# Kurt Heegner

**Kurt Heegner** (German: [ˈheːɡnɐ]; 16 December 1893 – 2 February 1965) was a German private scholar from Berlin, who specialized in
radio engineering and mathematics. He is now famous for his mathematical discoveries in number theory and, in particular, the Stark–Heegner theorem.

## Life and career

Heegner was born and died in Berlin. In 1952, he published what he claimed was the solution of a classic problem proposed by the great mathematician Gauss, the class number 1 problem, a significant and long standing problem in number theory. Heegner's work was not accepted for years, due mainly to quoting a portion of Heinrich Martin Weber's work that was known to be incorrect (though he never used this result in the proof).

Heegner's proof was finally accepted as essentially correct after a 1967 announcement by Bryan Birch, and definitively resolved by a paper of Harold Stark which was delayed in publication until 1969 (Stark had independently arrived at a similar proof, but disagrees with the common notion that his proof is "more or less the same" as Heegner's).[1] Stark attributed Heegner's mistakes to the fact he was using a textbook by Weber which contained some results with incomplete proofs.

The recent book *The Legacy of Leonhard Euler: A Tricentennial Tribute* (by Lokenath Debnath) on page 64 claims that Heegner was a "retired Swiss mathematician", but he appears to be neither Swiss nor retired at the time of his 1952 paper.[2]

## See also

## Literature

- Heegner, Kurt (1952), "Diophantische Analysis und Modulfunktionen",
*Mathematische Zeitschrift*,**56**: 227–253, doi:10.1007/BF01174749, MR 0053135 - Stark, H.M. (1969). "On the gap in the theorem of Heegner" (PDF).
*Journal of Number Theory*.**1**: 16–27. doi:10.1016/0022-314x(69)90023-7.