Explicit modular approaches to generalized Fermat equations

Algebra Seminar
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 3:05pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
David Zureick-Brown – Emory
Matt Baker
Let a,b,c >= 2 be integers satisfying 1/a + 1/b + 1/c > 1. Darmon and Granville proved that the generalized Fermat equation x^a + y^b = z^c has only finitely many coprime integer solutions; conjecturally something stronger is true: for a,b,c \geq 3 there are no non-trivial solutions and for (a,b,c) = (2,3,n) with n >= 10 the only solutions are the trivial solutions and (+- 3,-2,1) (or (+- 3,-2,+- 1) when n is even). I'll explain how the modular method used to prove Fermat's last theorem adapts to solve generalized Fermat equations and use it to solve the equation x^2 + y^3 = z^10.