Gauss – Paucca sed matura


It is interesting to note that Gauss’s prime motivation was not fame and recognition but personal understanding of subject he loved. His seal bore the motto Pauca sed matura (Few but ripe). Unless a result had reached full maturity it remained an entry in his dairy or a doodle at the back of his table of logarithms. 

For Gauss, Mathematics was private pursuit. He even encrypted entries in his dairy using his own secret language. For example July 10, 1796 Gauss wrote Archimedes famous declaration
followed by the equation. 

Num = ∆ + ∆ + ∆  

This represents his discovery that every number can be written as sum of three numbers from the list of triangular numbers 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28… 

No one is able to unravel what Gauss meant when he wrote on October 11, 1796 ‘Vicimus GEGAN’ . Some blame Gauss’s failure to disseminate his discoveries for holding back the development of math by half a century. 

Source: The Music of Primes – Du Sutoy. You can also read about Gauss at Wolform , Wikipedia 


8 Responses to “Gauss – Paucca sed matura”

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  7. 7 prabhu natarajan (@Pn36) May 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    // every number can be written as sum of three numbers from the list of triangular numbers 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28 //

    Its not applicable for zero, am i right ?!

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