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A conjecture by Fermat that if n is an integer greater than 2, the equation xn + yn = zn has no positive integral solutions. Fermat noted that he had ‘a truly wonderful proof’ of the conjecture, but never wrote it down. In 1995 a general proof was published by the Princeton-based British mathematician Andrew Wiles.
‘And like Fermat's last theorem, Beal's conjecture postulates that there are no solutions of the specified kind.’
‘By assuming that Fermat's last theorem is false, mathematicians could construct a weird elliptic curve that they believed, for other mathematical reasons, shouldn't exist.’
‘As in the case of Fermat's last theorem, centuries of effort may go into proving such tantalizing, deceptively simple conjectures in number theory.’
‘In 1769, while thinking about the problem now known as Fermat's last theorem, Leonhard Euler proposed an intriguing variant.’
‘But what about the majority of us, the social, stylish people with a lot more going on inside their heads than equations and conversations on the true meanings of Fermat's last theorem?’