b 30.04.1777 • died 23.02.1855
Carl Friedrich Gauss was born 1777 not far from here in the then street Am Wendengraben (house 1550), now Wilhelmstraße, in poorer conditions. Even as a child showed his extraordinary mathematical talent. With the support of Duke Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Gauss studied in Braunschweig, Göttingen and Helmstedt. After his promotion there, he lived as a private scholar in Brunswick. Due to the political effects of the Napoleonic wars for the Duchy of Brunswick in 1806, Gauss moved in November 1807 as a professor of mathematics and director of the observatory there to Göttingen. Gauss lived in Göttingen until his death in 1855.
Already as a 19-year-old student, Gauss was the first to prove the constructability of the regular seventeen-corner - a sensational discovery.
Gauss' findings in mathematics have made numerous technical achievements and scientific findings possible. With his dissertation in 1799 Gauss introduced the complex numbers, which are the prerequisite for many calculations, especially in the natural sciences. In 1801, as a private scholar and supported by Duke Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, he published the fundamental work of modern number theory and thus became one of the most important mathematicians in history.
In addition to his research in astronomy, physics and mathematics Gauss dealt with projects that had a practical significance for everyday life in the 19th century.
In 1820, the Kingdom of Hanover commissioned Brunswick to survey its territories. This prompted Gauss to develop a coordinate system that made it possible to pinpoint even small areas on maps. Some surveying stones on today's Gaußberg in Braunschweig testify that Gauss used the survey, a former bulwark of the city defense, to test his surveying system. Since the inauguration of the monument in 1880, the hill is named after him.
In honor of Gauss, the Carl Friedrich Gauss Medal of the Brunswick Scientific Society is awarded today in Braunschweig. The Gaußstraße and the Gymnasium Gaußschule are also reminiscent of one of the city's greatest sons.