Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi (actually, Jacques Simon, born December 10, 1804 in Potsdam, † February 18, 1851 in Berlin) was a German mathematician.


Jacobi was born into a wealthy Jewish banking family in Berlin and was a three-year younger brother of Moritz Hermann von Jacobi. In the early years he was taught by a maternal uncle. His talent for mathematics, but also for languages ​​that surfaced early. Between 1816 and 1821 he attended the Victoria -Gymnasium in Potsdam. Due to his outstanding performance, he was admitted immediately into the highest class and obtained the age of 13 for university entrance. Since the Berlin University but no students took up less than 16 years, Jacobi remained for four years in the same school class and took the time to get busy with advanced mathematical literature.

He then went on to study at the University of Berlin. 1825 and 1826 was followed by his doctorate and habilitation at Enno Dirksen and first lectures in Berlin as a Privatdozent. 1826 to 1843 he worked at the University of Königsberg and there reformed with the establishment of a mathematical-physical seminar university study. In 1842 he moved to Berlin for health reasons. Since 1844 Jacobi was a regular member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin to keep the law, at the University lectures.

Jacobi died in 1851 from the effects of smallpox and is buried in a grave of honor in the grave lay DV2 -SA -1T on the Trinity Cemetery in Berlin -Kreuzberg. A metal plaque on his grave bears the inscription:


It is one of Jacobi 's most productive and versatile mathematicians in history. The most original of his creations is probably his theory of elliptic functions, which he published in his book Fundamenta nova theoriae functionum ellipticarum 1827. Genial were also his work on the four- periodic functions (so-called hyperelliptic integrals and Abelian integrals). His studies on the circular scale and their application to number theory ( theory of quadratic, cubic and bicubic residues) formed the basis of an enormous development of this subject area.

Jacobi studies on differential geometry ( surfaces of the second degree ), to the partial differential equations and the calculus of variations make him a pioneer of mathematical physics, for example in the Hamilton -Jacobi theory of classical mechanics.

Even as a teacher Jacobi was a towering personality. He was described by his students as " Euler of the 19th century ", although he was only 25 years searchingly worked. His students include Friedrich Julius Richelot, Otto Hesse, Johann Georg Rosenhain, Wilhelm Scheibner (1826-1908) and Paul Gordan.

In 1848 he fell in Berlin because of his liberal political stance temporarily in trouble.

According to him, the Jacobian matrix, the Jacobi polynomials, the Jacobi method, the Jacobi method for eigenvalues ​​, the Jacobi identity, the Jacobi symbol, the Jacobi field, the Jacobi -Perron algorithm are as multi-dimensional generalization of the Euclidean algorithm and the lunar crater named Jacobi.


  • Order Pour le Mérite (31 May 1842)