Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh

This is the story of the puzzle that had confounded mathematicians since the 17th century. 
‘I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.’
It was with these words, written in the 1630s, that Pierre de Fermat intrigued and infuriated the mathematics community. 
For over 350 years, proving Fermat’s Last Theorem was the most notorious unsolved mathematical problem, a puzzle whose basics most children could grasp but whose solution eluded the greatest minds in the world. 
Many people had tried and failed, including an 18th-century philanderer who was killed in a duel. 
An 18th-century Frenchwoman made a major breakthrough in solving the riddle, but she had to attend maths lectures at the Ecole Polytechnique disguised as a man. 

In 1963, a schoolboy Andrew Wiles browsing in his local library stumbled across Fermat's Last Theorem. Aged just ten, he dreamed he would crack it.
In 1993, after years of secret toil, Andrew Wiles  announced to an astounded audience that he had cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem. 
The solution of the Theorem was one of the most important mathematical developments of the 20th century. 
In ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ Simon Singh has crafted a remarkable tale of intellectual endeavour spanning three centuries, and a moving testament to the obsession, sacrifice and extraordinary determination of Andrew Wiles: one man against all the odds.

[Book Description Source:  and] 

Goodreads Rating - 4.21 out of 5 (17,874 Ratings; 739 Reviews - As on February 18 2017)
My Rating 4 out of 5
My Comments:  Gripping narration about an esoteric mathematical subject. Not a single dull moment throughout the book.

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