Watch BBC documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem

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I watched this again a few years back. I know I’m a twit and all, but goddam if I didn’t tear up a little when Wiles almost loses his composure describing his final victory over the theorem.

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Aagh, my eyes!

If something’s worth watching, it’s worth watching in its native aspect ratio.



So does this go into the technicalities, or is more of a people-thing?

Wanna bet Fermat was just trolling?


There’s a simple way to find out…


I mean, it is 45 minutes long.

Sorry; that was a knee-jerk “RTFM!” comment. :wink:

I watched it when it was first broadcast, but not since, so I can’t definitively answer your question. I think it was a bit of both, taking the maths about as far as a non-academic audience could be expected to follow.

If you don’t already understand modular forms and elliptic curves before watching this video, you will certainly be able to namedrop them into casual conversation afterwards.

“…there are no known solutions for x^n+y^n=z^n, when n equals any whole number other than 1 or 2. … ever since then, no one has been able to prove it…”

Why are you writing this like we’re still in the 1980s? There are no solutions, and Wiles and Taylor have been able to prove that.

(Sure, you say the latter lower in the post. But then why not start out with “for 350 years, no one was able” or some other such true statement.)

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