Friday, April 17, 2009

A Historical Note on the Pythagorean Theorem, Part 2

“So I told Kennedy, ‘Pythagoras already disproved Fermat’s Last Theorem.’”

John F. Kennedy

Today, Pythagoras’s triples (5,12,13; 8,15,17; etc.) are well-known and taught in elementary school. At the time, however, this was ground breaking. For the first time, it was proven that the square of one side of a triangle equaled the square of the other two sides. Working only under right-sided triangles (half a square), this simple relationship would be referred to as “squaring” and the opposite side, a hypotenuse, in honor of his hypothesis.

Unfortunately, Pythagoras died in seclusion attempting to develop Pythagorean triples. In 1995, a genius named Andrew Wiles showed once and for all that Pythagoras died in vain and that his Theorem was the last set that was plausible. Equally as sad was the discovery of Fermat’s Little Theorem in 2003, which illustrated Fermat’s predated work with the “Pythagorean Theorem,” dismissing this relationship as “άνους” or “brainless.” Today, there are over 345 separate theorems to prove that a2 + b2 =c2.

No comments:

Post a Comment