Hermann Minkowski (Aleksotas, Lithuania, June 22, 1864 – January 12, 1909, Göttingen, Germany), was a German mathematician. Born in Lithuania (at the time part of the Russian empire), his parents had the German nationality. When Hermann was eight years old the family returned to Germany and settled in Königsberg (at present the Russian city of Kaliningrad).
Outside mathematics, Minkowksi is best known for introducing the four-dimensional "space-time continuum", now called Minkowksi space. This vector space, with indefinite metric, plays an important role in Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity.
Among mathematicians Minkowski is also known for his geometrical theory of numbers, a study he started around 1890. His book Geometrie der Zahlen [Geometry of Numbers] was published in 1910 after Minkowski's early death of appendicitis. An earlier version of this work on number theory was published 1896.
- ↑ H. Minkowski, Raum und Zeit Jahresberichte der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung: 75–88 (1908/9). Online (German).
- ↑ H. Minkowski, Geometrie der Zahlen, Teubner, Leipzig (1896).