Fundamental Concepts

  • Michael Barot
  • Jesús Arturo Jiménez González
  • José-Antonio de la Peña
Part of the Algebra and Applications book series (AA, volume 25)


Throughout the chapter we introduce important concepts as well as basic results: given an integral quadratic form \(q:\mathbb {Z}^n \to \mathbb {Z}\), numbers of the form q(v) for a vector v in \(\mathbb {Z}^n\) are said to be represented by q, and the form q is said to be universal if every positive integer is represented by q. We sketch the proof of Conway and Schneeberger’s Fifteen Theorem, which states that a positive integral form with associated symmetric matrix having integer coefficients is universal if and only if it represents all positive integers up to 15. We also survey the theory of binary integral quadratic forms (due originally to Gauss), and apply it to specific examples referred to as Kronecker and Pell forms. Finally, we find general conditions for a real quadratic form \(q_{\mathbb {R}}:\mathbb {R}^n \to \mathbb {R}\) to be positive (that is, \(q_{\mathbb {R}}(x)>0\) for any nonzero vector x) or nonnegative (\(q_{\mathbb {R}}(x)\geq 0\) for any vector x in \(\mathbb {R}^n\)).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Barot
    • 1
  • Jesús Arturo Jiménez González
    • 2
  • José-Antonio de la Peña
    • 3
  1. 1.Kantonsschule SchaffhausenSchaffhausenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Instituto de MatemáticasUNAMMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Instituto de MatemáticasMiembro de El Colegio NacionalUNAMMexico

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