Meaning of GODEL, KURT in English

born April 28, 1906, Brnn, Austria-Hungary died Jan. 14, 1978, Princeton, N.J., U.S. Gdel also spelled Goedel Austrian-born U.S. mathematician, logician, and author of Gdel's proof, which states that within any rigidly logical mathematical system there are propositions (or questions) that cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of the axioms within that system and that, therefore, it is uncertain that the basic axioms of arithmetic will not give rise to contradictions. This proof has become a hallmark of 20th-century mathematics, and its repercussions continue to be felt and debated. A member of the faculty of the University of Vienna from 1930, Gdel was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. (1933, 1935, 193852); he emigrated to the United States in 1940 (naturalized 1948) and from 1953 served as a professor at the institute. Gdel's proof first appeared in an article in the Monatshefte fr Mathematik und Physik, vol. 38 (1931), on formally indeterminable propositions of the Principia Mathematica of Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell. This article ended nearly a century of attempts to establish axioms that would provide a rigorous basis for all mathematics, the most nearly (but, as Gdel showed, by no means entirely) successful attempt having been the Principia Mathematica. Another well-known work is Consistency of the Axiom of Choice and of the Generalized Continuum-Hypothesis with the Axioms of Set Theory (1940; rev. ed., 1958), which has become a classic of modern mathematics.

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