Research Article | Published:

Gauss's Investigations on Electrodynamics

Nature volume 128, pages 339341 (29 August 1931) | Download Citation



THE greatness of the life-work of an investigator is revealed most clearly, perhaps, when we contemplate his influence on the scientific work of his contemporaries. I propose to endeavour to show the influence exerted by Faraday's discovery of electromagnetic induction on the physical investigations of C. F. Gauss, princeps mathematicorum.1

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  1. 1.

    Only since 1929 has it been possible to review with certainty Gausss accomplishments in the field of electrodynamics in their entirety. Readers who are interested in this matter may refer to my essay Gauss physikalische Arbeiten (Julius Springer, 1929), which has also appeared in Gauss Werken vol. xi, 2.

  2. 2.

    Morgens 7 Uhr vor dem Aufstehen (At 7 oclock in the morning, before rising); these are the words of Gausss entry.

  3. 3.

    It was not known until recently that Gauss was also the discoverer of the law of Grassmann. We must ascribe blame for this to a slip on the part of Gauss, which has been overlooked hitherto, and which rendered his formula unintelligible.

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  1. Professor of Experimental Physics, and Director of the Physical Institute, University of Breslau.*



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