Talk:Carl Friedrich Gauss

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Latest comment: 5 years ago by Gwern in topic Unsourced
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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Carl Friedrich Gauss. --Antiquary 19:39, 3 July 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • God does arithmetic.
  • If others would but reflect on mathematical truths as deeply and as continuously as I have, they would make my discoveries.
  • Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
    • On his engagement to his first wife.
  • Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders.
  • The total number of Dirichlet's publications is not large: jewels are not weighed on a grocery scale.
  • When a philosopher says something that is true then it is trivial. When he says something that is not trivial then it is false.
  • I had always regarded my situation in w:Brunswick as interimistic, that it would have to change sooner or later. ("Meine Lage in Braunschweig hatte ich von jeher nur als eine interimistische betrachtet, die sich über kurz oder lang verändern müßte.", 20 May 1808)
  • Few, but ripe. ("Pauca sed matura." - His Motto)

In case anyone wants to add the 'fox' quote about Gauss, note that it was not said by Abel, which is the usual reference, but apparently Abel merely quoted an unnamed German mathematics student of his acquaintance making that complaint: is a discussion and Rowe's A Richer Picture of Mathematics: The Göttingen Tradition and Beyond goes into more detail on pg24 with more reliable translations of Abel's letter & context. --Gwern (talk) 00:06, 30 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Bell quotes?


Please check the quote about asking his wife to put off dying, attributed to E. T. Bell: Men of Mathematics. I'm about 99% sure that the attribution is incorrect. The Wikipedia article on Gauss attributes it to Asimov, and cites a biography by G. Waldo Dunnington that argues that the quote is apocryphal.

By the way, Bell DOES say in Men of Mathematics chapter on Gauss that "Pauca sed matura" was Gauss's motto, if Bell is an acceptable source.

The quote about Gauss's wife is indeed NOT in Bell's Men of mathematics (checked with several editions). Totally out of character. I erased it from the page. --Cgolds (talk) 18:03, 10 January 2019 (UTC)Reply