Monday, April 30, 2012


‘Gauss knew all the works of Sir Walter Scott very thoroughly and he passionately admired them.  The tragic ending in “Kenilworth” made a painful impression on him and he would have preferred not to read it.  He read Scott’s “Life of Napoleon” with great interest and felt quite satisfied, being in full agreement with the author.  One day he found a passage in Scott which set him to laughing.  It was just too much for an astronomer.  Gauss compared all the editions he could get his hands on to make sure it was not a misprint.  The words were: “The moon rises broad in the northwest”. ..’

We know Carl Gauss more as a mathematician than an astronomer.  Any student of statistics is familiar with his work.  Gauss was apparently very sensitive to sad stories, as the passage from Dunnington, Gray and Dohse’s “Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science” indicates.  Carl Gauss was born on April 30th, 1777.


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