### An invariant of quadratic forms over schemes.

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2000 Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary 11A15. We extend to the Jacobi symbol Zolotarev's idea that the Legendre symbol is the sign of a permutation, which leads to simple, strightforward proofs of many results, the proof of the Gauss Reciprocity for Jacobi symbols including.

In the classical Witt theory over a field F, the study of quadratic forms begins with two simple invariants: the dimension of a form modulo 2, called the dimension index and denoted e⁰: W(F) → ℤ/2, and the discriminant e¹ with values in k₁(F) = F*/F*², which behaves well on the fundamental ideal I(F)= ker(e⁰). Here a more sophisticated situation is considered, of quadratic forms over a scheme and, more generally, over an exact category with duality. Our purposes are: ...

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