Summary and Info
This book explores the development of number theory, and class field theory in particular, as it passed through the hands of Emil Artin, Claude Chevalley, and Robert Langlands in the middle of the twentieth century. The volume consists of individual essays by the authors and two contributors, James Cogdell and Robert Langlands, and contains relevant archival material. Among these, the letter from Claude Chevalley to Helmut Hasse in 1935 is included, in which he introduces the notion of ideles and explores their significance, along with the previously unpublished thesis by Margaret Matchett and the seminal letter of Robert Langlands to André Weil of 1967 in which he lays out his ideas regarding a non-abelian class field theory. Taken together, these chapters offer a view of both the life of Artin in the 1930s and 1940s and the development of class field theory at that time. They also provide insight into the transmission of mathematical ideas, the careful steps required to preserve a life in mathematics at a difficult moment in history, and the interplay between mathematics and politics (in more ways than one). Some of the technical points in this volume require a sophisticated understanding of algebra and number theory. The broader topics, however, will appeal to a wider audience that extends beyond mathematicians and historians of mathematics to include historically minded individuals, particularly those with an interest in the time period. A publication of the European Mathematical Society (EMS). Distributed within the Americas by the American Mathematical Society.
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