Fields and Galois Theory / Edition 1

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The pioneering work of Abel and Galois in the early nineteenth century demonstrated that the long-standing quest for a solution of quintic equations by radicals was fruitless: no formula can be found. The techniques they used were, in the end, more important than the resolution of a somewhat esoteric problem, for they were the genesis of modern abstract algebra. This book provides a gentle introduction to Galois theory suitable for third- and fourth-year undergraduates and beginning graduates. The approach is unashamedly unhistorical: it uses the language and techniques of abstract algebra to express complex arguments in contemporary terms. Thus the insolubility of the quintic by radicals is linked to the fact that the alternating group of degree 5 is simple - which is assuredly not the way Galois would have expressed the connection.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

“This is a short but very good introductory book on abstract algebra, with emphasis on Galois Theory. Very little background in mathematics is required, so that the potential audience for this book range from undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, computer professionals, and the math enthusiasts.” (Philosophy, Religion and Science Book Reviews,, July, 2013)

"The author wrote this book to provide the reader with a treatment of classical Galois theory. … The book is well written. It contains many examples and over 100 exercises with solutions in the back of the book. Sprinkled throughout the book are interesting commentaries and historical comments. The book is suitable as a textbook for upper level undergraduate or beginning graduate students." (John N. Mordeson, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1103 (5), 2007)

"To write such a book on a widely known but genuinely non-trivial topic is a challenge. … J. M. Howie did exactly what it takes. And he did it with such vigour and skill that the outcome is indeed absorbing and astounding. … Every paragraph has been scheduled with utmost care and the proofs are crystal clear. … the reader will never feel forlorn amidst brilliant theorems, which makes the book such a good read." (J. Lang, Internationale Mathematische Nachrichten, Issue 206, 2007)

"Howie’s book ... provides a rigorous and thorough introduction to Galois theory. ... this book would be an excellent choice for anyone with at least some backgound in abstract algebra who seeks an introduction to the study of Galois theory. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates; graduate students." (D. S. Larson, CHOICE, Vol. 43 (10), June, 2006)

"The latest addition to Springer’s Undergraduate Mathematics Series is John Howie’s Fields and Galois Theory. … Howie is a fine writer, and the book is very self-contained. … I know that many of my students would appreciate Howie’s approach much more as it is not as overwhelming. This book also has a large number of good exercises, all of which have solutions in the back of the book. All in all, Howie has done a fine job writing a book on field theory … ." (Darren Glass, MathDL, February, 2006)

"The book can serve as a useful introduction to the theory of fields and their extensions. The relevant background material on groups and rings is covered. The text is interspersed with many worked examples, as well as more than 100 exercises, for which solutions are provided at the end." (Chandan Singh Dalawat, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2006 g)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852339869
  • Publisher: Springer London
  • Publication date: 9/26/2007
  • Series: Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2005. Corr. 2nd printing 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Rings and Fields.- Integral Domains and Polynomials.- Field Extensions.- Applications to Geometry.- Splitting Fields.- Finite Fields.- The Galois Group.- Equations and Groups.- Some Group Theory.- Groups and Equations.- Regular Polygons.- Solutions.

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