David said: Simon Singh has the ability to present a story about a Este año tomé nuevamente el libro del Enigma de Fermat, símplemente porque me gustó . El Enigma de Fermat by Simon Singh, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Simon Singh was born in Great Britain in and educated at Imperial College and the University of Cambridge (where he received a Ph. D. in particle.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh. What came to be known as Fermat’s Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than years. In Fermat’s Enigma –based on the author’s award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS’s “Nova”–Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it.

Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics. Paperbackpages. Published September 8th by Anchor first published September 8th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Fermat’s Enigmaplease sign up. I cannot find a copy of this book the portuguese version. Does anyone here have a extra copy? Or knows were I can buy one? Abhishek Muralidharan The copy is available online i geuss.

See 1 question about Fermat’s Enigma…. Lists with This Book. Nov 27, David rated it it was amazing Recommended to David by: Simon Singh has the ability to present a story about a mathematics problem, and tell it like a detective story.

He makes the subject exciting, even though the outcome is well known. Singh intersperses history with discussions about the mathematics, and makes it quite understandable.

Singh starts with the roots of the famous Fermat’s Last Theorem, by recounting the stories and mathematics of Pythagoras, Euclid, and Euler. Other, less well-known mathematicians are also given credit, for example So Simon Singh has the ability to present a story about a mathematics problem, and tell it like a detective story. Three hundred fifty years ago, Fermat wrote the following theorem in the margin of a mathematics book: And, Fermat wrote that he had a marvelous proof, but no room in the margin for it.

For centuries, mathematicians have attempted to prove the theorem, without success. It had been sort of a “holy grail” of mathematicians to prove the theorem, and many brilliant minds spent years on it. Perhaps in was unprovable, and worst of all, Kurt Godel showed that some theorems are actually undecidable –that is to say, it is impossible even to decide whether or not a theorem is true. Singh recounts a fascinating story of the gifted mathematician, Paul Wolfskehl.

He was very depressed, and sigh to commit suicide on a particular night, at midnight. While waiting for that time to arrive, he started to read about the failed attempts to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem. He became so engrossed in the subject, that he worked well past midnight. He found a gap siimon the logic of a predecessor, and was so proud of himself that he gained a new desire for life. And, in his will he established a fund ofmarks to be given to the mathematician who first completes the proof of the theorem!


Much of the book describes how Andrew Wiles developed a growing interest in the theorem. He worked in almost total isolation for seven years, in order not to be distracted. He occasionally published little tidbits unrelated to his real endeavor, in order to dispel suspicions about what his real work entailed.

The central piece of the proof entailed proving the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, that linked modular forms with elliptic equations. This was a linkage between two far-flung branches of mathematics that seemed to be totally unrelated.

To prove the conjecture would allow incredible advances simgh be made.

And then, Ken Ribet showed that a proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture would, in effect, be a direct proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. But dermat people tried and failed to develop the proof.

But that is exactly what Andrew Wiles worked on for so many years. I had previously read that during Andrew Wiles’ famous lecture, he just casually let the simln audience know, “and that is a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. Most of the audience had heard rumors that the third of Wiles’ lectures would be of historical significance.

They came prepared with cameras, and took photographs during the lecture. So, it was a surprise, femrat not a total surprise. After Wiles’ manuscript of the proof was fermah to a publisher, six mathematicians reviewed it, and a crucial gap was found dingh it. Wiles worked furiously for a nightmarish year, and with the help of Richard Taylor, finally closed the gap. Today, Wiles is recognized as the one who developed the proof. But it is clear, that Wiles “stood on the shoulders of giants”; he used–and developed–mathematical techniques that had not existed just a few decades previously.

Simon Singh writes with a wonderful style. It is ed, not too jargon-heavy but contains enough mathematical “meat” to seem satisfying. The book is followed by ten appendixes that contain more details about some of the mathematics; they are not overly technical, and give the reader a better understanding of some of the issues.

I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in math. View all 8 comments. Dec 13, Tara rated it it was eniga Shelves: Well, basically, this is it: As you can see, the conjecture fermatt quite easy to understand, and yet, believe it or not, it was so remarkably difficult to prove that it took over years to accomplish!

The fact that Fermat teasingly? There are a handful of fairly simple proofs included in the appendices, but overall, the concepts under discussion are glossed over in a superficial manner, never examined in any kind of detail.

In any case, while Singh did not pursue the actual mathematics in any real sense, he did positively excel at telling the story of an utterly fascinating struggle, one which spanned hundreds of years and ensnared countless brilliant, talented minds.

Overall, I was surprised and delighted by just how compelling the story actually was. For me, this book quickly became a veritable page-turner, one I was loathe to put aside. Some may argue that in order to accomplish this, he omitted too much relevant information, that he sacrificed depth for readability.

El Enigma de Fermat : Simon Singh :

Perhaps this is true to an extent, but in my opinion, while it was admittedly easy to read and follow, it still managed to include a fair amount of pertinent, interesting material.

More importantly, it never got bogged down with unnecessary details or lost in minutiae, and never meandered down exasperating tangents, as many otherwise outstanding history books are wont to do. And ultimately, what made this book so very stimulating was that the manner in which the story was told really made it come alive. He enthusiastically demonstrated just how action-packed and exhilarating the life of the mind can be. And for accomplishing this tremendous feat, I heartily recommend the book, warts and all.


This was at the age of tenmind you. And then, true to his word, the little rascal grew up to become an eminent mathematician, one who finally went into seclusion for seven years in order to hack away at this tremendous proof. Anyway, as you can probably tell, Andrew Wiles is a personal hero of mine.

He is an undeniable, ultimate badass. Wayne and Garth said it best: View all 12 comments. There are some near misses e.

Andrew Wiles Given that there are infinitely many possible numbers to check it sihgh quite a claim, but Fermat was absolutely sure that no numbers fitted the equation because he had a logical watertight argument. Sadly, he never wrote down his proof. Instead, in the margin of a book, he left a tantalizing note in Latin: It siingh even rumoured that Gap asked him to endorse its range of menswear. The most valuable prize should have been the Wolfskehl prize,marks bequeathed by Paul Wolfskehl in He had stumbled upon the last theorem as a year-old and then spent the next 30 years working on the problem.

Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem

Every mathematician that I have ever met takes on major problems purely for the intellectual battle, and the rich prizes are just a distraction, usually accepted, but sometimes rejected. Perelman was then offered the Fields Medal, the most prestigious prize in mathematics. Sjmon is only open to those 40 years old or younger, so it is just about the only prize that eluded Andrew Wiles. Perelman was exactly 40, but he decide to spurn the prize, even after Sir John Ball, President of the International Mathematical Ek, flew to St Petersburg and spent 10 hours trying to persuade him to accept.

Grigori Perlman Perelman later recounted what happened: From the very beginning, I told him I have chosen the third one Everybody understood that if the proof is correct, then no other recognition is needed. View all 6 comments. Being a scientist of long standing and loving all aspects of science and maths, Fermat’s Last Theorem in itself was a wonderful mystery, what I would give to see Fermat’s note book with a note in the margin about cubic numbers as opposed to squares.

A very trite remark, too lengthy to write in the margin so it is elsewhere, and no one has ever found it or managed to prove his statement, until – – – this book is a brilliant read, you would think it would be as dry as dust, but no! It is a superb Being a scientist of long standing and loving all aspects of science and maths, Fermat’s Last Theorem in itself was a wonderful mystery, what I would give to see Fermat’s note book with a note in the margin about cubic numbers as opposed to squares.

It is a superb account of the proof of the last theorem from Fermat’s notebook to be proven.