Helmut Hasse

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Helmut Hasse
Born(1898-08-25)25 August 1898
Died26 December 1979(1979-12-26) (aged 81)
Alma materUniversity of Marburg
University of Göttingen
Known forConductor-discriminant formula
Hasse's theorem on elliptic curves
Hasse–Schmidt derivation
Scientific career
ThesisÜber die Darstellbarkeit von Zahlen durch quadratische Formen im Körper der rationalen Zahlen (1922)
Doctoral advisorKurt Hensel
Doctoral studentsCahit Arf
Wolfgang Franz
Hans-Wilhelm Knobloch
Paul Lorenzen
Curt Meyer
Peter Roquette
Otto Schilling
Oswald Teichmüller

Helmut Hasse (German: [ˈhasə]; 25 August 1898 – 26 December 1979) was a German mathematician[1] working in algebraic number theory, known for fundamental contributions to class field theory, the application of p-adic numbers to local class field theory and diophantine geometry (Hasse principle), and to local zeta functions.


Hasse was born in Kassel, Province of Hesse-Nassau,[2] the son of Judge Paul Reinhard Hasse, also written Haße (12 April 1868 – 1 June 1940,[3] son of Friedrich Ernst Hasse and his wife Anna Von Reinhard) and his wife Margarethe Louise Adolphine Quentin (born 5 July 1872 in Milwaukee, daughter of retail toy merchant[4] Adolph Quentin (b. May 1832, probably Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia) and Margarethe Wehr (b. about 1840, Prussia),[5] then raised in Kassel).[6]

After serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I, he studied at the University of Göttingen, and then at the University of Marburg under Kurt Hensel, writing a dissertation in 1921 containing the Hasse–Minkowski theorem, as it is now called, on quadratic forms over number fields. He then held positions at Kiel, Halle and Marburg. He was Hermann Weyl's replacement at Göttingen in 1934.

Hasse was an Invited Speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in 1932 in Zürich and a Plenary Speaker of the ICM in 1936 in Oslo.[7]

In 1933 Hasse had signed the Vow of allegiance of the Professors of the German Universities and High-Schools to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialistic State.

Politically, he applied for membership in the Nazi Party in 1937, but this was denied to him allegedly due to his remote Jewish ancestry.[8] After the war, he briefly returned to Göttingen in 1945, but was excluded by the British authorities. After brief appointments in Berlin, from 1948 on he settled permanently as professor at University of Hamburg.

He collaborated with many mathematicians, in particular with Emmy Noether and Richard Brauer on simple algebras, and with Harold Davenport on Gauss sums (Hasse–Davenport relations), and with Cahit Arf on the Hasse–Arf theorem.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Helmut Hasse at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Hellmuth Haße in the Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901; Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Geburtenregister; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 910_5132; accessed 31 March 2018 Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
  3. ^ Paul Reinhard Hasse in the Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 5683; Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 paid subscription website. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
  4. ^ 1870 U.S. Federal Census: Adolph Quentin, accessed 31 March 2018, paid subscription ancestry.com website.
  5. ^ Margarethe Louise Adolphine Quentin in the Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930; Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Bestand: 910; Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
  6. ^ Harold Edwards, Artikel Helmut Hasse in Dictionary of Scientific Biography
  7. ^ Hasse, H. (1937). "Über die riemannsche Vermutung in Funktionenkörpern". In: Comptes rendus du Congrès international des mathématiciens: Oslo, 1936. Vol. 1. pp. 189–206.
  8. ^ Helmut Hasse und die Familie Mendelssohn, By Peter Roquette. The Nazi mathematician Prof. Erhard Tornier [de] pointed out that Helmut Hasse had a Jewish great grandmother.
  9. ^ a b Kaplansky, Irving (1981). "Review: Number theory, by Helmut Hasse". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 4 (2): 249–250. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1981-14899-0.
  10. ^ Chevalley, C. (1953). "Review: Über die Klassenzahl abelscher Zahlkörper, by Helmut Hasse". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 59 (3): 281–282. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1953-09709-9.

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