Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl - Mathematicians, Career and Facts

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Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's Personal Details

Hermann K

InformationDetail
BirthdayNovember 9, 1885
Died onDecember 8, 1955
NationalityGerman
FamousMathematicians, Theoretical Physicist, Scientists, Mathematicians, Physicists
SpousesEllen
Universities
  • Georg-August University of Göttingen
Birth PlaceElmshorn
GenderMale
FatherLudwig Weyl
MotherAnna Dieck
Sun SignScorpio
Born inElmshorn
Famous asMathematician and Theoretical Physicist
Died at Age70

// Famous Theoretical Physicist

Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's photo

Who is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl?

Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl, better known as Hermann Weyl, was one of the most famous and skilled mathematicians of the 20th century. He was also popular as a philosopher and acclaimed for his contribution to theoretical physics, having published several works on space, time, matter, philosophy, and logic. His work is famous because it served as a link between pure mathematics and theoretical physics, and it immensely added to quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity too. His works also revealed his interest in philosophy and expressed his findings on relativity. It was he who first produced the unified field theory for Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetic fields and the gravitational field. He is also credited to have found out that by simply using group theory, most of the regularities of quantum phenomena on the atomic level can be easily understood. He was a colleague of Albert Einstein, who at that time was working on finding the details of the theory of general relativity. With Einstein’s influence, Weyl became the first person to have thought of merging general relativity with the laws of electromagnetism.

// Famous Mathematicians

Childhood & Early Life

Hermann Weyl was born on 9 November 1885 in a small town near Hamburg, Germany, named Elmshorn. However, not much is known about his parents or his childhood.

He studied Mathematics and Physics in both Gottingen and Munich from 1904 to 1908. He completed his Ph.D. in the University of Gottingen, under the supervision of David Hilbert, one of the most influential as well as universal mathematicians of the 19th and 20th centuries. Weyl was a big admirer of him.

Career

After receiving his Ph. D. he held a teaching post in the same university, as a privatdozent, till the year 1913. Then he moved to Zürich Technische Hochschule where he occupied the chair of mathematics from 1913 to 1930.

It was in Zurich that he met Albert Einstein as a colleague, and worked together on various subjects of their interest. Other than Einstein, he was also influenced by Erwin Schrodinger, a Nobel-Prize winning theoretical physicist.

He was offered a faculty position in 1930, in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, but he declined the offer as he didn’t wish to leave his homeland. But he had a Jewish wife, and when the political situation in Germany got worse, he changed his mind and accepted the position in the university and remained there till his retirement in 1951.

Contributions To Mathematics

Hermann Weyl published ‘On the asymptotic distribution of eigenvalues’ in the year 1911, where he proved that it is according to the Weyl law, that the eigenvalues of the Laplacian in the compact domain are distributed. He also formulated his own Weyl conjecture.

By using matrix representation, he also evolved a general theory of continuous groups and found out that just by using group theory, we could find out most of the regularities of the quantum phenomena on the atomic level. His findings were published in ‘Group Theory and Quantum Mechanics’ in the year 1928, where he helped mold modern quantum theory.

He worked on and developed the theory of compact groups from 1923 to 1938, in terms of matrix representations. He also proved a fundamental character formula in the compact Lie group case.

In 1939, he wrote and published a mathematics book, ‘The Classical Groups: Their Invariants and Representation’. It not only described classical invariant theory, but is also considered hugely responsible for the revival of interest in it.

Hermann Weyl published ‘In the Continuum’ where the developed the logic of the predictive analysis using the lower levels of the ramified theory of types, which was initially formed by Bertrand Russell. Not only he developed most of classical calculus, but he did so without using the axiom of choice or the proof by contradiction.

He also attempted a unified field theory in order to unite electromagnetism and gravitation, and he introduced the concept of gauge invariance for it. It describes how some quantities never change though they go through a transformation in the underlying field. His theory was later applied in a modified form to quantum field theory.

After publishing ‘The Continuum Weyl’ he focused on intuitionism as propounded by E. J. Brouwer. Since in ‘The Continuum’ the constructible points exist only as discrete entities, Weyl wanted a continuum that was not an aggregate of points.

Major Works

Hermann Weyl’s first book was ‘On the asymptotic distribution of eigenvalues’ which he published in 1911. It was in this book that he had proved that it is according to the Weyl law, that the eigenvalues of the Laplacian in the compact domain are distributed.

‘Weyl quantization’ (1927) was another one of his major works which showed the existing connection between classical and quantum physics.

’The Classical Groups: Their Invariants and Representations’ (1939) was one of his best known works. David Hilbert’s solution to its main problems in the 1890s had almost killed off the interest in invariant theory but this book helped in reviving it. It discusses various ideas like Felix Klien’s Erlangen program in geometry, as well as studies subjects like the group ring of a finite group and how it decomposes into a sum of matrix algebras. Weyl’s character formula for the characters of representations of the classical groups is also described.

Personal Life & Legacy

Hermann Weyl had met Erwin Shcrodinger in 1921, who at that time was working as a professor in the University of Zurich. Though the two were close friends, Weyl had a love affair with Shcrodinger’s wife Annemarie Schrödinger for some time.

Weyl’s first wife was Friederike Bertha Helene Joseph, who was better known as Helene or Hella. She was the daughter of Dr. Bruno Jospeph, a physician. Helene herself was a philosopher, and a translator of Spanish literature into German and English. They got married in September 1913.

Hermann and Helene had two sons. The first one, Fritz Joachim Weyl was born in February 1915 and the second one, Michael Weyl, was born in September 1917.

In 1948, Helene passed away on the 5th of September. After two years, Hermann Weyl married Ellen Bar, who was the widow of Professor Josef Bar.

After his retirement, he lived with Ellen in Princeton and Zurich. On December 8, 1955, while they were in Zurich, he suffered from a heart attack, which eventually led to his death. He was cremated four days later.

// Famous Scientists

Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl biography timelines

  • // 9th Nov 1885
    Hermann Weyl was born on 9 November 1885 in a small town near Hamburg, Germany, named Elmshorn. However, not much is known about his parents or his childhood.
  • // 1904 To 1908
    He studied Mathematics and Physics in both Gottingen and Munich from 1904 to 1908. He completed his Ph.D. in the University of Gottingen, under the supervision of David Hilbert, one of the most influential as well as universal mathematicians of the 19th and 20th centuries. Weyl was a big admirer of him.
  • // 1911
    Hermann Weyl published ‘On the asymptotic distribution of eigenvalues’ in the year 1911, where he proved that it is according to the Weyl law, that the eigenvalues of the Laplacian in the compact domain are distributed. He also formulated his own Weyl conjecture.
  • // 1913 To 1930
    After receiving his Ph. D. he held a teaching post in the same university, as a privatdozent, till the year 1913. Then he moved to Zürich Technische Hochschule where he occupied the chair of mathematics from 1913 to 1930.
  • // 1913
    Weyl’s first wife was Friederike Bertha Helene Joseph, who was better known as Helene or Hella. She was the daughter of Dr. Bruno Jospeph, a physician. Helene herself was a philosopher, and a translator of Spanish literature into German and English. They got married in September 1913.
  • // 1915
    Hermann and Helene had two sons. The first one, Fritz Joachim Weyl was born in February 1915 and the second one, Michael Weyl, was born in September 1917.
  • // 1921
    Hermann Weyl had met Erwin Shcrodinger in 1921, who at that time was working as a professor in the University of Zurich. Though the two were close friends, Weyl had a love affair with Shcrodinger’s wife Annemarie Schrödinger for some time.
  • // 1923 To 1938
    He worked on and developed the theory of compact groups from 1923 to 1938, in terms of matrix representations. He also proved a fundamental character formula in the compact Lie group case.
  • // 1927
    ‘Weyl quantization’ (1927) was another one of his major works which showed the existing connection between classical and quantum physics.
  • // 1930
    He was offered a faculty position in 1930, in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, but he declined the offer as he didn’t wish to leave his homeland. But he had a Jewish wife, and when the political situation in Germany got worse, he changed his mind and accepted the position in the university and remained there till his retirement in 1951.
  • // 1939
    In 1939, he wrote and published a mathematics book, ‘The Classical Groups: Their Invariants and Representation’. It not only described classical invariant theory, but is also considered hugely responsible for the revival of interest in it.
  • // 1939
    ’The Classical Groups: Their Invariants and Representations’ (1939) was one of his best known works. David Hilbert’s solution to its main problems in the 1890s had almost killed off the interest in invariant theory but this book helped in reviving it. It discusses various ideas like Felix Klien’s Erlangen program in geometry, as well as studies subjects like the group ring of a finite group and how it decomposes into a sum of matrix algebras. Weyl’s character formula for the characters of representations of the classical groups is also described.
  • // 1948
    In 1948, Helene passed away on the 5th of September. After two years, Hermann Weyl married Ellen Bar, who was the widow of Professor Josef Bar.
  • // 8th Dec 1955
    After his retirement, he lived with Ellen in Princeton and Zurich. On December 8, 1955, while they were in Zurich, he suffered from a heart attack, which eventually led to his death. He was cremated four days later.

// Famous Mathematicians

Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's FAQ

  • What is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl birthday?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl was born at 1885-11-09

  • When was Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl died?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl was died at 1955-12-08

  • Where was Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl died?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl was died in Zürich

  • Which age was Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl died?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl was died at age 70

  • Where is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's birth place?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl was born in Elmshorn

  • What is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl nationalities?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's nationalities is German

  • Who is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl spouses?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's spouses is Ellen

  • What was Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl universities?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl studied at Georg-August University of Göttingen

  • Who is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's father?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's father is Ludwig Weyl

  • Who is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's mother?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's mother is Anna Dieck

  • What is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl's sun sign?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl is Scorpio

  • How famous is Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl?

    Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl is famouse as Mathematician and Theoretical Physicist