Arne Beurling

Mathematician, Academic

1905 – 1986

35

Who was Arne Beurling?

Arne Carl-August Beurling was a Swedish mathematician and professor of mathematics at Uppsala University and later at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Beurling worked extensively in harmonic analysis, complex analysis and potential theory. The "Beurling factorization" helped mathematical scientists to understand the Wold decomposition, and inspired further work on the invariant subspaces of linear operators and operator algebras, e.g. Håkan Hedenmalm's factorization theorem for Bergman spaces.

In the summer of 1940 he single-handedly deciphered and reverse-engineered an early version of the Siemens and Halske T52 also known as the Geheimfernschreiber used by Nazi Germany in World War II for sending ciphered messages. The T52 was one of the so-called "Fish cyphers", that, using transposition, created nearly one quintillion different variations. It took Beurling two weeks to solve the problem using pen and paper. Using Beurling's work, a device was created that enabled Sweden to decipher German teleprinter traffic passing through Sweden from Norway on a cable. In this way, Swedish authorities knew about Operation Barbarossa before it occurred.

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Born
Feb 3, 1905
Gothenburg
Also known as
  • Бёрлинг, Арне
Nationality
  • Sweden
Profession
Education
  • Uppsala University
Employment
  • Institute for Advanced Study
Died
Nov 20, 1986
United States of America

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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