Gauss (1777-1855) & Riemann (1826-1866)
"When Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829) of Norway, one of the most important mathematicians of the nineteenth century, went to Germany in 1825, he had originally intended to visit Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Abel was not well known at the time. A copy of his proof of the impossibility of solving the general equation of the fifth degree had been sent to Gauss, who did not consider it very important. As he did not get any response from Gauss, Abel cancelled his planned visit to Göttingen. Abel thought Gauss did not do enough to put him before the public. After this incident he had no further interaction with Gauss and was exceedingly critical of him". It is very unfortunate that the two great mathematicians did not meet. Besides meeting Gauss, Abel had wanted to use the splendid university library in Göttingen. Gauss did realize his mistake. But then it was too late. After Abel's death Gauss wrote to Schumacher on May 19, 1829: "Abel's death, which I have not seen announced in any newspaper, is a very great loss for science. Should anything about life circumstances of his highly distinguished mind he printed, and come to your hands, I beg you to communicate it to me. I would also like to have his portrait if it were to be had anywhere."
G. Waldo Dunnington
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