Abel, Henrik Neils

Henrik Niels Abel
5 Aug 1802 – 6 Apr 1829

A Norwegian algebraist who proved the unsolvability of the general quintic (fifth degree) equation by radicals. He published this landmark result when he was 22, but had great difficulty in getting contemporary establishment mathematicians (including Gauss and Cauchy) to notice his work. Suffering from tuberculosis, he returned to Norway from Paris, but continued to publish papers in Crelle’s Journal. Just when the mathematical world was beginning to wake up to his achievements, when he was 26 years old, Abel succumbed to his illness.


  • B. Sidney Smith, author

Citation Info

  • [MLA] Smith, B. Sidney. "Abel, Henrik Neils." Platonic Realms Interactive Mathematics Encyclopedia. Platonic Realms, 9 Apr 2014. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <>
  • [APA] Smith, B. Sidney (9 Apr 2014). Abel, Henrik Neils. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017 from the Platonic Realms Interactive Mathematics Encyclopedia:


Get the ultimate math study-guide Math & Me: Embracing Successproduct thumbnail image Available in the Math Store
detail from Escher pic Belvedere

Are you a mathematical artist?

Platonic Realms is preparing an online gallery space to showcase and market the works of painters, sculptors, and other artists working in a tangible medium.

If your work celebrates mathematical themes we want to hear from you!

Please let us know about yourself using the contact page.