Summary and Info
From 1962, this is a detailed account of quadratic number fields, and makes a fair introduction to the theory of number fields of any degree. Ideal theory (restricted to the quadratic case) is well covered in plenty of detail. Gauss's classic theory of binary quadratic forms is also included.Cohn is clearly quite keen on the subject, and is not just writing a textbook on some arbitrary topic for which he thinks there might be a market. And he has no fear of including pedagogical remarks in a textbook. The English is a bit awkward in places, but that is a minor thing.The basics about characters and Dirichlet L-series are developed, but only to the extent needed to give Dirichlet's original proof of his theorem on arithmetic progressions. That proof, unlike later ones, uses Dirichlet's class number formula for quadratic fields, and is worth a look.There is a lengthy but now dated bibliography.An unusual feature is a table (from Sommer's 1911 book) describing the structure of Z[sqrt(n)] for all nonsquare n from -99 to 99.
More About the Author
Harvey Wright Cohn (December 4, 1884 – July 29, 1965) was an American track and field athlete and a member of the Irish American Athletic Club.
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