Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss

By Nina Robbins


Gauss was born in Brunswich, Germany in 1777 and lived until 1855. His mother was illiterate and didn't know the date of his birth, all she knew was that is was on a Wednesday, 8 days before the feast of the Ascension which was 39 days after Easter. He lived in the Kingdom of Hanover and did not have the need for a job, so he devoted his life to research. He worked in mathematics, physics, and astronomy.


Gauss worked with Wilhelm Weber in 1831 to research the nature of electricity and magnetism. Together they created a simple telegraph machine and worked with Kirchoff's Laws. Gauss also made a magnetometer and an electrodynamometer.


Gauss did more work for mathematics than electricity with his 17-sided polygon discovery, but there is a unit of measurement for electricity named after him. There is also Gauss's Law, which states that the total of the electric flux of a closed surface is equal to the change enclosed divided bu the permittivity. The electric flux through an area is defined as the electric field multiplied by the area of the surface projected in a plane perpendicular to the field.