A mathematician puts Fermat's Last Theorem on an axiomatic diet

By Julie Rehmeyer, 10:49 AM February 20, 2013

Fermat’s Last Theorem is so simple to state, but so hard to prove. Though the 350-year-old claim is a straightforward one about integers, the proof that University of Oxford mathematician Andrew Wiles finally created for it nearly two decades ago required almost unimaginably complex theoretical machinery. The proof was a dazzling demonstration of that machinery’s value, but one aspect of it troubled mathematicians: It relied on stronger axioms than mathematics normally requires, and ones far...

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