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Évariste Galois

French mathematician, founder of group theory
Évariste Galois

Évariste Galois (October 25, 1811May 31, 1832) was a French mathematician, who, while still in his teens, developed the well-known Galois theory. Galois theory is capable to determine whether a polynomial with rational coefficient can be solved by radicals and give a clear insight about what kind of length ratio can be constructed by compass and straightedge, thereby solving the long-standing problems of solving a polynomial by radicals. His life is considered to be one of the most romantic in all of mathematics because of the contributions he has made in such a short span of life.


  • ... un auteur ne nuit jamais tant à ses lecteurs que quand il dissimule une difficulté.
    • ... an author never does more damage to his readers than when he hides a difficulty.
    • in the preface of Deux mémoires d'Analyse pure, October 8, 1831, edited by Jules Tannery (1908). Manuscrits de Évariste Galois. Gauthier-Villars. p. 27. 
  • Il parait après cela qu'il n'y a aucun fruit à tirer de la solution que nous proposons.
    • It seems there is no fruit to be drawn from the solution we offer.[citation needed]
  • Ne pleure pas, Alfred ! J'ai besoin de tout mon courage pour mourir à vingt ans !
    • Don't cry, Alfred! I need all my courage to die at twenty.
    • Quoted in: Léopold Infeld (1978) Whom the gods love: the story of Évariste Galois. p. 299.
  • [This] science is the work of the human mind, which is destined rather to study than to know, to seek the truth rather than to find it.

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