Lagrange’s Theory of Quadratic Forms
It was Lagrange who sought to produce a general theory of quadratic forms, after Euler had published a number of deep and provocative studies of many examples—what would today be called ‘experimental mathematics’. In this chapter we look at one key idea in his treatment: the reduction of forms to simpler but equivalent ones. We are led to one of the great theorems in mathematics: quadratic reciprocity. It was conjectured well before it was proved for the first time, as we shall see later.
- Cox, D.A.: Primes of the Form x 2 + ny 2. Wiley, New York (1989)Google Scholar