Person: Kaluza, Theodor Franz Eduard
Theodor Kaluza was a German mathematician and physicist known for his work in five-dimensional space-time.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Max Kaluza was a fine scholar and, although German, he was a leading expert on the English language and English literature, with his special field being the study of Chaucer.
- Kaluza continued his studies at Königsberg working towards his doctorate under Meyer's supervision.
- Most academics are promoted after a few years as a Privatdozent, but Kaluza clearly was not thought to be of sufficient merit for he remained a Privatdozent for 20 years.
- One person who thought very highly of Kaluza, however, was Einstein.
- Kaluza's ideas involved the introduction of a fifth dimension and, although he has been criticised for introducing this as a purely mathematical idea, his work is important and was explored by others.
- Kaluza is remembered for this in Kaluza-Klein (named after the mathematician Oskar Klein) field theory, which involved field equations in five-dimensional space.
- In November 1926 Einstein wrote in support of Kaluza to try to impress upon people that he was a mathematician who had produced a remarkably novel idea and was worth far more than the position of Privatdozent which he still occupied.
- Still Kaluza failed to gain promotion, then in 1929, exactly 20 years after being appointed a Privatdozent, he was appointed as professor in Kiel.
- Perhaps Kaluza became too involved with his ideas in theoretical physics to make the contributions to mathematics which he was clearly capable of making.
Born 9 November 1885, Opeln, Germany (now Opole, Poland). Died 19 January 1954, Göttingen, Germany.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive