A theorem in limbo shows that QED is not the last word in a mathematical proof

By Julie Rehmeyer, 12:04 PM March 25, 2013

When a top-tier mathematician announced in August that he had proved one of the greatest problems in mathematics, the claim was trumpeted in the New York Times, Nature, Science and the Boston Globe.

But that didn’t make the abc conjecture proven. People often think of mathematics as a solitary pursuit, with a written proof as final product. In fact, it’s an unavoidably social activity, even for mathematicians who prefer to work alone. A theorem isn’t proven until the mathematical communi...

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