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.

For example, the fundamental theorem of calculus gives the relationship between differential calculus and integral calculus, which are two distinct branches that were not obviously related.

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.

Read more about Fundamental Theorem: Fundamental Lemmata, Fundamental Theorems of Mathematical Topics, Non-mathematical Fundamental Theorems

### Famous quotes containing the words fundamental and/or theorem:

“The *fundamental* laws of physics do not describe true facts about reality. Rendered as descriptions of facts, they are false; amended to be true, they lose their explanatory force.”

—Nancy Cartwright (b. 1945)

“To insure the adoration of a *theorem* for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.”

—Albert Camus (1913–1960)