A computation of the Witt index for rational quadratic forms
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This paper adds the finishing touches to an algorithmic treatment of quadratic forms over the rational numbers. The Witt index of a rational quadratic form is explicitly computed. When combined with a recent adjustment in the Haase invariants, this gives a complete set of invariants for rational quadratic forms, a set which can be computed and which respects all of the standard natural operations (including the tensor product) for quadratic forms. The overall approach does not use (at least explicitly) anyp-adic methods, but it does give the Witt ring of thep-adics as well as the Witt ring of the rationals.
AMS (1980) subject classificationPrimary 11E81
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