Two New Orleans high school students presented “An Impossible Proof Of Pythagoras” to the American Mathematics Society’s Spring Southeastern Meeting in Atlanta last week, providing a mathematical proof of one of the most well-known geometric equations, the Guardian reports.
Mathematicians had long allowed that the Pythagorean Theorem (a2+b2=c2) for determining the lengths of the sides of a triangle was true even though no mathematical proof has been identified that did not rely on (ironically) circular logic. The belief was so pervasive in mathematics that the authoritative collection of the various attempts to prove the theory states “there are no trigonometric proofs because all the fundamental formulae of trigonometry are themselves based upon the truth of the Pythagorean theorem.”
However, Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson of St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans discovered a reportedly valid proof of the equation that does not rely on the theorem itself. The girls were encouraged to submit their paper to an academic journal for peer review while they plan their college educations.