Fermat's Last Theorem (book)


Fermat's Last Theorem is a popular science book (1997) by Simon Singh. It tells the story of the search for a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, first conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637, and explores how many mathematicians such as Évariste Galois had tried and failed to provide a proof for the theorem.[1][2][3][4] Despite the efforts of many mathematicians, the proof would remain incomplete until 1995, with the publication of Andrew Wiles' proof of the Theorem. The book is the first mathematics book to become a Number One seller in the United Kingdom,[5] whilst Singh's documentary The Proof, on which the book was based, won a BAFTA in 1997.[6]

Fermat's Last Theorem
First edition
AuthorSimon Singh
SubjectFermat's Last Theorem
PublisherFourth Estate
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover, paperback)

In the United States, the book was released as Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem.[1][3] The book was released in the United States in October 1998 to coincide with the US release of Singh's documentary The Proof about Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.[2][7]


  1. ^ a b Review of Fermat's Enigma by Andrew Bremner (1998), MR1491363.
  2. ^ a b Radford, Tim (2 August 2013), "Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh – book review. A boast in the margin of a book is the starting point for a wonderful journey through the history of mathematics, number theory and logic", The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b Penrose, Roger (November 30, 1997), "Q.E.D. How to solve the greatest mathematical puzzle of your age: Lock self in room. Emerge seven years later", The New York Times
  4. ^ Elliott, Josh (18 March 2016). "Math problem a 300-year saga of death, duels, dual identities". CTV News. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  5. ^ Singh, Simon (24 May 2016). "Why it's so impressive that Fermat's Last Theorem has been solved". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  6. ^ "The extraordinary story of Fermat's Last Theorem". University of Lethbridge. 3 May 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  7. ^ Jackson, Allyn (October 1997). "Fermat's Enigma" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 31 July 2016.