Fermat's Last Theorem

Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Fermat's last theorem

[fer′mäz ¦last ′thir·əm]
The proposition, proven in 1995, that there are no positive integer solutions of the equation x n + y n = z n for n ≥ 3.

Fermat’s Last Theorem


(or Fermat’s great theorem), the assertion of P. Fermat that the Diophantine equation xn + yn = zn, where n is an integer greater than 2, has no solution in positive integers. The theorem has been proved for a number of values of n, but no proof has been given for the general case.

Despite the simplicity of the formulation of Fermat’s last theorem, its complete proof apparently requires the development of new and profound methods in the theory of Diophantine equations. An unhealthy interest in the proof of the theorem among nonspecialists in mathematics was stimulated at one time by a large international prize, which was withdrawn at the end of World War I.


Dickson, L. E. History of the Theory of Numbers, vols. 1–3. New York, 1934.
Landau, E. Aus der algebraischen Zahlentheorie und über die Fermatsche Vermutung. (Vorlesungen über Zahlentheorie, vol. 3.) Leipzig, 1927.
References in periodicals archive ?
Obviously, Fermat's Last Theorem is equivalent to the assertion that such a computer program can never halt.
In 1993, Andrew Wiles of Princeton University announced another proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, and for a while it held the ring of truth.
For example, the recent proof of Fermat's Last Theorem is a striking case of a powerfully enlightening proof and a wholly unenlightening theorem.
This has become known as Fermat's last theorem and although it seems simple enough, the proof long evaded the greatest mathematical minds.
Denyer asks why I do not infer that 1 = 0 from the fact that m + 1 = m (= m + 0), by subtracting m from both sides; or claim that Fermat's Last Theorem is false since [m.
Fermat's Last Theorem is the most famous unsolved problem in mathematics.
The most famour unsolved problem in all of mathematics is Fermat's Last Theorem which states that the equation [A.
Saito begins with a rough outline of his proof of what has become known as Fermat's Last Theorem, then works through it in detail.
Sir Andrew Wiles, who famously proved Fermat's Last Theorem between 1986 and 1995, argued that his subject had become a powerful tool that could be used for financial gain.
Among the topics addressed in 16 essays: the process of Hellenization in the early Middle Ages, the historical context of iconoclast reform, the origins of Byzantine charity, and the transmission of Fermat's Last Theorem.