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Course# MATH-326: Rational quadratic forms

Summary

Given a quadratic equation, e.g. x^2 + 2*y^2 = 81, how can we decide whether there is a rational solution (x,y)? This basic question is what the theory of Rational Quadratic Forms is all about. The course gives an introduction and highlights fundamental techniques and results.

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Related concepts (65)

Related courses (7)

Related MOOCs (10)

Quadratic form

In mathematics, a quadratic form is a polynomial with terms all of degree two ("form" is another name for a homogeneous polynomial). For example, is a quadratic form in the variables x and y. The coefficients usually belong to a fixed field K, such as the real or complex numbers, and one speaks of a quadratic form over K. If , and the quadratic form equals zero only when all variables are simultaneously zero, then it is a definite quadratic form; otherwise it is an isotropic quadratic form.

Prime number

A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that is not a product of two smaller natural numbers. A natural number greater than 1 that is not prime is called a composite number. For example, 5 is prime because the only ways of writing it as a product, 1 × 5 or 5 × 1, involve 5 itself. However, 4 is composite because it is a product (2 × 2) in which both numbers are smaller than 4.

Quadratic function

In mathematics, a quadratic polynomial is a polynomial of degree two in one or more variables. A quadratic function is the polynomial function defined by a quadratic polynomial. Before the 20th century, the distinction was unclear between a polynomial and its associated polynomial function; so "quadratic polynomial" and "quadratic function" were almost synonymous. This is still the case in many elementary courses, where both terms are often abbreviated as "quadratic".

Field (mathematics)

In mathematics, a field is a set on which addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are defined and behave as the corresponding operations on rational and real numbers do. A field is thus a fundamental algebraic structure which is widely used in algebra, number theory, and many other areas of mathematics. The best known fields are the field of rational numbers, the field of real numbers and the field of complex numbers.

Quadratic equation

In algebra, a quadratic equation () is any equation that can be rearranged in standard form as where x represents an unknown value, and a, b, and c represent known numbers, where a ≠ 0. (If a = 0 and b ≠ 0 then the equation is linear, not quadratic.) The numbers a, b, and c are the coefficients of the equation and may be distinguished by respectively calling them, the quadratic coefficient, the linear coefficient and the constant coefficient or free term.

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