Thursday, April 21, 2005

Some Math Stuff for You

John Derbyshire: Noether’s Novelty

" ...I got to thinking of Emmy Noether, who died just 70 years ago last week. I am going to leave you to deduce what, if anything, you can from Emmy Noether's story. It's a story worth telling, in any case, so here it is. Emmy Noether was the greatest female mathematician of the 20th century, and quite possibly of all time. "

"Hilbert and Klein had, of course, followed the development of Einstein's ideas with interest before he came to lecture in 1915. Now "convinced" (convinced, presumably, that Einstein was on the right lines), they gave their attention to the outstanding problems in the General Theory. They knew of some work Emmy Noether had done in the relevant areas, and invited her to Göttingen. Noether duly arrived at Göttingen, and within a matter of months produced a brilliant paper resolving one of the knottier issues in General Relativity. Einstein himself praised the paper. Emmy Noether had arrived."

Interesting story.


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