Peter Slodowy

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Peter Slodowy (born October 12, 1948 in Leverkusen , † November 19, 2002 in Bonn ) was a German mathematician who dealt in particular with applications of group theory in algebraic geometry and topology.

Slodowy (center) 1981 in Seville, with Gert-Martin Greuel and Ragnar-Olaf Buchweitz

Live and act

Slodowy studied physics and mathematics at the University of Bonn from 1967 (among others with Friedrich Hirzebruch , Egbert Brieskorn , Jacques Tits ), where he received his mathematics diploma in 1974. After a stay at IHES in Bures-sur-Yvette, where he met René Thom , the pioneer of singularity theory , and an assistant professor at the University of Regensburg from 1975 to 1978, he received his doctorate in 1978 at the University of Bonn under Theodor Bröcker and Brieskorn ( simple singularities and simple algebraic groups ). He then worked as an assistant at the University of Bonn (with guest stays at Yale University and at the MSRI in Berkeley), where he completed his habilitation in 1984 ( singularities, Kac-Moody-Lie algebras, associated groups and generalizations ). 1986/87 he was a lecturer at the University of Liverpool and from 1988 professor at the University of Stuttgart . From 1990 he was a professor at the University of Hamburg , but most recently worked at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn. In 2001 he took early retirement due to illness.

Slodowy worked on the relationship between the “simple” singularities (which he called “Klein's singularities”) of algebraic surfaces with Lie groups and algebraic groups, which was already investigated by Grothendieck and Brieskorn in the late 1960s. Later Slodowy also investigated corresponding relationships (this time also with Kac-Moody algebras) for other ("simple elliptical") singularities. He also dealt with the history of mathematics and applications of group theory in mathematical physics.

He was married since 1979.


  • Singularities and algebraic groups , Regensburger Mathematische Schriften, 1978, dissertation, extended English edition: Simple singularities and simple algebraic groups , Lecture Notes in Mathematics 815, 1980, doi : 10.1007 / BFb0090294
  • Platonic solids, Kleinian Singularities and Lie groups , in: Lecture Notes in Mathematics 1008, 1983, pp. 102-138, doi : 10.1007 / BFb0065703
  • About the icosahedron and the fifth degree equations , in: Mathematische Miniaturen, Volume 3 , Birkhäuser, 1986, pp. 71–113, doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-0348-5226-5_3 (originated from the inaugural lecture )
  • The early development of the representation theory of semisimple Lie groups: Hurwitz, I. Schur, Weyl , Annual Report DMV, Volume 101, 1993, pp. 97–115 ( online )


  • E. Looijenga, TA Springer, Peter Slodowy , obituary with appreciation of his work and list of publications, University of Utrecht ( online at ResearchGate )
  • Friedrich Hirzebruch, funeral address for Peter Slodowy November 27, 2002 , Banach Center Publications, Volume 62, 2004, pp. 13–17 ( online)


  1. and a semester in Regensburg
  2. Peter Slodowy in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English)Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / name used
  3. Citations according to Google Scholar
  4. Slodowy's dissertation was the first detailed presentation of the Brieskorn conjectures by Grothendieck.
  5. The connections between singularity theory and the theory of Lie groups examined by Slodowy in his dissertation have roots right up to Felix Klein and his icosahedron book in the 19th century, which Slodowy published with a new comment in Birkhäuser 1993.