- Atle Selberg
Atle Selberg (
June 14, 1917– August 6, 2007) was a Norwegian mathematicianknown for his work in analytic number theory, and in the theory of automorphic forms, in particular bringing them into relation with spectral theory.
Selberg was born in
Langesund, Norway. While he was still at school he was influenced by the work of Srinivasa Ramanujanand he discovered the exact analytical formula for the partition function as suggested by the works of Ramanujan, however, this result was first published by Hans Rademacher.
During the war he fought against the German invasion of Norway, and was imprisoned a few times. He studied at the
University of Osloand completed his Ph.D.in 1943.
Second world war
second world warhe worked in isolation due to the German military occupation of Norway. After the war his accomplishments became known, including a proof that a positive proportion of the zeros of the Riemann zeta functionlie on the line Re(s)=1/2. After the war he turned to sieve theory, a previously neglected topic which Selberg's work brought into prominence. In a 1947 paper he introduced the Selberg sieve, a method well adapted in particular to providing auxiliary upper bounds, and which contributed to Chen's theorem, among other important results. Then in 1948 Selberg gave an elementary proofof the prime number theorem. Paul Erdősused Selberg's work to obtain a proof around the same time, leading to a dispute between them about to whom this result should primarily be attributed. For all these accomplishments Selberg received the 1950 Fields Medal.
Institute for Advanced Study
Selberg moved to the
United Statesand settled at the Institute for Advanced Studyin Princeton, New Jerseyin the 1950s where he remained until his death. During the 1950s he worked on introducing spectral theoryinto number theory, culminating in his development of the Selberg trace formula, the most famous and influential of his results. This establishes a duality between the length spectrum of a compact Riemann surfaceand the eigenvalues of the Laplacian, which is analogous to the duality between the prime numbers and the zeros of the zeta function. He was awarded the 1986 Wolf Prize in Mathematics.
Selberg received many distinctions for his work in addition to the
Fields Medaland Wolf Prize. He was elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Selberg had two children, Ingrid Selberg and Lars Selberg. Ingrid Selberg is married to playwright
He died at home on
6 August 2007, of heart failure. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Atle Selberg, 90, Lauded Mathematician, Dies |publisher= New York Times|date=2007-08-17 |accessdate=2007-07-21 ]
*"Atle Selberg Collected Papers: 1" (Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg), ISBN 0387183892
*"Collected Papers" (Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg Mai 1998), ISBN 3540506268
Critical line theorem
Selberg trace formula
Selberg zeta function
first=Nils A.|last= Baas|first2= Christian F.|last2= Skau
journal= Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. |volume=45 |year=2008|pages= 617-649
title=The lord of the numbers, Atle Selberg. On his life and mathematics Interview with Selberg
*citation|last=Selberg |url=http://www.ias.ac.in/resonance/Dec1996/pdf/Dec1996Reflections.pdf |title=Reflections Around the Ramanujan Centenary|year=1996
* [http://www.ias.edu/newsroom/announcements/view/1186683853.html Obituary at IAS]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article2477242.ece Obituary in "The Times"]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.