Fundamental theorem

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The fundamental theorem of a field of mathematics is the theorem considered central to that field. The naming of such a theorem is not necessarily based on how often it is used or the difficulty of its proofs.[1]

For example, the fundamental theorem of calculus gives the relationship between differential calculus and integral calculus, which are two distinct branches that are not obviously related. Being "fundamental" does not necessarily mean that it is the most basic result. For example, the proof of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic requires Euclid's lemma, which in turn requires Bézout's identity.

The names are mostly traditional, so that for example the fundamental theorem of arithmetic is basic to what would now be called number theory.

The mathematical literature sometimes refers to the fundamental lemma of a field. The term lemma is conventionally used to denote a proven proposition which is used as a stepping stone to a larger result rather than as a useful statement in-and-of itself. The fundamental lemma of a field is often, but not always, the same as the fundamental theorem of that field.

Fundamental lemmata[edit]

Fundamental theorems of mathematical topics[edit]

Non-mathematical fundamental theorems[edit]

There are also a number of "fundamental theorems" not directly related to mathematics:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ K. D. Joshi (2001). Calculus for Scientists and Engineers. CRC Press. pp. 367–8. ISBN 978-0-8493-1319-6. Retrieved 2009-03-01.

External links[edit]