Abraham Gotthelf Kästner


Abraham Gotthelf Kästner

Infobox_Scientist
name = Abraham Gotthelf Kästner

|300px
image_width = 300px
caption = Abraham Gotthelf Kästner
birth_date = birth date|df=yes|1719|9|27
birth_place = Leipzig, Germany
death_date = death date|df=yes|1800|6|20
death_place = Göttingen, Germany
residence = Germany
nationality = German
field = Mathematics
work_institution = University of Leipzig
University of Göttingen
alma_mater = University of Leipzig
doctoral_advisor = Christian August Hausen
doctoral_students = Johann Friedrich Pfaff
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Johann Tobias Mayer
Heinrich Brandes
known_for = Textbooks
religion = Lutheran

Abraham Gotthelf Kästner bdd|September|27|1719|June|20|1800 was a German mathematician and epigrammatist.

He was known in his professional life for writing textbooks and compiling encyclopedias rather than for original research. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was one of his doctoral students, and admired the man greatly. He became most well-known for his epigrammatic poems. Kästner crater on the Moon is named after him.

Life

Kästner was the son of law professor Abraham Kästner. He married Anna Rosina Baumann in 1757 after a 12-year engagement. She died on 4 March 1758, less than a year later, of a lung disease. Later Kästner had a daughter Catharine with his cleaning lady.

Kästner studied law, philosophy, physics, mathematics and metaphysics in Leipzig from 1731, and was appointed a Notary in 1733. He gained his Habilitation from the University of Leipzig in 1739, and lectured there in mathematics, philosophy, logic and law, becoming an associate professor in 1746. In 1756 he took up a position as full professor of natural philosophy and geometry at the University of Göttingen. In 1763, succeeding Tobias Mayer, he became director of the observatory as well. One of his doctoral students was the physicist and aphorist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who became a colleague of his at Göttingen. Other notable doctoral students were Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben, Johann Pfaff (doctoral adviser of Carl Friedrich Gauss), Johann Tobias Mayer, Heinrich Wilhelm Brandes, Farkas Bolyai (father of János Bolyai), and Georg Klügel. Kästner died in 1800 in Göttingen.

Work

Kaestner became most well-known for his poems, which appeared first in print without his consent in 1781 and were notable for their biting humour and sharp irony on different contemporary personalities. They were published in "Vermischten Schriften 1 und 2" (Altenburg 1783, 2 volumes), and further poems were published in "Gesammelten poetischen und prosaischen schönwissenschaftlichen Werken" (Berlin 1841, 4 volumes) and later in Joseph Kürschner's "Deutscher Nationalliteratur", volume 73 (hrsg. von Minor; Stuttgart 1883).

His numerous mathematical writings include "Anfangsgründe der Mathematik" ("Foundations of Mathematics") (Göttingen 1758-69, 4 volumes; 6th edition 1800) and "Geschichte der Mathematik" ("History of Mathematics") (Göttingen 1796-1800, 4 volumes). "Geschichte der Mathematik" is considered an astute work, but lacks a comprehensive overview of all subsections of mathematics.

External links

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Persondata
NAME= Kästner, Abraham Gotthelf
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= German mathematician
DATE OF BIRTH= 27 September 1719
PLACE OF BIRTH= Leipzig, Germany
DATE OF DEATH= 20 June 1800
PLACE OF DEATH= Göttingen, Germany


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