Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 1986
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Institute for Advanced Study, USA
“for his profound and original work on number theory and on discrete groups and automorphic forms”.
In early work, Professor Atle Selberg proved that the zeros of the Riemann zeta function on the critical line have positive density. He conceived and developed the general sieve method, which has become a fundamental tool in analytic number theory. His ideas on sieves led him to his celebrated “Selberg formula” which is the basis of his elementary proof of the prime number theorem. He discovered the trace formula, which bears his name. Out of it grew a new interaction of group representations and number theory. He initiated the study of the arithmeticity of lattices. His contributions are so deep and so many that his name is already part of the history of mathematic