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2024-09-22 08:21:10

German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was a prominent German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He made significant contributions to mathematics, science, and geodesy. Gauss is recognized as one of the most influential mathematicians in history, often referred to as the 'Prince of Mathematicians'. He played a key role in various fields, including number theory, algebra, and non-Euclidean geometry. Gauss also contributed to the discovery of Ceres as a dwarf planet and made advancements in geophysics and electromagnetism.

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1777-04-30

Birth of Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on April 30, 1777.

1788

Education of Carl Friedrich Gauss at the Gymnasium

In 1788, Carl Friedrich Gauss began his education at the Gymnasium with the help of his teachers Büttner and Bartels. He learned High German and Latin during this time.

1792-01-01

First Significant Discovery

On January 1, 1792, Carl Friedrich Gauss made his first significant discovery.

1795

Discovery of Fundamental Theorem of Quadratic Residues

In 1795, Gauss went to Göttingen where he discovered the fundamental theorem of quadratic residues.

1796-04-08

Proof of Quadratic Reciprocity Law

On April 8, 1796, Carl Friedrich Gauss became the first to prove the quadratic reciprocity law.

1796-05-31

Conjecture of Prime Number Theorem

On May 31, 1796, Carl Friedrich Gauss conjectured the prime number theorem.

1797-01-01

Doctoral Thesis

On January 1, 1797, Carl Friedrich Gauss completed his doctoral thesis.

1799-02

Correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Carl Ludwig von Lecoq

The letters exchanged between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Carl Ludwig von Lecoq from February 1799 to September 1800 are edited by Theo Gerardy. This correspondence is part of the Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Mathematisch-Physikalische Klasse, No. 4.

1800

Gauss determines the date of Easter

In 1800, Gauss worked on determining the date of Easter, aiming to create a simple algorithm accessible to people without knowledge in ecclesiastical or astronomical chronology. This was influenced by the historical confusion caused by the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

1801-01-01

Publication of Disquisitiones Arithmeticae

On January 1, 1801, Carl Friedrich Gauss published his work 'Disquisitiones Arithmeticae'.

1801-12-07

Prediction of Ceres' Position

On December 7, 1801, Ceres, a new 'small planet' discovered by G. Piazzi, was rediscovered by Zach almost exactly where Carl Friedrich Gauss had predicted. Gauss used his least squares approximation method for this prediction.

1802-01

Correspondence between Wilhelm Olbers and Carl Friedrich Gauss - Part 1

The first part of the correspondence between Wilhelm Olbers and Carl Friedrich Gauss, covering the period from January 1802 to October 1819, is edited by Carl Schilling. It provides insights into the lives and works of both individuals.

1802-05

Correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Rev. Nevil Maskelyne

The correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and the Reverend Nevil Maskelyne during the years 1802 to 1805 is studied in works by Eric G. Forbes and Clifford Cunningham. Their letters shed light on scientific discussions and exchanges between the two.

1802-06

Investigation of Pallas' Orbit

In June 1802, Carl Friedrich Gauss visited Olbers to investigate the orbit of Pallas, a planet discovered by Olbers in March of that year. Olbers suggested Gauss to be the director of a new observatory in Göttingen, but no action was taken.

1803-04-04

Gauss' Letter to Fuss

P Müürsepp's research in Historia Math. delving into Gauss' letter to Fuss dated 4th April 1803.

1804

Promise of Observatory Foundation by Duke of Brunswick

In 1804, the Duke of Brunswick promised Gauss the foundation of an observatory in Brunswick as a token of gratitude for his loyalty. However, due to the upheavals caused by Napoleon's wars, the plans for the observatory were ultimately canceled, leading Gauss to seek new opportunities at the University of Göttingen.

1805-10-09

Marriage of Carl Friedrich Gauss and Johanna Ostoff

On 9 October 1805, Carl Friedrich Gauss married Johanna Ostoff. This marked a happy personal milestone for Gauss, but was followed by tragic events in the coming years.

1807-07

Correspondence between Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss

The letters exchanged between Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss from July 1807 to December 1854 are compiled in this publication edited by Karl Christian Bruhns. It also includes letters from other correspondents.

1808-04

Correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Heinrich Christian Schumacher

The correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Heinrich Christian Schumacher, edited by Christian August Friedrich Peters, covers various volumes from 1860 to 1865. The letters provide insights into their discussions and collaborations.

1809

Publication of Theoria motus corporum coelestium

In 1809, Carl Friedrich Gauss published his second book, Theoria motus corporum coelestium, which was a major two-volume treatise on the motion of celestial bodies. The first volume discussed differential equations, conic sections, and elliptic orbits, while the second volume focused on estimating and refining a planet's orbit.

1810

Refusal of Offers from Berlin and Leipzig University

Gauss twice declined offers from Berlin in 1810 and 1825, as well as from Leipzig University in 1810 and Vienna University in 1842, possibly due to family reasons.

1811-03

Granting Doctorate Honoris Causa to Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel

In March 1811, Gauss provided a doctorate honoris causa for Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel from the Philosophy Faculty of Göttingen, aiding his troubled colleague at Königsberg University.

1812

Discovery of orbital resonance between Pallas and Jupiter

Gauss found an orbital resonance between Pallas and Jupiter in proportion 18:7 in 1812. This discovery was significant in the study of celestial mechanics and planetary dynamics.

1813

Disquisitiones generales circa series infinitam

Gauss provided the first systematic treatment of the general hypergeometric function and showed the connection between various functions known at the time and the hypergeometric function. This work marked the first exact inquiry of convergence of infinite series in mathematics.

1814

Gauss's General Law of Biquadratic Reciprocity

Around 1814, Gauss stated the general law of biquadratic reciprocity and proved several special cases of it. Although he claimed to have found a general proof, it was never published. His work on biquadratic residues paved the way for advancements in the theory of numbers and higher arithmetic.

1816

Gauss and Fermat's Last Theorem

In 1816, Gauss was encouraged to compete for a prize on Fermat's Last Theorem but declined due to his views on the matter. However, he later developed proofs for the cases n = 3 and n = 5, showcasing his mathematical prowess and innovative approaches.

1817

End of Gauss's contributions to theoretical astronomy

After 1817, Carl Friedrich Gauss's contributions to theoretical astronomy ceased, although he continued to make observations until the age of 70.

1818-10

Geodetic Connection Triangulation

In October 1818, Gauss and Schumacher determined angles between Lüneburg, Hamburg, and Lauenburg for geodetic connection. Gauss later personally directed triangulation from Thuringia to the river Elbe.

1820-01

Correspondence between Wilhelm Olbers and Carl Friedrich Gauss - Part 2

The second part of the correspondence between Wilhelm Olbers and Carl Friedrich Gauss, spanning from January 1820 to May 1839, includes additional letters from other correspondents. This work edited by Carl Schilling offers a deeper understanding of their exchanges.

1820-05

Geodetic Survey Commissioned by King George IV

In May 1820, King George IV commissioned Carl Friedrich Gauss to continue the geodetic survey initiated by his former student Heinrich Christian Schumacher, aiming to determine the geodetic arc of the Jutland peninsula.

1822

Gauss wins Copenhagen University Prize with Theoria attractionis

In 1822, Gauss won the Copenhagen University Prize with his work Theoria attractionis, which introduced the idea of mapping one surface onto another to make them similar in their smallest parts.

1823

Gauss-Markov Theorem

In 1823, Carl Friedrich Gauss proved the method of least squares under the assumption of normally distributed errors, known as the Gauss-Markov theorem, in his two-part paper Theoria combinationis observationum erroribus minimis obnoxiae.

1825

Publication of Theoria attractionis

Gauss's paper Theoria attractionis was published in 1825, further elaborating on the concept of mapping surfaces to achieve similarity in their smallest parts.

1826

Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt begin intensive research on geomagnetism

In 1826, Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt started conducting thorough research on geomagnetism. This collaboration marked the beginning of their joint efforts in studying the Earth's magnetic field.

1828

Invention of Magnetometer by Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss invented an early type of magnetometer in 1828. This device measures the direction and strength of a magnetic field, contributing to the study of terrestrial magnetism.

1829

Gauss's principle of least constraint

Gauss's principle of least constraint of 1829 combined D'Alembert's principle with Lagrange's principle of Virtual Work, overcoming the division of mechanics into statics and dynamics. It showed analogies to the method of least squares.

1830-09

Eugen's Emigration to the United States

Gauss' second son, Eugen, left Göttingen under dramatic circumstances in September 1830 and emigrated to the United States after causing a scandal and running up debts.

1831-12

Gauss' Personal Distress

After the death of his first wife and the declining health of his second wife and children, Gauss experienced severe personal distress, as indicated in a letter to Bessel in December 1831.

1832

Gauss and Weber investigate theory of terrestrial magnetism

In 1832, Gauss and Weber started studying the theory of terrestrial magnetism after Alexander von Humboldt sought Gauss's help in creating a grid of magnetic observation points worldwide. Gauss was enthusiastic about this project and by 1840, he had published three significant papers on the topic.

1833

Development of Electromagnetic Telegraph by Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber

In 1833, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber built one of the first electromagnetic telegraphs. This invention was a significant advancement in the field of electromagnetism.

1834

Establishment of Assistant Position at University

After Harding's death in 1834, the university finally established a place for an assistant, indicating the end of Gauss' one-man enterprise in astronomical research.

1835-01

Gauss's formulation of an 'induction law'

In January 1835, Gauss wrote down an 'induction law' equivalent to Faraday's law, which described the relationship between electromotive force and the rate of change of a function in electromagnetism.

1836

Gauss' Work on Erdmagnetismus und Magnetometer

One of Gauss' rare attempts at popularization was his essay on Erdmagnetismus und Magnetometer in 1836. This work focused on the Earth's magnetism and the development of the magnetometer.

1837

Gauss' Research Decline

After Weber was dismissed in 1837, Gauss' research activities started to decrease. He continued to communicate with other scientists, critiquing their work and hinting that he had already made similar discoveries. His perfectionist nature led him to withhold many findings from publication until after his death.

1838

Copley Medal Awarded to Gauss

The Royal Society awarded Gauss the prestigious Copley Medal in 1838 for his remarkable inventions and profound mathematical research in the field of magnetism, solidifying his legacy as a pioneering mathematician.

1839

Publication of Allgemeine Theorie des Erdmagnetismus

In 1839, Gauss published 'Allgemeine Theorie des Erdmagnetismus' (General theory of geomagnetism), a crucial work that contributed to the understanding of terrestrial magnetism.

1840

Publication of Allgemeine Lehrsätze in Beziehung auf die im verkehrten Verhältnisse des Quadrats der Entfernung wirkenden Anziehungs- und Abstossungskräfte

In 1840, Gauss published 'Allgemeine Lehrsätze in Beziehung auf die im verkehrten Verhältnisse des Quadrats der Entfernung wirkenden Anziehungs- und Abstossungskräfte' (General theorems in relation to the acting in perverse circumstances of the square of the distance of attraction and repulsion), which discussed various theories on terrestrial magnetism.

1842

Gauss Becomes One of the First Members of the Prussian Order Pour le Merite

In 1842, Gauss was among the inaugural members of the Prussian Order Pour le Merite (Civil class), a prestigious honor highlighting his significant impact on the scientific community and his remarkable achievements in mathematics.

1843

Dioptrische Untersuchungen

In 1843, Carl Friedrich Gauss published 'Dioptrische Untersuchungen' (Dioptrical Investigations) in German, as part of the Abhandlungen der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Göttingen. This work was included in the first volume and consisted of 1-34 pages.

1845

Untersuchungen über Gegenstände der Höheren Geodäsie. Erste Abhandlung

In 1845, the first part of 'Investigations on Subjects of Higher Geodesy' was published, focusing on geodesy.

1846

Correspondence with Schumacher

In 1846, Gauss wrote a letter to Schumacher indicating that he had the same convictions about non-Euclidean geometry for 54 years. This shows his long-standing interest and knowledge in the subject.

1847

Untersuchungen über Gegenstände der Höheren Geodäsie. Zweite Abhandlung

In 1847, the second part of 'Investigations on Subjects of Higher Geodesy' was published, continuing the exploration of geodesy.

1849

Gauss's Golden Jubilee Lecture

In 1849, Carl Friedrich Gauss presented his golden jubilee lecture, fifty years after receiving his diploma from Helmstedt University. The lecture was a variation of his dissertation from 1799. Despite the presence of only Jacobi and Dirichlet from the mathematical community, Gauss received numerous messages and honors.

1851-07-28

Observation of the solar eclipse

Gauss made his last observation during the solar eclipse of July 28, 1851. Throughout his career, he made significant contributions to observational astronomy, particularly in the study of minor planets and comets.

1854

Discussion on Modified Foucault Pendulum

In 1854, Carl Friedrich Gauss discussed a modified Foucault pendulum, a device used to demonstrate the Earth's rotation. This exchange of scientific ideas showcased Gauss's continued interest in practical applications of mathematics.

1855-02-23

Death of Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss passed away on February 23, 1855.

1855-02-24

Study of Gauss's brain

Following Gauss's death, his brain was removed, preserved, and examined by Rudolf Wagner. The brain was found to be slightly above average in mass and had highly developed convolutions.

1880

Briefwechsel zwischen Gauss und Bessel

In 1880, the correspondence between Carl Friedrich Gauss and Bessel was published in German by Königlich Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften. This collection included letters exchanged between December 1804 and August 1844.

1903

Wissenschaftliches Tagebuch

In 1903, the scientific diary of Carl Friedrich Gauss from 1796 to 1814 was published, providing insights into his work and thoughts during that period.

1950

Rediscovery of Recursive Least Squares Methods

In 1950, Carl Friedrich Gauss's work on recursive least squares methods, described in his second paper, was rediscovered due to the increasing demand for quick estimation in new technologies.

1957

C F Gauss Gedenkband

In 1957, H Reichardt edited the 'C F Gauss Gedenkband' to commemorate the 100th death anniversary of Carl Friedrich Gauss on February 23, 1855.

1964

Foundation of Gauss Society for Research on Carl Friedrich Gauss

The Gauss-Gesellschaft Göttingen (Gauss Society) was established in 1964 to conduct research on the life and work of Carl Friedrich Gauss and other related individuals, emphasizing the enduring legacy of Gauss in the field of mathematics.

1966

Gauss, a Memorial

The memorial book 'Gauss, a Memorial' was published in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1966 by W S von Waltershausen, honoring the legacy of Carl Friedrich Gauss.

1971

Dirichlet's Planned Obituary on Gauss

K-R Biermann discusses Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet's planned obituary on Carl Friedrich Gauss in his work featured in NTM Schr. Geschichte Naturwiss. Tech. Medizin.

1974

Gauss's Letters in Goethe's Possession

K-R Biermann delves into the letters of Carl Friedrich Gauss that were in possession of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his publication in NTM Schr. Geschichte Naturwiss. Tech. Medizin.

1975

Relationship between C F Gauss, A v Humboldt, and A F Möbius

K-R Biermann explores the connections between Carl Friedrich Gauss, Alexander von Humboldt, and August Ferdinand Möbius in his work published in NTM Schr. Geschichte Naturwiss. Tech. Medizin.

1976

Carl Friedrich Gauss: a biographical note

H J M Bos wrote a biographical note on Carl Friedrich Gauss in Dutch in 1976, published in 'Nieuw Tijdschr. Wisk.'.

1977

C F Gauss's Relationship with British Science and Literature

K-R Biermann examines the relationship of Carl Friedrich Gauss with British science and literature in his research published in NTM Schr. Geschichte Naturwiss. Tech. Medizin.

1978

The Astronomical Work of Carl Friedrich Gauss

E G Forbes examines the astronomical work of Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) in the journal Historia Math.

1979

Contributions of Carl Friedrich Gauss to Geomagnetism

G D Garland explores the contributions of Carl Friedrich Gauss to geomagnetism in the journal Historia Math.

1983

Gauss and the Royal Society: The Reception of His Ideas on Magnetism in Britain

J G O'Hara's examination in Notes and Records Roy. Soc. London of the reception of Gauss' ideas on magnetism in Britain between 1832-1842.

1984

Gauss' First Proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

A Fryant and V L N Sarma present Gauss' first proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra in Math. Student.

1988

D E Rowe's Research on Gauss and Dirichlet's Law of Biquadratic Reciprocity

D E Rowe explored the relationship between Gauss, Dirichlet, and the Law of Biquadratic Reciprocity in his work published in The Mathematical Intelligencer in 1988.

1989

The Influence of Laplace and Gauss in Britain

R L Plackett's study in Bull. Inst. Internat. Statist. discussing the influence of Laplace and Gauss in Britain.

1990

Gauss's First Argument for Least Squares

W Waterhouse explored Gauss's first argument for least squares in the journal Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 41 (1) in 1990.

1992

K-R Biermann's contribution to Gauss research

K-R Biermann made a contribution to Gauss research in 1992 through the Gauss Society in Göttingen.

1993

Topologie und Freundschaft

E Breitenberger, Gauss und Listing explored the topics of topology and friendship in their work published in Gauss-Gesellschaft Göttingen Mitteilungen in 1993.

1994

O Sheynin's Study on C F Gauss and Geodetic Observations

O Sheynin conducted research on C F Gauss's involvement in geodetic observations, which was documented in Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. in 1994.

1995

C F Gauss' Contribution to the Occupation of Professorships at the University of Göttingen

M Folkerts delves into C F Gauss' contribution to the occupation of professorships at the University of Göttingen in Gauss-Ges. Göttingen Mitt.

1996

Gauss' Priority in the Discovery of the Method of Least Squares

J Dutka explores Gauss' priority in the discovery of the method of least squares in the journal Arch. Hist. Exact Sci.

2013

Mislabelling of Gauss's Brain

In 2013, a neurobiologist discovered that Gauss's brain had been mistakenly mixed up with that of physician Conrad Heinrich Fuchs due to mislabelling. Further investigation revealed no significant anomalies in either brain, indicating that previous studies on Gauss's brain actually referred to Fuchs's.

End of the Timeline

**Carl Friedrich Gauss**

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German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

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