Carl Friedrich Gauss

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Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, electromagnetism, astronomy, and optics. Gauss was one of the most influential figures in the history of mathematics.

Biographical sketch

Early years and education

Mathematical work

Gauss's first major mathematical result was his complete determination of the regular polygons that can be constructed with straight-edge and compass. He gave an explicit construction of the regular seventeen-sided polygon (heptadecagon), the first new construction of a regular polygon since ancient Greek times (reference?).

Scientific work

Two laws in physics carry the name of Gauss, one in electrostatics and one in magnetism. These laws are related directly to two of the four Maxwell equations by means of the divergence theorem (also known as the Gauss theorem).

Personal life