History UsefulNotes / FermatsLastTheorem

6th Jul '16 12:48:29 PM shokoshu
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' pulled a prank that supposedly 'proved' that Fermat's theorem was false. One episode showed a blackboard in the background that showed the equation 3987^12 + 4365^12 = 4472^12, which would prove Fermat false. The statement is false, but calculators register it as true because the numbers are so large.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' pulled a prank that supposedly 'proved' that Fermat's theorem was false. One episode showed a blackboard in the background that showed the equation 3987^12 + 4365^12 = 4472^12, which would prove Fermat false. The statement is false, but calculators register it as true because the numbers are so large. [[note]] (You are a mathematician if you disprove it in your head in five seconds with arithmetic modulo 4.) [[/note]]
14th Jun '16 8:26:12 PM SteelEdge
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[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' pulled a prank that supposedly 'proved' that Fermat's theorem was false. One episode showed a blackboard in the background that showed the equation 3987^12 + 4365^12 = 4472^12, which would prove Fermat false. The statement is false, but calculators register it as true because the numbers are so large.
11th Apr '16 10:32:32 PM Pichu-kun
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* "Prove Fermat's last theorem" occurs as a problem in an OnlySmartPeopleMayPass setup in ''Manga/GashBell''. It's posed to the dumbest member of the party, and the rest force the guardian to give a simpler question by making him admit that ''he'' doesn't know the answer.

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* "Prove Fermat's last theorem" occurs as a problem in an OnlySmartPeopleMayPass setup in ''Manga/GashBell''.''Manga/ZatchBell''. It's posed to the dumbest member of the party, and the rest force the guardian to give a simpler question by making him admit that ''he'' doesn't know the answer.
24th Aug '15 4:10:57 AM LondonKdS
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** In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Jadzia says that one of Dax's earlier hosts had the most original approach to Fermat's last theorem "since Wiles 300 years ago". This may be an attempted HandWave for the TNG example, by showing that people are still working on the problem in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe even though it's been solved.

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** In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Jadzia says that one of Dax's earlier hosts had the most original approach to Fermat's last theorem "since Wiles 300 years ago". This may be an attempted HandWave for the TNG example, by showing that people are still working on the problem in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe even though it's been solved. (Another interpretation might be that the characters are still trying to find a short proof that Fermat might have come up with, without the whole fields of mathematics developed later that the Wiles proof relied on.)
16th Mar '15 3:30:07 PM JCCyC
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For nearly all the notes, it didn't take long for other mathematicians to figure out what Fermat was talking about. The quoted one was the exception. As such, it became known as Fermat's last theorem--"last" not in the sense that it was the last mathematics he ever did (he almost certainly wrote the note fairly early in his life) but in the sense that it was the last claim he made to remain unproven. It took until nearly 350 years after Fermat's death until mathematicians Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor released a proof in 1994.

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For nearly all the notes, it didn't take long for other mathematicians to figure out what Fermat was talking about. The quoted one was the exception. As such, it became known as Fermat's last theorem--"last" not in the sense that it was the last mathematics he ever did (he almost certainly wrote the note fairly early in his life) but in the sense that it was the last claim he made to remain unproven. It took until nearly 350 years after Fermat's death until mathematicians Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor released a proof in 1994.
1994. The proof's effect in fiction that referenced it was a mess-up not unlike [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp that other one just a couple years prior]] -- most works set in the future just assumed the Theorem would remain unproven for centuries, millennia, or even forever.
23rd Feb '15 9:54:56 AM Micah
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->("It is impossible for a cube to be the sum of two cubes, a fourth power to be the sum of two fourth powers, or in general for any number that is a power greater than the second to be the sum of two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this margin is too narrow to contain.")[[note]]In LaymansTerms, take this equation: x^n plus y^n equals z^n. The Last Theorem says that if n is a number above 2, then x, y, and z can't all be whole numbers (2, 3, 4, etc.).[[/note]]

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->("It is impossible for a cube to be the sum of two cubes, a fourth power to be the sum of two fourth powers, or in general for any number that is a power greater than the second to be the sum of two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this margin is too narrow to contain.")[[note]]In LaymansTerms, take this equation: x^n plus + y^n equals = z^n. The Last Theorem says that if n is a whole number above 2, then x, y, and z can't all be positive whole numbers (2, (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.).[[/note]]
23rd Feb '15 8:30:59 AM ultimomant
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[[AC:{{Fanfic}}]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/244611/an-academic-visit An Academic Visit]]'', a pony math professor named Silver Compass occasionally works on "Starswirl's Unsolved Theorem". It happens to be identical to Fermat's Last Theorem. Some human characters show him the proof, making him extremely grateful. Silver Compass notes that the mathematical concepts needed for the proof have not yet been developed in Equestria.
21st Feb '15 9:41:26 AM Micah
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[[AC:WebComics]]
* ''WebComic/IrregularWebcomic'' posits that Fermat was a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1807.html time traveler]].


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[[AC:WebComics]]
* ''WebComic/IrregularWebcomic'' posits that Fermat was a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1807.html time traveler]].
10th Feb '15 9:47:01 PM jormis29
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[[caption-width-right:300:[[TheNineties The USSR, Apartheid, and now this]]. Is nothing sacred?]]

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[[caption-width-right:300:[[TheNineties The USSR, Apartheid, and now this]]. Is nothing sacred?]]IsNothingSacred]]



[[AC:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}

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[[AC:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}{{Manga}}]]
10th Feb '15 9:45:49 PM jormis29
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[[AC:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}
* The theorem is mentioned in an episode of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'', in which Yuya is challenged to prove it during a Quiz Duel. Given that he's terrible at math, he declines to answer... But really, given that the quiz only gives you ''five seconds'' to respond, it's doubtful anyone would have been able to prove the theorem in time.
* "Prove Fermat's last theorem" occurs as a problem in an OnlySmartPeopleMayPass setup in ''Manga/GashBell''. It's posed to the dumbest member of the party, and the rest force the guardian to give a simpler question by making him admit that ''he'' doesn't know the answer.
* In ''Manga/GetBackers'', Lucky, the genius dog, is given a problem like this to solve. The dog answers that it's unsolveable (x = "nothing"), which is what ''really'' clues [[InsufferableGenius Ban]] in to the fact that the whole "genius dog" thing isn't a parlor trick... the dog's actually been [[spoiler:infected with the same virus that caused apes to mutate into humans, the so-called "Missing Link Virus."]] It... doesn't make ''sense'' in context, but there is an explanation.

[[AC:{{Comics}}]]
* In the Dutch comic ''Storm: De Kronieken van Pandarve'' [[note]]Storm: The Chronicles of Pandarve[[/note]], the [[GeniusLoci planetary intelligence Pandarve]] tries to solve Fermat's theorem to pass the time. When Storm needs her full attention to deal with an incoming meteor, he reveals that the theorem was solved, and that he knew that all the time but never told her. Pandarve gets quite enraged at this, partially because a mere human proved smarter than her, but mostly because she is now ''bored''. She calms down when Storm tells her about another unsolved problem, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldbach%27s_conjecture Goldbach's conjecture]].

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Appears briefly on a blackboard in the 2000 remake of ''Film/{{Bedazzled 2000}}''. Satan (Elizabeth Hurley as a HotTeacher) erases it from the list of homework assignments while commenting, "You'll never use this stuff."

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]



* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Picard spends some time trying to prove Fermat's last theorem. He says he finds it humbling that an 800-year-old problem, first posed by a French mathematician without a computer, still eludes solution. (The episode in question was broadcast [[ScienceMarchesOn five years before Wiles' proof was released]].)
** In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Jadzia says that one of Dax's earlier hosts had the most original approach to Fermat's last theorem "since Wiles 300 years ago". This may be an attempted HandWave for the TNG example, by showing that people are still working on the problem in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe even though it's been solved.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour "The Eleventh Hour"]], the Doctor uses Fermat's original proof of Fermat's last theorem[[note]](along with an explanation of why electrons have mass and a description of an FTL drive)[[/note]] to get a team of scientists to take him seriously after hacking into their videoconference. He also admits that the unfinished stuff was his fault as he "slept in".



* In ''Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy'', Lisbeth spends most of the second book puzzling over the Theorem. At the end of the book, she [[EurekaMoment understands what he meant]], but after the ending of the book, forgets it.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Picard spends some time trying to prove Fermat's last theorem. He says he finds it humbling that an 800-year-old problem, first posed by a French mathematician without a computer, still eludes solution. (The episode in question was broadcast [[ScienceMarchesOn five years before Wiles' proof was released]].)
** In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Jadzia says that one of Dax's earlier hosts had the most original approach to Fermat's last theorem "since Wiles 300 years ago". This may be an attempted HandWave for the TNG example, by showing that people are still working on the problem in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe even though it's been solved.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour "The Eleventh Hour"]], the Doctor uses Fermat's original proof of Fermat's last theorem[[note]](along with an explanation of why electrons have mass and a description of an FTL drive)[[/note]] to get a team of scientists to take him seriously after hacking into their videoconference. He also admits that the unfinished stuff was his fault as he "slept in".

[[AC:{{Music}}]]



* ''IrregularWebcomic'' posits that Fermat was a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1807.html time traveler]].
* "Prove Fermat's last theorem" occurs as a problem in an OnlySmartPeopleMayPass setup in ''GashBell''. It's posed to the dumbest member of the party, and the rest force the guardian to give a simpler question by making him admit that ''he'' doesn't know the answer.
* Shows up in ''Theatre/{{Arcadia}}''; as a joke Septimus assigns the TeenGenius Thomasina to solve it. She eventually comes to the conclusion that Fermat was {{Troll}}ing. Interestingly, ''Arcadia'' was published mere months before Wiles' proof.
* In TheMillenniumTrilogy, Lisbeth spends most of the second book puzzling over the Theorem. At the end of the book, she [[EurekaMoment understands what he meant]], but after the ending of the book, forgets it.
* Appears briefly on a blackboard in the 2000 remake of ''Film/{{Bedazzled 2000}}''. Satan (Elizabeth Hurley as a HotTeacher) erases it from the list of homework assignments while commenting, "You'll never use this stuff."
* In ''GetBackers'', Lucky, the genius dog, is given a problem like this to solve. The dog answers that it's unsolveable (x = "nothing"), which is what ''really'' clues [[InsufferableGenius Ban]] in to the fact that the whole "genius dog" thing isn't a parlor trick... the dog's actually been [[spoiler:infected with the same virus that caused apes to mutate into humans, the so-called "Missing Link Virus."]] It... doesn't make ''sense'' in context, but there is an explanation.
* The Musical ''Fermat's Last Tango'' is a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of a modern mathematician using computers to find the proof, while taunted by Fermat's ghost, returned from the afterlife (a specific one for mathematicians, called the [[IncrediblyLamePun After Math]]). (Was originally to be called ''Proof'', but premiered at the same time as ''{{Theatre/Proof}}''.)



* In the Dutch comic ''Storm: De Kronieken van Pandarve'' [[note]]Storm: The Chronicles of Pandarve[[/note]], the [[GeniusLoci planetary intelligence Pandarve]] tries to solve Fermat's theorem to pass the time. When Storm needs her full attention to deal with an incoming meteor, he reveals that the theorem was solved, and that he knew that all the time but never told her. Pandarve gets quite enraged at this, partially because a mere human proved smarter than her, but mostly because she is now ''bored''. She calms down when Storm tells her about another unsolved problem, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldbach%27s_conjecture Goldbach's conjecture]].
* The theorem is mentioned in an episode of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'', in which Yuya is challenged to prove it during a Quiz Duel. Given that he's terrible at math, he declines to answer... But really, given that the quiz only gives you ''five seconds'' to respond, it's doubtful anyone would have been able to prove the theorem in time.

to:


[[AC:WebComics]]
* In ''WebComic/IrregularWebcomic'' posits that Fermat was a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1807.html time traveler]].

[[AC:{{Theatre}}]]
* Shows up in ''Theatre/{{Arcadia}}''; as a joke Septimus assigns
the Dutch comic ''Storm: De Kronieken van Pandarve'' [[note]]Storm: The Chronicles of Pandarve[[/note]], the [[GeniusLoci planetary intelligence Pandarve]] tries TeenGenius Thomasina to solve it. She eventually comes to the conclusion that Fermat was {{Troll}}ing. Interestingly, ''Arcadia'' was published mere months before Wiles' proof.
* The Musical ''Fermat's Last Tango'' is a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of a modern mathematician using computers to find the proof, while taunted by
Fermat's theorem to pass ghost, returned from the time. When Storm needs her full attention to deal with an incoming meteor, he reveals that afterlife (a specific one for mathematicians, called the theorem was solved, and that he knew that all [[IncrediblyLamePun After Math]]). (Was originally to be called ''Proof'', but premiered at the same time but never told her. Pandarve gets quite enraged at this, partially because a mere human proved smarter than her, but mostly because she is now ''bored''. She calms down when Storm tells her about another unsolved problem, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldbach%27s_conjecture Goldbach's conjecture]].
* The theorem is mentioned in an episode of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'', in which Yuya is challenged to prove it during a Quiz Duel. Given that he's terrible at math, he declines to answer... But really, given that the quiz only gives you ''five seconds'' to respond, it's doubtful anyone would have been able to prove the theorem in time.
as ''{{Theatre/Proof}}''.)
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