Niels Henrik Abel

(1802—1829) Norwegian mathematician

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Norwegian mathematician who, at the age of 19, proved that the general equation of degree greater than 4 cannot be solved algebraically. In other words, there can be no formula for the roots of such an equation similar to the familiar formula for a quadratic equation. He was also responsible for fundamental developments in the theory of algebraic functions. He died in some poverty at the age of 26, just a few days before he would have received a letter announcing his appointment to a professorship in Berlin.

Subjects: Mathematics.

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