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Problem of Catalan (Reprint) (Paperback) (Yuri Bilu)
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In 1842 the Belgian mathematician Eugène Charles Catalan asked whether 8 and 9 are the only consecutive pure powers of non-zero integers. 160 years after, the question was answered affirmatively by the Swiss mathematician of Romanian origin Preda Mihailescu. In other words, 32– 23 = 1 is the only solution of the equation xp– yq = 1 in integers x, y, p, q with xy ? 0 and p, q =2.
In this book we give a complete and (almost) self-contained exposition of Mihailescu’s work, which must be understandable by a curious university student, not necessarily specializing in Number Theory. We assume a very modest background:a standard university course of algebra, including basic Galois theory, and working knowledge of basic algebraic number theory.