Реферат: Hermann Minkowski
Born: 22 June 1864 in Alexotas, Russian Empire (now Kaunas,Lithuania)
Died: 12 Jan 1909 in Göttingen, Germany
Hermann Minkowski studied at the Universities of Berlin andKönigsberg. He received his doctorate in 1885 from Königsberg. Hetaught at several universities, Bonn, Königsberg and Zurich. In Zurich,Einstein was a student in several of the courses he gave.
Minkowski accepted a chair in 1902 at the University of Göttingen,where he stayed for the rest of his life. At Göttingen he learntmathematical physics from Hilbert and his associates. He participated in aseminar on electron theory in 1905 and he learnt the latest results andtheories in electrodynamics.
By 1907 Minkowski realised that the work of Lorentz and Einsteincould be best understood in a non-euclidean spave. He considered space andtime, which were formerly thought to be independent, to be coupled together ina four-dimensional 'space-time continuum'. Minkowski worked out afour-dimensional treatment of electrodynamics. His major works in this area areRaum und Zeit (1907) and Zwei Abhandlungen über die Grundgleichungen derElektrodynamik (1909).
This space-time continuum provided a framework for all latermathematical work in relativity. These ideas were used by Albert Einstein indeveloping the general theory of relativity.
Minkowski was mainly interested in pure mathematics and spent muchof his time investigating quadratic forms and continued fractions. His mostoriginal achievement, however, was his 'geometry of numbers'. This study led onto work on convex bodies and to questions about packing problems, the ways inwhich figures of a given shape can be placed within another given figure.
At the young age of 44, Minkowski died suddenly from a rupturedappendix.
J J O'Connor and E F Robertson
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