famous marginalia (a.k.a. how I am woefully out of date)

Chhattisgarh teacher Jawaharlal Sahu claims to have solved Fermat’s Last Theorem. if you are at all intrigued, digg it and set the math geeks alight.

the famous marginalia, the scrawled words that sparked the frenzied race to prove Fermat right or wrong:

It is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second into two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvellous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain. Fermat


[edit] deemed TOTAL BUNK! fermat’s last theorem was (largely) solved. duh! clearly I am no mathematician. things learned:

  • it was solved using elliptic curves & modular forms and strange things like that
  • by andrew wiles, who was actually in cambridge, and solved it by locking himself into his room for several years
  • there is a fake pigeonhole in the cambridge mathematical center to which maths professors resolutely forward all the bunk submissions of mathematical proofs claiming to have squared the circle or time-travel etc that they get (presumably on a daily basis). this is hilarious.

grateful thanks to adam, kelly, victor, adrian & periklis for information 🙂


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