# The Simplest Unsolved Math Problem

Mathematics is full of open problems that seem like they should be easy to answer, but end up being frustratingly hard to prove on closer inspection. These problems serve as important cornerstones for the field and can motivate groundbreaking discoveries for centuries. Take Fermat’s Last Theorem for example. This problem was first posed in the early 1600s and was the subject of intense public interest. Cash prizes were offered for its solution, and reportedly thousands of incorrect proofs were submitted by amateur mathematicians. It was only solved by Andrew Wiles in 1994, over 300 since it was first posed.

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With

n,x,y,z∈N(meaning thatn,x,y,zare all positive whole numbers) andn> 2, the equationxⁿ +yⁿ =zⁿ has no solutions. — Fermat’s Last Theorem

In the centuries of work dedicated to solving Fermat’s Last Theorem, an entirely new field called algebraic number theory was created to try and tackle this proof. While it took a lot of painstaking effort, the influence of this challenge was immensely important to get modern mathematics to its current state. Number theory would not be…