Solving quadratic equations in many variables
Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach
Fields are number systems in which every linear equation has a solution, such as the set of all rational numbers Q or the set of all real numbers R. All fields have the same properties in relation with systems of linear equations, but quadratic equations behave differently from field to field. Is there a field in which every quadratic equation in five variables has a solution, but some quadratic equation in four variables has no solution? The answer is in this snapshot.
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