14:23 Mar. 16, 2016
Sir Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem has been described as 'an epochal moment for mathematics'
An Oxford University professor has won a £500,000 prize for solving three century old mathematical mystery which was described as an "epochal moment" for academics.
Sir Andrew Wiles, 62, has been awarded the Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters - and almost half a million pounds - for his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, which he published in 1994.
"Fermat's equation was my passion from an early age, and solving it gave me an overwhelming sense of fulfilment," Sir Andrew Wiles said.
He will pick up the award and a cheque for six million Norwegian Krone (£495,000) from Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in Oslo in May, for an achievement that academy described as "an epochal moment for mathematics".
"It is a tremendous honour to receive the Abel Prize and to join the previous laureates who have made such outstanding contributions to the field," professor at Oxford University's Mathematical Institute Sir Andrew said.