Monday, September 11, 2006

Two simple proofs of Fermat's Last Theorem

The title should have a big question mark at the end but I don't like question marks in the titles.

Prof. V. K. Gurtu, a retired mathematician who used to be the chair of an Indian math department, claims to have found two simple enough proofs of Fermat's Last Theorem that could, in principle, be available to Fermat himself - unlike Andrew Wiles' hi-tech proof.

Recall that Fermat claimed that he had found a fascinating proof but didn't have enough space to write it in the margin note.
One of the conceivable proofs is using a decomposition of a number as a sum of two squares and Fermat's method of infinite descent.

Gurtu has worked on the problem since 1989 and offered an incomplete solution in 1998 that ignited some criticism. Now he claims to have filled the gaps...

The Frame estimates the probability that at least one of the proposed proofs is correct to be 10%.

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