
Proof, The


Program Overview


The Pythagorean Theorem is simple: x^{2 }+ y^{2} =
z^{2}. In this form, the equation can be solved. But what if
the 2 is replaced with any positive integer greater than 2? Would the equation
still be solvable? More than 300 years ago, amateur mathematician Pierre de
Fermat said no, and claimed he could prove it. Unfortunately, the book margin
in which he left this prophecy was too small to contain his thinking. Fermat's
Last Theorem has since baffled mathematicians armed with the most advanced
calculators and computers. NOVA chronicles the sevenyear effort of one
mathematician, Andrew Wiles, who methodically works in near isolation to
determine the proof for this seemingly simple equation.

