The Bertrand Russell Murder Mysteries, Episode VI
“Fermat's Last Napkin”
In the last episode, Bertrand Russell showed why Gödel could never fully explain himself. Then Russell discovered the prize that Gödel was seeking.“It's the Fermat-Szechuan napkin,” Russell screamed. “That's what they're after.”
“The Fermat-Szechuan napkin?” queried Alfred North Whitehead.
“I never heard of it.”
“Well,” explained Russell. “You may remember that Fermat left a rather cryptic conjecture in the margin of his copy of Diophantus, omitting the proof because the margin was too small.”
Russell continued. “What most people do not know is that that same evening Fermat went out for Chinese food and wrote the complete proof on the back of a napkin from the Golden Dragon. He gave it to a graduate student who never fully understood it and who later became a business major. There is no telling what Gödel could do with that proof!”
NEXT TIME: The Sign of Four
© Copyright 2003 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
This is a HotAIR feature. For a complete list of features,
see What's New.