Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Noether, Emmy (Amalie) (1882–1935)




Amalie Noether
German mathematician, one of the most talented of the early 20th century. The crucial result now known as Noether's theorem which is important in under symmetries in natural systems is of great importance in physics.

Noether received her doctorate in 1907 and rapidly built an international reputation, but the University of Göttingen refused to let her teach, and her colleague David Hilbert had to advertise her courses in the university's catalog under his own name. A long controversy ensued, with her opponents asking what the country's soldiers would think when they returned home and were expected to learn at the feet of a woman. Allowing her on the faculty would also mean letting her vote in the academic senate. Said Hilbert, "I do not see that the sex of the candidate is against her admission as a Privatdozent. After all, the university senate is not a bathhouse." She was finally admitted to the faculty in 1919.

A Jew, Noether was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and joined the faculty at Bryn Mawr in the United States.


Related category

   • MATHEMATICIANS