Carl Friedrich Gauss Quotes

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Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauß (1777–1855), painted by Christian Albrecht Jensen
Born Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss
(1777-04-30)30 April 1777
Brunswick, Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empire
Died 23 February 1855(1855-02-23) (aged 77)
Göttingen, Kingdom of Hanover
Residence Kingdom of Hanover
Nationality German
Fields Mathematics and physics
Institutions University of Göttingen
Alma mater University of Helmstedt
Thesis Demonstratio nova… (1799)
Doctoral advisor Johann Friedrich Pfaff
Other academic advisors Johann Christian Martin Bartels
Doctoral students Johann Listing
Christian Ludwig Gerling
Richard Dedekind
Bernhard Riemann
Christian Peters
Moritz Cantor
Other notable students Johann Encke
Christoph Gudermann
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
Gotthold Eisenstein
Carl Wolfgang Benjamin Goldschmidt
Gustav Kirchhoff
Ernst Kummer
August Ferdinand Möbius
L. C. Schnürlein
Julius Weisbach
Known for See full list
Influenced Friedrich Bessel
Sophie Germain
Ferdinand Minding
Notable awards Lalande Prize (1810)
Copley Medal (1838)

The problem of distinguishing prime numbers from composite numbers and of resolving the latter into their prime factors is known to be one of the most important and useful in arithmetic.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
The enchanting charms of this sublime science reveal only to those who have the courage to go deeply into it.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
God does arithmetic.
When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
We must admit with humility that, while number is purely a product of our minds, space has a reality outside our minds, so that we cannot completely prescribe its properties a priori.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
I am coming more and more to the conviction that the necessity of our geometry cannot be demonstrated, at least neither by, nor for, the human intellect.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders.
When a philosopher says something that is true then it is trivial. When he says something that is not trivial then it is false.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
To praise it would amount to praising myself. For the entire content of the work… coincides almost exactly with my own meditations which have occupied my mind for the past thirty or thirty-five years.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
I mean the word proof not in the sense of the lawyers, who set two half proofs equal to a whole one, but in the sense of a mathematician, where half proof = 0, and it is demanded for proof that every doubt becomes impossible.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Further, the dignity of the science itself seems to require that every possible means be explored for the solution of a problem so elegant and so celebrated.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
It may be true, that men, who are mere mathematicians, have certain specific shortcomings, but that is not the fault of mathematics, for it is equally true of every other exclusive occupation.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
To such idle talk it might further be added: that whenever a certain exclusive occupation is coupled with specific shortcomings, it is likewise almost certainly divorced from certain other shortcomings.
Carl Friedrich Gauss