Hilbert pp 47-56 | Cite as

Only Number Fields

  • Constance Reid


The red-tiled roofs of Göttingen are ringed by gentle hills which are broken here and there by the rugged silhouette of an ancient watch tower. Much of the old wall still surrounds the inner town, and on Sunday afternoons the townspeople “walk the wall” — it is an hour’s walk. Outside the wall lie the yellow-brick buildings of the Georg August Universität, founded by the Elector of Hannover who was also George II of England. Inside, handsome half-timbered houses line crooked, narrow streets. Two thoroughfares, Prinzenstrasse and Weender Strasse, intersect at a point which the mathematicians call the origin of the coordinates in Göttingen. The center of the town, however, is the Rathaus, or town hall. On the wall of its Ratskeller there is a motto which states unequivocally: Away from Göttingen there is no life.


Town Hall Algebraic Number Field Narrow Street Wednesday Morning Quadratic Reciprocity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

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  • Constance Reid

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