Waring Experiments
Library Home 
Full Table of Contents 
Suggest a Link 
Library Help
http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathland_7_15.html  


Ivars Peterson (MathLand)  
You might suspect that, at some point, four squares would no longer be enough to express a given whole number. This reasonable supposition was overturned in seventeenth century, when Pierre de Fermat proved that every positive whole number can be expressed as a sum of at most four squares. In 1777, Edward Waring, a practicing physician and mathematics professor at the University of Cambridge, conjectured that something similar could be proved for cubes, fourth powers, and so on. He stated, without proof, that it would take the sum of at most 9 cubes or 19 fourth powers to express any whole number.  


Levels:  High School (912), College 
Languages:  English 
Resource Types:  Publications 
Math Topics:  History and Biography, Number Theory 
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
© 19942014 Drexel University. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.