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Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problemby Simon Singh
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[A]n excellent and very worthwhile account of one of the most dramatic and moving events of the century." The New York Times Book Review
"The history of mathematics comes alive even for those who dread balancing their checkbooks." Publishers Weekly
"Singh captures the joys and frustrations of this quest for an extremely elusive proof...and builds to a truly engrossing climax. It's a mathematical page-turner." Library Journal
"A good overview of one of the great intellectual puzzles of modern history." Kirkus Reviews
Compelling, dramatic, and entirely accessible, "Fermat's Enigma" is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery, and one that will forever change the reader's feelings about mathematics. Simon Singh co-produced an award-winning documentary film on Fermat's Last Theorem that aired on PBS's "Nova" series. 21 illustrations.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
About the Author
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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