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Portrait of Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann.

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann.

H418/0059

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Portrait of the German mathematician Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, 1826-1866. The son of a Lutheran pastor, Riemann studied theology but soon turned to mathematics. His papers were few but perfect, and had profound effects on mathematics and physics. He generalised geometry to the point where he considered it in any number of dimensions and situations, where Euclidean geometry deals only with planes and solids. Fifty years later Einstein was able to show that Riemann's geometry represented a truer picture of the universe as a whole than did Euclid's, when he used it in the construction of relativity theory. Riemann died of tuberculosis at the age of 39.

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