Mathematics

The Shortest Research Paper Ever Published

It ended Euler's conjecture almost 200 years after it was first proposed.

The paper consisted of just two succinct sentences and it rebutted a mathematical precedent known as Euler’s conjecture, a theory proposed by Leonhard Euler in 1769.

shortest research paper

Euler proposed that at least n nth powers are required for the value of “n” greater than “2” to provide a sum that is itself an “nth” power. Then in 1966, two mathematicians L.J. Lander and T.R. Parkin came along and swiftly overturned his claim with a counterexample:  275 + 845 + 1105 + 1335 = 1445

The paper was published in The Bulletin Of The American Mathematical Society in 1966. It was the shortest-known paper published in a serious math journal.

Sources: Open Culture, Wolfram MathWorld

9 comments

  1. A fine post. No, I don’t publish research papers on the internet. I publish information. I’m glad you read as a research paper. If you wish to comment on one of my imperfect, kindly do so in the comment area of my posts. and not behind my back. Keep it civil.

  2. Brevity!

    PS That was my idea of a succinct comment, in keeping with the post. It may now be moot, since I’ve rambled on in my post-script. 🙂 Your posts always make me think!

  3. I can’t do algebra I. That and levels above it are required for college and even high school to have a passing degree of mastery. Almost kept me from graduating both. This is a special universe inhabited by admittedly brilliant minds but a place in the academic geography completely irrelevant and useless to me and many many other people as well. Most of us are not going to work for NASA . Accounting and bookkeeping would be much more useful curriculum in math for most of us.

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