Archiv der Mathematik

, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 401–411 | Cite as

Levels of quaternion algebras



The level of a ring R with 1 ≠ 0 is the smallest positive integer s such that −1 can be written as a sum of s squares in R, provided −1 is a sum of squares at all. D. W. Lewis showed that any value of type 2 n or 2 n + 1 can be realized as level of a quaternion algebra, and he asked whether there exist quaternion algebras whose levels are not of that form. Using function fields of quadratic forms, we construct such examples.

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000).

Primary 11E04 Secondary 11E25 12D15 16K20 


Quaternion algebra level sublevel quadratic form function field of a quadratic form 


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Copyright information

© Birkhaeuser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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