Biography of Herman Weil

Hermann Weil is an amazing German mathematician, who made a great contribution to the development of this science.

Childhood and Education

Herman Weil was born on November 9, 1885 in Elmshorn, a small town near Hamburg. His father was Ludwig Weil – the director of the bank, and his mother was Anna Dick. In 1904, immediately after graduation, he entered the University of Munich, where he studied mathematics and physics. These subjects were his specialization in both the University of Munich and the University of Göttingen until 1908. In the University of Goetting, Weil met David Gilbert and was carried away by his work. Later he said that he decided to do everything that Gilbert wrote about. He also said that at the end of his first year he went home with the book “The Theory of Algebraic Numbers” by Hilbert under his arm, and during the summer dealt with it, not having any preliminary knowledge in either number theory or Galois theory. “These were the happiest months of my life,


Until 1913, Weil taught at the University of Gottingen, after which he became chairman of mathematics at the Swiss Higher Technical School. There he became acquainted with Albert Einstein, who at that time carried out comprehensive studies of his general theory of relativity. Einstein strongly influenced Weyl, and soon Weil became very interested in physics. In 1930, after the resignation of Hilbert, Weil was one of them to claim his place, but due to the Nazis coming to power, he was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and join the only established institute for prospective Princeton. He worked in it until his resignation in 1951. He spent most of his life in Princeton and Zurich.

Personal life and death

Herman Weil married Helen Josef from Zurich, the couple had two sons. After Helen’s death, Weil married Ellen Bear in 1950.

German Herman Weil died in 1955 in Zurich. His death was unexpected – he fainted and died on his way home after sending letters of thanks to those who congratulated him on his seventieth birthday.

Works and contributions

One of the first works of Weyl was called “On the asymptotic distribution of eigenvalues”.

In 1913 he published a work entitled “The Idea of ​​the Riemann Surface.” Being influenced by Einstein, Weil was engaged in relative physics, successes in which he published in the first edition of the book “Space, Time and Matter” in 1918. Until 1922 there were four more editions of the book.

Weyl introduced the concept of virbein to the general theory of relativity in 1929.

Between 1923 and 1938, Weil developed the theory of compact groups by means of a matrix expression.

His theory of representing semisimple groups, which he developed in 1924-1926, was so carefully worked out that Weil considered it his best achievement.

The proposed discretization proposed by Weil in 1927 is universally recognized as the best link between classical and quantum physics.

In his book “Classical Groups, Their Invariants and Representations,” which was published in 1939, Weil revised the theory of invariants.

He also published books:
– “Algebraic Number Theory”, 1940;
– “Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Sciences”, 1949;
– “Symmetry”, 1952;
– “The idea of ​​a Riemann surface”, 1955.

Biography of Herman Weil