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Abel's Theorem In Problems And Solutions Based ... _VERIFIED_


The fact that every polynomial equation of positive degree has solutions, possibly non-real, was asserted during the 17th century, but completely proved only at the beginning of the 19th century. This is the fundamental theorem of algebra, which does not provide any tool for computing exactly the solutions, although Newton's method allows approximating the solutions to any desired accuracy.




Abel's theorem in problems and solutions based ...



From the 16th century to beginning of the 19th century, the main problem of algebra was to search for a formula for the solutions of polynomial equations of degree five and higher, hence the name the "fundamental theorem of algebra". This meant a solution in radicals, that is, an expression involving only the coefficients of the equation, and the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and nth root extraction.


Are there any books that present theorems as problems? To be more specific, a book on elementary group theory might have written: "Theorem: Each group has exactly one identity" and then show a proof or leave it as an exercise. The type of book that I am imagining would have written "Problem: How many unit elements can a group have?" and similarly for all other theorems.


Pinter's A Book of Abstract Algebra is half problems, half text. Many important topics are covered as problems. For example, direct products of groups are introduced and their properties developed in a set of problems. Cauchy's Theorem and Sylow's Theorem are introduced as problems. I taught myself a good deal of abstract algebra from this book one summer. The high proportion of problems to exposition kept me stimulated, and his decomposition of proofs of theorems into bite-sized problem chunks was a confidence booster. I remember this book with great affection.


"Elements of the Theory of Representations" by A. Kirillov. This is a concise introduction to the representation theory of both finite and Lie groups. It contains necessary background from other fields, e.g. analysis on manifolds. Many theorems are formulated as problems, often with hints. Originally the book was written in Russian, but there is also English translation published by Springer-Verlag in 1976.


Joe Roberts, Elementary Number Theory, A Problem Oriented Approach. The 1st half of the book is all problems, the 2nd half is the solutions. This book is unusual for another reason; it's done entirely in calligraphy.


Some answers mention problem books (quite different from standard-format textbooks in that they consist almost entirely of problems and their solutions). Such books have been widely used in Eastern Europe at every level of education (at least when I was getting it). Let me add another one to the list:


Besides standard material, there is a collection of quirky little facts in e.g. non-Euclidean geometry in the disk or logarithmic potential theory (and much more). All stated as problems for the reader to solve. However, many solutions are included.


In 1983, German mathematician Gerd Faltings, now at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, took a huge leap forward by proving that Fermat's statement had, at most, a finite number of solutions, although he could not show that the number should be zero. (In fact, he proved a result viewed by specialists as deeper and more interesting than Fermat's last theorem itself; it demonstrated that a broader class of equations has, at most, a finite number of solutions.) 041b061a72


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