Crossposted on HSM
See Guinness Book of Records. Did they screw this up? It says that Fermat's Last Theorem was the longest open problem - with only 365 years. However, there are Greek problems that were longer open:
- Squaring the circle, proposed before 428 BCE (Anaxagoras worked on it, who died in 428 BCE), solved 1882, open for at least 2.310 years.
- Doubling the cube, proposed before 430 BCE, solved 1837, open for at least 2.267 years.
- Archimedes Cattle Problem, proposed before 212 BCE, solved 1880, open for at least 2.092 years.
- Angle trisection, solved 1837.
- Is there a reason why Guinness Book of Records listed Fermat's Last Theorem?
- Are there problems that were even longer open than the above (Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Babylonian?), or can you find a reference that the problems above were proposed earlier?
Edit: Gregory Grant e-mailed Guinness Book of Records.