Riemann: Geometry and Physics
Riemann was the archetype of the shy mathematician, not much drawn to topics other than mathematics, physics and philosophy, devout in his religion, conventional in his tastes, close to his family and awkward outside them.1 As a child, he was taught by his father, a pastor, and then for some years at school before going to Göttingen University. There he had initially intended to study theology, in accordance with his father’s wishes — Göttingen was the only university in Riemann’s native Hanover with strong links to the Hanover church — but his remarkable ability at mathematics led him to switch subjects. He was always inclined to the conceptual side of things, rather than the computational or algorithmic. His written German is scholarly and old-fashioned — Victorian, one might say — and his Latin (required for academic purposes) is no easier.
KeywordsEuclidean Geometry Ambient Space Linear Element Total Curvature Constant Negative Curvature
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