Hermann Minkowski

Hermann Minkowski (/mɪŋˈkɔːfski, -ˈkɒf-/;[2] German: [mɪŋˈkɔfski]; 22 June 1864 – 12 January 1909) was a mathematician and professor at Königsberg, Zürich and Göttingen. In different sources Minkowski's nationality is variously given as German,[3][4][5] Polish,[6][7][8] or Lithuanian-German,[9] or Russian.[10] He created and developed the geometry of numbers and used geometrical methods to solve problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity.

Hermann Minkowski
Born(1864-06-22)22 June 1864
Died12 January 1909(1909-01-12) (aged 44)
CitizenshipRussian Empire[1] or Germany
Alma materAlbertina University of Königsberg
Known for
Spouse(s)Auguste Adler
ChildrenLily (1898–1983),
Ruth (1902–2000)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, physics, philosophy
InstitutionsUniversity of Göttingen and ETH Zurich
Doctoral advisorFerdinand von Lindemann
Doctoral studentsConstantin Carathéodory
Louis Kollros
Dénes Kőnig
Signature

Minkowski is perhaps best known for his work in relativity, in which he showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity (1905) could be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space–time, since known as the "Minkowski spacetime".