Fermat's last theorem

Fermat's last theorem

Fermat's last theorem was an algebraic puzzle proposed by the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat in the 17th century.

Following his death, a mathematical formula was found scrawled in the margin of his notes, "xn + yn = zn, where n is greater than 2," which Fermat said had no solution in whole numbers, but he also added a phrase, "remarkable proof."

According to Jean-Luc Picard, people have been trying to find the proof for 800 years, including himself, during his leisure time. Picard found it stimulating, and noted that it put things in perspective stating that "in our arrogance, we feel we are so advanced and yet we cannot unravel a simple knot tied by a part-time French mathematician working alone without a computer." (TNG: "The Royale")

Jadzia Dax stated that one of her previous hosts, Tobin Dax, had "the most original approach to the proof since Wiles over 300 years ago." (DS9: "Facets")

"The Royale" aired in 1989, six years before a proof for Fermat's last theorem was published by Andrew Wiles of Princeton University, using advanced 20th century mathematics. Fermat's original proof is still unknown, and mathematicians now believe that Fermat was mistaken in believing he had solved the problem.

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