Jacobi, Carl Gustav Jacob

MATHEMATICIAN (GERMANY)
BORN 10 Dec 1804, Potsdam - DIED 18 Feb 1851, Berlin
REAL NAME Jacobi, Jacques Simon
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Mehringdamm 21 (Halleschen Tor), Kreuzberg

Son of a rich Jewish banker. His birthname was Jacques Simon Jacobi. His older brother Moritz became a physicist. At the gymnasium in Potsdam in 1816 he advanced to the final year class immediately but he was too young to enter Berlin University and had to wait until 1821. He studied mathematics, but usually on his own because the level at the university was too low for him.

In 1825 he started teaching and a paper from his hand on iterated functions was refused. He became a Christian in 1825 and soon obtained a teaching position at the university. In 1826 he moved to Königsberg. He corresponded with Gauss and Legendre. Legendre realised that Jacobi suddenly overshadowed him in the field of elliptic functions but he took it well and supported him in obtaining an associate professorship. In 1829 they met in Paris and he visited Gauss in Göttingen on his way back.

In 1831 he married Marie Schwinck and in 1832 he became a full professor. He held his chair until 1842. In 1843 he had a breakdown caused by working too hard and he visited Italy to regenerate. On his return he settled in Berlin where he lived on a royal grant. This was cut off after he joined the revolution of 1848 but later it was returned to him. He died in Berlin in 1851 from a smallpox infection.

Sources
Gedenkstaetten fuer Astronomen in Berlin, Potsdam und Umgebung
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustav_Jacob_Jacobi

Images

The grave of Carl Gustav Jakob von Jacobi at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Halleschen Tor, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (28 May 2015)

 


Jacobsson, Ulla

Published: 15 Jul 2017
Last update: 15 Jul 2017