Did Galois deserve to be shot?
a public lecture by
Dr Peter M. Neumann, OBE
Oxford Mathematical Institute and The Queen’s College, Oxford
Monday 7 November 2016 at 6 pm
Stephen Langton Building (former EMMTEC) Lecture Theatre, Brayford Pool Campus, University of Lincoln
Classical algebra may be said to deal with equations. Modern algebra deals with abstract theories. Two of those are called group theory and Galois theory. We owe the transition from classical to modern mainly to Évariste Galois, who died aged 20 in 1832, shot in a mysterious early-morning duel. His ideas, after they were published fourteen years later, changed the direction of algebra and have had a huge influence on mathematics. In this session I propose to sketch his short and turbulent life, and explain to a non-expert audience something of his mathematical insights, and why he invented groups and what we now call Galois theory.