Fermat's Last Theorem and
October 15, 2002
Bailey Hall 100
It is often useful to write an integer n (where n is greater 1) as a product of primes. The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic states that this is always possible, and moreover, that this factorization is unique. In this talk, I will illustrate what uniqueness means in this context, and give an elementary example of a number system in which unique factorization fails to hold. At the end of the talk, I'll mention the role that uniqueness of factorization played in 350 years of attempts to prove Fermat's Last Theorem.
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