

Product description

xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution "I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years. In "Fermat's Enigma"--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it. Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.

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Author information

Simon Singh received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge. A BBC producer, he directed and coproduced an award-winning documentary film on Fermat's Last Theorem that aired on PBS's "Nova" series. He is also the author of the bestselling "The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography." He lives in London, England.

Flap copy

xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution "I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years. In "Fermat's Enigma--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it. Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.