We prove that the defining equations of the Fermat curves of prime degree cannot be written as the determinant of symmetric matrices with entries in linear forms in three variables with rational coefficients. In the proof, we use a relation between symmetric matrices with entries in linear forms and non-effective theta characteristics on smooth plane curves. We also use some results of Gross-Rohrlich on the rational torsion points on the Jacobian varieties of the Fermat curves of prime degree.
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