Mrs. Gertie McEvoy, of Broken Bow, Nebraska, has found a counterexample to a theorem more than 300 years old.
386692[sup]7[/sup] + 411413[sup]7[/sup] = 441849[sup]7[/sup]
Although Mrs. McEvoy discovered this counterexample with laborious hand caluclations, the result is quickly confirmed with Google’s built-in calculator:
386692^7 + 411413^7 --> 3.2878889e+39
441849^7 --> 3.2878889e+39
386692^7 + 411413^7 - 441849^7 --> 0
Mrs. McEvoy has been offered honorary PhD’s but insists she doesn’t deserve them, and admits she got only a C+ in High School Algebra. Her FLT project was a labor of love to pass the time after her husband started indulging in all-night poker sessions away from home. (There seems to be some confusion about the least significant digits in the sum, but acclaimed Internet math guru Archimedes Plutonium demonstrates that any error is well within the bounds set by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.)
Especially remarkable is that the violation occurs with an exponent as small as 7. In the 1980’s there was some worry that FLT might be false, but only for exponents exceeding a Skewes’ Number. Small exponents like 7 had been disposed of even before Kummer’s famous work. Investigation reveals however, that the n=7 case was attributed to Henri Lebesgue.
This bizarre and ineplicable fraud was finally exposed when someone Googled Lebesgue to discover he wasn’t born until 1875. :smack:
Andrew Wiles has apologized for all the fuss. He thinks his proof might be salvageable for all exponents except 7, but is too despondent to start over. He plans to enter a monastery after appearing as guest on SNL and a few cable TV talk shows.