Niels Henrik Abel

By: Rheanne Gerwing

Dates and Places

  • 1802 - Born in Finnoy, Norway

  • 1815 - Attended Cathedral School in Christiania

  • 1821 - Believe he had found a solution of quintic equations by radicals, however he soon realized he had made an error

  • 1822 - Graduates from the University of Christiania

  • 1823 - Published papers on functional equations and integrals in a scientific journal and was provided a grant to visit mathematicians in Copenhagen

  • 1824 - Abel proved the impossibility of solving quintic equations by radicals

  • 1825 - Abel published his work on elliptic functions in Crelle's Journal

  • 1829 - Abel passes away in Christiania

Major Contributions

  • Abel’s Impossibility Theorem (Abel-Ruffini Theorem)
  • Abelian Integrals
  • Elliptic Integrals
  • Abel's Theorem of Convergence

Influence on Mathematics Today

  • Many of Abel’s theorems are currently being used in mathematical analysis today. Abel, along with Galois, is one of the two founders of Group Theory, which studies algebraic structures known as groups. Abelian Integrals continue to be one of the foremost challenges in mathematical analysis.
  • Abel was the first to observe that elliptic functions are doubly periodic. This led to more general complex-variable functions, which are important to the development of both abstract and applied mathematics.