January 15, 2009 Ian Luke Kane

Carl Friedrich Gauss Facts

(Image by threedots)

(Image by threedots)

I’ve come across a few sites that list facetious facts about Gauss, similar to the wonderful Chuck Norris Facts that we’ve all come to love. Gauss, if you don’t know it, was one of those hyper-intelligent individuals who may have in fact been a space alien. It’s the only natural explanation, right? It’s hard to tell who originated the facts, but the two people who have listed the most are Matt Heath and Andrew Dolphin. My favorite two facts from these links are:

  • Gauss never needs the axiom of choice, and
  • Gauss didn’t discover the normal distribution, nature conformed to his will.

I thought I would give it a go as well. So here are 20 original Gauss facts coined by me this evening in a state of tiredness. Please keep in mind that if you understand at least 3 of these, you’re every bit as much of a geek as I am. Fair warning.

  • Gauss can trisect an angle with a straightedge and compass.
  • Gauss can get to the other side of a Möbius strip.
  • “Uncountably Infinite” was a phrase coined to explain the intelligence of Gauss.
  • There are no Fermat Primes greater than 65,537 because Gauss saw that Fermat was on to something, and well…he put an end to that.
  • For Gauss, arithmetic is consistent AND complete.
  • It only takes Gauss 4 minutes to sing “Aleph-Null Bottles of Beer on the Wall”.
  • When Gauss tells you that he’s lying, he’s telling the truth.
  • Gauss once played himself in a zero-sum game and won $50.
  • For Gauss, point nine repeating equals whatever he wants it to equal.
  • Gauss did not prove theorems, he simply stared at them until they yielded their solutions.
  • Occam’s Razor – The principle stating that the explanation of any phenomenon is equal to the explanation that came out of Gauss’ mouth.
  • Gauss drinks his beer from a Klein bottle.
  • For Gauss, there are no indefinite integrals.
  • Gauss once started falling asleep in his complex analysis class. The result…singularities.
  • Imaginary numbers are simply those that Gauss has not deemed worthy of existence.
  • The shortest distance between two points is Gauss.
  • Once, while playing chess, Gauss solved the Knights Problem in six moves.
  • Gauss is neither a Frequentist nor a Bayesian. For Gauss, the probability is always 1.
  • Fermat once made Gauss angry. The result…Fermat’s Last Theorem.
  • In Gauss’ mind, there is no such branch of mathematics as “Number Theory”. This is because he knows it as “Number Facts”.

Have any more? Leave one in the comments!

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