Notices of the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians

Volume 4 (2016)

Number 1

Gauss: The Last Entry

Pages: 29 – 39

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4310/ICCM.2016.v4.n1.a4

Author

Frans Oort (Mathematical Institute, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Abstract

We present one of the shortest examples of a statement with a visionary impact: we discuss an expectation by Gauss. His idea preludes developments only started more than a century later. Several proofs were given for the prediction by Gauss. We show where this statements fits into modern mathematics. We give a short proof, using methods, developed by Hasse, Weil and many others. Of course this is history upside down: instead of seeing the Last Entry as a prelude to modern developments, we give a 20th century proof of this 19th century statement.

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Published 1 August 2016