Sunday, 1 May 2011

Gauss' Missing Blackboard

I just came across a document on the web that I can't find the source of but it has a really nice story about Gauss and the constructable 17-gon story. It seems to be related to someone named Alex Anderson...(if you know that person, he has a picture I want a copy of very much)..
"Gauss was visiting Braunschweig (Brunswick) and still lying in bed on 29 Mar 1796 when he realised the connection of the cyclotomic polynomial to the construction of the n-gon and how to construct the 17 gon. Ahrens [p. 11] says Gauss sent the slate on which he had done the calculation to Wolfgang Bolyai, who preserved it." Does anyone know where that slate is today?
Post a Comment