Why is Fermat the coolest of all mathematicians.

Why, you ask. Umm..essentially because we couldn’t find the proof of his last theorem. Okay, patience, I will tell you what is that even supposed to mean. Pierre De Fermat was a 17th century amateur mathematician. Though he hadn’t receive any formal mathematics education, but his works have contributed a lot to calculus, number theory, and what not. But there were so many mathematicians, who may have contributed even a lot more but are they this famous? Nooooooooooooo.
Why? Because none of them were such a chilled out dude. He is so famous because he claimed to have proved a conjecture, which no other mathematician could solve (until in 1995, this guy Andrew Wiles proved it shocking the world using his analogies between earlier assumed to be entirely different topics, man, this world is full of such awesome people, I should rather die in shame 😦 ). Nevertheless, to understand what was all this fuss about chiefly, let me take you to your high school algebra class where you must have studied Pythagorean Theorem, remember?

What does it say, it says, for a right triangle, the sum of squares of length of its two sides is same the square of its hypotenuse. Here, let us see an example, to refresh our memories:

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Here, the sides are of length, 3 and 4 (clearly, both integers) and the length of the hypotenuse is 5 (also an integer). And there can be many other such integers, satisfying the condition, for example:

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Here, the powers of these integers is 2 (as we are squaring them) Fermat’s Last Theorem says that, no three integers can satisfy this equation if the power is greater than 2, meaning, there is no integral solution for the equation:

a^n + b^n = c^n…………for n >2.

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I know, right now, you have this immense urge to try to find a solution, well, I’ve myself spent hours on it too, figuring out why should this be. And you are encouraged to try it too, but first let us complete this story, and then you’ll have my permission to find a solution, if you may (Quoting Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, pretty cool, eh? I KNOW)

Anyway, while reading Diophantus’s book “Arithmetica“, he mentioned in the margin without elaboration that he had found “a truly marvelous proof of this proposition,”. Wait a second, what? I mean, who does that? Okay, imagine you proved something, would you actually explain the “great” proof then and there or just write that you found some super-awesome proof. Well, we understand if you don’t feel like penning the proof down somewhere (procrastination has been plaguing the productivity of humanity since time unknown :P), but why should you even mention you found that in your own copy of a book. I simply fail to understand.

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Anyway, let’s not be so judgmental about Mr. Fermat. He was amazing, nonetheless. 😛 Perhaps, he just scribbled that he found the proof in that book, and wrote the proof somewhere which we never found. Let him get the benefit of doubt. But this kind of shows him to be somewhat aloof, you know, don’t care type of guy. He’d just say, he knows why something is the way it is, and not explain it right there. I say, for girls, that’s a turn-on :P. Girls dig such mysterious guys.  So, Mr. Fermat, I say, you must have been one hell of a chick magnet. And I give him my *double thumbs up*. But this is entirely my opinion, don’t know if other girls would agree or not. But now that you’re dead, it doesn’t matter anyway.

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One thought on “Why is Fermat the coolest of all mathematicians.”

  1. I enjoyed your entertaining description of Fermat’s Last Theorem. Of course he could have been just guessing, but I think not. I prefer to believe that there is a simple, understandable, proof, linked to the patterns that can be identified in the sequences of Power Numbers. Many interesting patterns can be identified, and I think there must be someone somewhere, capable of developing the patterns into a proof. Just wish it was me.

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