Number Theory: Fermat’s Last Theorem
On June 24, 1993, the New York Times ran a front-page story with the headline “At Last, Shout of ‘Eureka!’ In Age-Old Math Mystery.” The proverbial shout of “Eureka!” had echoed across the campus of Cambridge University, England, just the day before. At the end of a series of lectures at a small conference on the arcane subjects of “p-adic Galois Representations, Iwasawa Theory, and the Tamagawa Numbers of Motives,” Princeton mathematician Andrew Wiles mentioned, almost as an afterthought, that the results he had presented implied, as a corollary, that Fermat’s Last Theorem was true. Via telephone and electronic mail, the news of what many mathematicians called the most exciting event in twentieth-century mathematics spread around the globe almost instantly. We will return to these developments again at the end of this introductory section.
KeywordsNumber Theory Prime Number Unique Factorization Great Common Divisor Algebraic Number Theory
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