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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday August 5, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Published Today:

Cover of  'The Last Theorem,' a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl

The Last Theorem
, a novel by
Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl

From the publisher's description:

"The Last Theorem is a story of one man’s mathematical obsession, and a celebration of the human spirit and the scientific method. It is also a gripping intellectual thriller….

In 1637, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat scrawled a note in the margin of a book about an enigmatic theorem: 'I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.' He also neglected to record his proof elsewhere. Thus began a search for the Holy Grail of mathematics– a search that didn’t end until 1994, when Andrew Wiles published a 150-page proof. But the proof was burdensome, overlong, and utilized mathematical techniques undreamed of in Fermat’s time, and so it left many critics unsatisfied– including young Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for mathematics and a passion for the famous 'Last Theorem.'

When Ranjit writes a three-page proof of the theorem that relies exclusively on knowledge available to Fermat, his achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune…."

For a similar third-world fantasy about another famous theorem, see the oeuvre of Ashay Dharwadker.

Note the amazing conclusion of Dharwadker's saga (thus far)–

Dharwadker devises a proof of the four-color theorem that leads to…

Grand Unification
of the Standard Model
with Quantum Gravity!

For further background, see

Ashay Dharwadker
  and Usenet Postings.

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) from 1956 until his death last March.

For another connection with Sri Lanka, see

Location, Location, Location
(July 13, 2005) and
Bagombo Snuff Box
(May 7, 2006).

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