Timeline of number theory

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A timeline of number theory .

Before 1000 BCE

About 300 BCE

1st millennium AD


17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

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Amicable numbers Pair of integers related by their divisors

Amicable numbers are two different natural numbers related in such a way that the sum of the proper divisors of each is equal to the other number. That is, σ(a)=b+a and σ(b)=a+b, where σ(n) is equal to the sum of positive divisors of n.

Conjecture Proposition in mathematics that is unproven

In mathematics, a conjecture is a conclusion or a proposition that is proffered on a tentative basis without proof. Some conjectures, such as the Riemann hypothesis or Fermat's Last Theorem, have shaped much of mathematical history as new areas of mathematics are developed in order to prove them.

Number theory Branch of mathematics

Number theory is a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers and integer-valued functions. German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) said, "Mathematics is the queen of the sciences—and number theory is the queen of mathematics." Number theorists study prime numbers as well as the properties of mathematical objects made out of integers or defined as generalizations of the integers.

In number theory, Waring's problem asks whether each natural number k has an associated positive integer s such that every natural number is the sum of at most s natural numbers raised to the power k. For example, every natural number is the sum of at most 4 squares, 9 cubes, or 19 fourth powers. Waring's problem was proposed in 1770 by Edward Waring, after whom it is named. Its affirmative answer, known as the Hilbert–Waring theorem, was provided by Hilbert in 1909. Waring's problem has its own Mathematics Subject Classification, 11P05, "Waring's problem and variants".

Goldbachs conjecture Conjecture that every even integer > 2 is the sum of two primes

Goldbach's conjecture is one of the oldest and best-known unsolved problems in number theory and all of mathematics. It states that every even natural number greater than two is the sum of two prime numbers.

Goldbachs weak conjecture Solved conjecture about prime numbers

In number theory, Goldbach's weak conjecture, also known as the odd Goldbach conjecture, the ternary Goldbach problem, or the 3-primes problem, states that

The modularity theorem states that elliptic curves over the field of rational numbers are related to modular forms. Andrew Wiles proved the modularity theorem for semistable elliptic curves, which was enough to imply Fermat's Last Theorem. Later, a series of papers by Wiles's former students Brian Conrad, Fred Diamond and Richard Taylor, culminating in a joint paper with Christophe Breuil, extended Wiles's techniques to prove the full modularity theorem in 2001.

Algebraic number theory Branch of number theory

Algebraic number theory is a branch of number theory that uses the techniques of abstract algebra to study the integers, rational numbers, and their generalizations. Number-theoretic questions are expressed in terms of properties of algebraic objects such as algebraic number fields and their rings of integers, finite fields, and function fields. These properties, such as whether a ring admits unique factorization, the behavior of ideals, and the Galois groups of fields, can resolve questions of primary importance in number theory, like the existence of solutions to Diophantine equations.

Analytic number theory Exploring properties of the integers with complex analysis

In mathematics, analytic number theory is a branch of number theory that uses methods from mathematical analysis to solve problems about the integers. It is often said to have begun with Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet's 1837 introduction of Dirichlet L-functions to give the first proof of Dirichlet's theorem on arithmetic progressions. It is well known for its results on prime numbers and additive number theory.

Ribet's theorem is part of number theory. It concerns properties of Galois representations associated with modular forms. It was proposed by Jean-Pierre Serre and proven by Ken Ribet. The proof was a significant step towards the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT). As shown by Serre and Ribet, the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture and the epsilon conjecture together imply that FLT is true.

Vorlesungen über Zahlentheorie is the name of several different textbooks of number theory. The best known was written by Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet and Richard Dedekind, and published in 1863. Others were written by Leopold Kronecker, Edmund Landau, and Helmut Hasse. They all cover elementary number theory, Dirichlet's theorem, quadratic fields and forms, and sometimes more advanced topics.

In additive number theory, Fermat's theorem on sums of two squares states that an odd prime p can be expressed as:

Modular elliptic curve

A modular elliptic curve is an elliptic curve E that admits a parametrisation X0(N) → E by a modular curve. This is not the same as a modular curve that happens to be an elliptic curve, something that could be called an elliptic modular curve. The modularity theorem, also known as the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture, asserts that every elliptic curve defined over the rational numbers is modular.

In number theory, Vinogradov's theorem is a result which implies that any sufficiently large odd integer can be written as a sum of three prime numbers. It is a weaker form of Goldbach's weak conjecture, which would imply the existence of such a representation for all odd integers greater than five. It is named after Ivan Matveyevich Vinogradov who proved it in the 1930s. Hardy and Littlewood had shown earlier that this result followed from the generalized Riemann hypothesis, and Vinogradov was able to remove this assumption. The full statement of Vinogradov's theorem gives asymptotic bounds on the number of representations of an odd integer as a sum of three primes. The notion of "sufficiently large" was ill-defined in Vinogradov's original work, but in 2002 it was shown that 101346 is sufficiently large. Additionally numbers up to 1020 had been checked via brute force methods, thus only a finite number of cases to check remained before the odd Goldbach conjecture would be proven or disproven. In 2013, Harald Helfgott proved Goldbach's weak conjecture for all cases.

In mathematics, a Frey curve or Frey–Hellegouarch curve is the elliptic curve

Fermats Last Theorem 17th century conjecture proved by Andrew Wiles in 1994

In number theory, Fermat's Last Theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than 2. The cases n = 1 and n = 2 have been known since antiquity to have infinitely many solutions.

This is a timeline of pure and applied mathematics history. It is divided here into three stages, corresponding to stages in the development of mathematical notation: a "rhetorical" stage in which calculations are described purely by words, a "syncopated" stage in which quantities and common algebraic operations are beginning to be represented by symbolic abbreviations, and finally a "symbolic" stage, in which comprehensive notational systems for formulas are the norm.

Wiless proof of Fermats Last Theorem 1995 publication in mathematics

Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem is a proof by British mathematician Andrew Wiles of a special case of the modularity theorem for elliptic curves. Together with Ribet's theorem, it provides a proof for Fermat's Last Theorem. Both Fermat's Last Theorem and the modularity theorem were almost universally considered inaccessible to prove by contemporaneous mathematicians, meaning that they were believed to be impossible to prove using current knowledge.

Fermat's Last Theorem is a theorem in number theory, originally stated by Pierre de Fermat in 1637 and proved by Andrew Wiles in 1995. The statement of the theorem involves an integer exponent n larger than 2. In the centuries following the initial statement of the result and before its general proof, various proofs were devised for particular values of the exponent n. Several of these proofs are described below, including Fermat's proof in the case n = 4, which is an early example of the method of infinite descent.


  1. Rudman, Peter Strom (2007). How Mathematics Happened: The First 50,000 Years. Prometheus Books. p.  64. ISBN   978-1-59102-477-4.
  2. Various AP Lists and Statistics Archived 2012-07-28 at the Wayback Machine