Fermat's Enigma

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

By (author) Dr. Simon Singh

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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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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 121.92 x 175.26 x 22.86mm | 226.8g
  • 01 Feb 1999
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • New York
  • English
  • Anchor Books.
  • 0385493622
  • 9780385493628
  • 121,058

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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.

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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.

show more