Number Theory


On Fermat's Last Theorem

Authors: John Smith

In 1986 AndrewWiles published a ground-breaking proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. But in spite of the rarity and the significance of the achievement, the underlying reasoning is so convoluted that it would be be extremely difficult -if not impossible- for any but a tiny minority of specialists to understand it. Most must simply take the word of Wiles and his fellow experts that Fermat's Last Theorem has been proved. But the conjecture itself -that no 3 positive integers can satisfy the equation x^n + y^n = z^n for any positive-integer value of n greater than 2- is so simple that a school child could understand it, and Fermat himself claimed that he possessed a proof, one that -if it existed- must have been expressed in the language of 17th century mathematics, and the language of 21st century high school mathematics. Ye there can be no such proof: this note outlines a complimentary but alternative argument to that employed by Wiles that shows why no 17th century proof of the theorem is possible.

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[v1] 2017-09-27 14:15:31

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