Minkowski, Hermann


Minkowski, Hermann

▪ German mathematician
born June 22, 1864, Aleksotas, Russian Empire [now in Kaunas, Lithuania]
died Jan. 12, 1909, Göttingen, Germany

      German mathematician who developed the geometrical theory of numbers and who made numerous contributions to number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity. His idea of combining the three dimensions of physical space with that of time into a four-dimensional “Minkowski space”—space-time—laid the mathematical foundations for Albert Einstein (Einstein, Albert)'s special theory of relativity (relativity).

      The son of German parents living in Russia, Minkowski returned to Germany with them in 1872 and spent his youth in the royal Prussian city of Königsberg. A gifted prodigy, he began his studies at the University of Königsberg (Königsberg, Albertus University of) and the University of Berlin (Humboldt University of Berlin) at age 15. Three years later he was awarded the “Grand Prix des Sciences Mathématiques” by the French Academy of Sciences (Sciences, Academy of) for his paper on the representation of numbers as a sum of five squares. During his teenage years in Königsberg he met and befriended another young mathematical prodigy, David Hilbert (Hilbert, David), with whom he worked closely both at Königsberg and later at the University of Göttingen (Göttingen, University of).

      After earning his doctorate in 1885, Minkowski taught mathematics at the Universities of Bonn (1885–94), Königsberg (1894–96), Zürich (1896–1902), and Göttingen (1902–09). Together with Hilbert, he pursued research on the electron theory of the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz (Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon) and its modification in Einstein's special theory of relativity. In Raum und Zeit (1907; “Space and Time”) Minkowski gave his famous four-dimensional geometry based on the group of Lorentz transformations of special relativity theory. His major work in number theory was Geometrie der Zahlen (1896; “Geometry of Numbers”). His works were collected in David Hilbert (ed.), Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 2 vol. (1911; “Collected Papers”).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MINKOWSKI, HERMANN — (1864–1909), German mathematician. Minkowski, who was born in Alexoten, Lithuania, was taken to Koenigsberg, Germany, by his parents when he was eight years old. He held chairs of mathematics at Koenigsberg in 1895, Zurich in 1896, and in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Minkowski , Hermann — (1864–1909) Russian–German mathematician Minkowski was born at Alexotas in Russia to parents of German origin. In 1872 the family returned to Germany, settling in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). Minkowski studied alongside David Hilbert at the… …   Scientists

  • Minkowski, Hermann — (1864 1909)    German mathe matician. Born in Lithuania, his parents went to Germany when he was eight. He studied at the University of Konigsberg and taught at the University of Bonn, later becoming a professor at the University of Gottingen …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Minkowski, Hermann — ► (1864 1909) Matemático y físico lituano. Es autor de unos trabajos que permitieron una interpretación geométrica de la teoría de la relatividad restringida de Einstein, recurriendo a un espacio de cuatro dimensiones …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Minkowski — Minkowski, Hermann …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hermann Minkowski — (* 22. Juni 1864 in Aleksotas, damals Russland (heute Kaunas, Litauen); † 12. Januar 1909 in Göttingen) war ein deutscher Mathematiker und Physike …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hermann Minkowski — Nacimiento 22 de junio de 1864 Kaunas, Lituania (antiguamente Aleksot …   Wikipedia Español

  • MINKOWSKI (H.) — MINKOWSKI HERMANN (1864 1909) Mathématicien allemand né en Russie, à Alexoten, et mort à Göttingen. Hermann Minkowski habita Königsberg dès sa plus tendre enfance, et il fit ses études universitaires à Königsberg et à Berlin. De 1887 à 1902, il… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Minkowski — (Hermann) (1864 1909) mathématicien lituanien. Il fonda une géométrie des nombres …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hermann Minkowski — Infobox Scientist name = Hermann Minkowski |300px caption = birth date = birth date|1864|6|22|mf=y birth place = Aleksotas, Kaunas, Lithuania, Russian Empire death date = death date and age|1909|1|12|1864|6|22|mf=y death place = Göttingen,… …   Wikipedia


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