So just how much do you know about Fermat’s Last Theorem? Okay, everybody understands the proof inside out, but how much do you know about the history, the film, the book and the musical? Are you really a Fermat fanatic? To find out if you are a genius in the making, see how many of the following questions you can answer.
1. In the TV documentary, which American band featured on the soundtrack?
a) The Violent Femmes,
c) The Ramones.
2. Descartes declared that Pierre de Fermat…
a) was a braggart,
b) was a geek,
c) had a mother who was a hamster and a father who smelled of elderberries,
3. Fermat discovered that the numbers 17,296 and 18,416 are
4. Which company asked Andrew Wiles to endorse a new range of menswear after he had proved Fermat’s Last Theorem?
b) Marks & Spencers,
5. When I was short-listed for a science book prize, I was awarded a prize which had mistakenly engraved upon it…
a) Fermat’s Lost Theorem,
b) Fermat’s Least Theorem,
c) Fermat’s Latest Theorem.
6. Which of these is a song from the musical Fermat’s Last Tango?
a) Math Myth
b) The Wrath of Math
c) Math Widow
7. When asked why he had not attempted a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, who said: “Before beginning I should put in three years of intensive study, and I haven’t that much time to squander on a probable failure.” ?
a) David Hilbert
b) G.H. Hardy
c) Augustin Cauchy
8. Which member of Queen bought a copy of Fermat’s Last Theorem at Waterstones on Kensington High Street (…according to the shop assistant who made my day when she told me)?
a) Roger Taylor
b) Brian May
c) John Deacon
9. When the BBC documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem won a BAFTA, one of the nominated documentaries in the same category was about a rock star. Who?
a) John Lennon
b) David Bowie
c) Elton John
10. When Fermat’s Last Theorem was eventually proved, who said “I told you so”?
a) Andrew Wiles
b) Goro Shimura
c) Ken Ribet