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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Diophantus of Alexandria

Diophantus (+/- 250 AD) of Alexandria has been called 'the father of algebra' and an entire branch of mathematics has been named after him, the study of Diophantine Equations. The most famous problem in this field 'Diophantine Equations' is Fermat's 'Last Theorem'. Fermat was reading Diophantus' comments on the Pythagoran theorem when he conjectured that for an exponent n > 2, the equation \[ x^n + y^n = z^n \] has no integer solutions. This theorem was considered the hardest open problem in mathematics until solved by Andrew Wiles in 1994. Diophantus work was lost to the Western world for thousand years.

Anyway, I thought about Diophantus when I came across this beautiful equation which has an infinite number of integer solutions \[ x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = x^2 +y^2 + z^2.\]

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