Date of Completion


Thesis Advisor(s)

Keith Conrad

Honors Major





The Hasse-Minkowski theorem concerns the classification of quadratic forms over global fields (i.e., finite extensions of Q and rational function fields with a finite constant field). Hasse proved the theorem over the rational numbers in his Ph.D. thesis in 1921. He extended the research of his thesis to quadratic forms over all number fields in 1924. Historically, the Hasse-Minkowski theorem was the first notable application of p-adic fields that caught the attention of a wide mathematical audience. The goal of this thesis is to discuss the Hasse-Minkowski theorem over the rational numbers and over the rational function fields with a finite constant field of odd characteristic. Our treatments of quadratic forms and local fields, though, are more general than what is strictly necessary for our proofs of the Hasse-Minkowski theorem over Q and its analogue over rational function fields (of odd characteristic). Our discussion concludes with some applications of the Hasse-Minkowski theorem.

Included in

Mathematics Commons