Hermann Minkowski was born in Russia, and educated in Germany at the Universities of Berlin and Königsberg, where he achieved his doctorate in 1885. Minkowski taught at the universities of Bonn, Königsberg and Zurich. In Zurich, he was one of Einstein's teachers.
Minkowski explored the arithmetic of quadratic forms[?], especially concerning n variables, and his research into that topic led him to consider certain geometric properties in a space of n dimensions. In 1896, he presented his "geometry of numbers", a geometrical method that solved problems in number theory.
In 1902, he joined the Mathematics Department of Goettingen and became one of the close colleagues of David Hilbert.
By 1907 Minkowski realised that the special theory of relativity, introducted by Einstein in 1905 and based on previous work of Lorentz and Poincaré, could be best understood in a noneduclidean space[?], since known as "Minkowski space", in which the time and space are not separated entities but intermingled in a four dimensional spacetime, and in which the Lorentz Geometry[?] of special relativity can be nicely represented. This nice representation certainly helped Einstein's quest for general relativity. The beginning part of his address delivered at the 80th Assembly of German Natural Scientists and Physicians (September 21, 1908) is now famous:
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