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B.K. = Before Kummer

  • Paulo Ribenboim

Abstract

In this lecture, I wish to report various early attempts to solve Fermat’s problem. I begin by considering the case of exponent 2, which is much earlier than Fermat’s time. As Zassenhaus kindly pointed out to me, 2 is the oddest of the primes. Among its special properties, this oddest of all the primes is even; it is also the only exponent for which it is known that the Fermat equation has a nontrivial solution.

Keywords

Prime Element Great Common Divisor Nonzero Integer Prime Integer General Polynomial Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Ribenboim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsJeffery Hall Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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