Franklin College
Erich Prisner

Writing Project 37:

Abel and the impossibility of the quintic formula

For centuries, mathematicians were looking for the quintic formula, a general formula for the solutions of quintic equations (finding zeros of polynomials of degree 5). Describe how Abel spoilt these hopes. Also give a brief overview of his life, as well as a description of certain special cases (of quintic equations) that can be solved. 

Erich Prisner, August 2003