Information

Pierre de Fermat


Pierre de Fermat born on August 17, 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomages, France, and died on January 12, 1665 in Castres, France. He was a lawyer and government official in Toulouse for most of his life. Mathematics was his hobby.

In 1636 Fermat proposed a system of analytic geometry similar to that Descartes would propose a year later. Fermat's work was based on a reconstruction of Apollonius's work using Viète's algebra. Similar work led Fermat to discover similar methods for differentiation and integration by maxima and minima.

Fermat is best remembered for his work on number theory, in particular for Fermat's Last Theorem. This theorem says that xno + yno = zno has no integer solution (not zero) for x, y and z when n> 2. Fermat wrote, in the margin of Diophant's Bachet translation:

I have found a truly remarkable proof that this margin is too small to contain.

It is now believed that Fermat's "proof" was wrong, although it is impossible to be completely certain of it. The truth of Fermat's statement in June 1993 was demonstrated by British mathematician Andrew Wiles, but Wiles withdrew his claim to proof when trouble arose later in 1993.

In November 1994, Wiles again claimed to have correct proof. After a few months of appreciating the 200 pages, your demo is definitely accepted.

Mersenne, a friend of Fermat's who was interested in number theory, belonged to the Minims religious order, and his cell in Paris was a frequent meeting place for Fermat, Pascal, Gassendi, and others.

Fermat published almost nothing during his lifetime, announcing his findings in letters to friends. Sometimes he jotted down results in the margins of his books. His work was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered in the middle of the 19th century.

Bibliography: Dictionary of Scientific Biography; Biography in Encyclopaedia Britannica; MS Mahoney, The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) (Princeton, 1994); J Itard, Pierre Fermat, Kurze Mathematiker Biographien 10 (Basel, 1950). H. Wussing, Fermat, in H. Wussing and W. Arnold, Biographien bedeutender Mathematiker (Berlin, 1983).