Hermann Minkowski, 1869 - 1909, was a Lithuanian-born German mathematician, who was an early developer and contributor to Einstein's Special Relativity Theory.

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German

Astrophysics

Mathematics

Asteroid (12493) and a Moon crater are named in his honour.

Professorships at universities of Königsberg, Göttingen, Bonn, Zurich Polytechnic (ETH). Albert Einstein was one of his students at Zurich.

Chair at Göttingen University, 1902 - 1909.

*Diophantische Approximationen*, 1907, a work on number theory.

*Raum und Zeit* (Space and Time), 1909, a presentation to the DMV (Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, German Mathematics Society), Leipzig, concerning Einstein's Special Relativity Theory.

*Geometrie der Zahlen*, 1896, (The Geometry of Numbers).

Letters to David Hilbert

Minkowski Theorem: geometry of numbers, a branch of number theory.

Minkowski Diagram

Number theory

Mathematical physics: questions related to the newly discovered electrons and electrodynamics.

Minkowski extended Einstein's Relativity Theory to 4-dimensional non-Euclidean space (Minkowski spacetime).

Minkowski Space

Minkowski Equation

M-Matrices

At the Königsberg University, Minkowski met and befriended David Hilbert, with whom he worked closely at Göttingen.

His fields of interest were many. He developed the geometry of numbers, a field of number theory, and applied mathematics to physics questions, such as a study of the newly discovered electron, and electrodynamics. In his last years, he developed Special Relativity to 4-dimensional, non-Euclidean space, in which Minkowski spacetime merges space and time.

His nephew was the astrophysicist Rudolph Minkowski (1895 - 1976), who, being Jewish, fled Germany in the 1930s, and emigrated to the USA, where he worked at the Wilson Observatory from 1935.

(Biographies of famous scientists no. 91)

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1894 - 1974

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