# Gauss can prove two theorems with one proof.

April 21, 2011 7:35 AM Subscribe

Gauss proved quadratic reciprocity when he was 18, and devised at least 8 proofs of it over his lifetime.

(Oh wait, that's actually true!)

posted by kmz at 7:46 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

(Oh wait, that's actually true!)

posted by kmz at 7:46 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

*But he refuses to show his workings.*

Bah, that's that poseur Fermat. Gauss could outmath Fermat any day of the week, and Aleph_null times on Sunday.

posted by kmz at 7:48 AM on April 21, 2011

*They say Riemann is the name Gauss used to publish some unsatisfied papers.*

Yes, the well-over 60-year-old Gauss actually did talk to the just 20-year-old Riemann.

posted by three blind mice at 7:49 AM on April 21, 2011

It's a zipped file, but here's Fun With Gaussians by Paul Heckbert.

posted by StickyCarpet at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2011

posted by StickyCarpet at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2011

Man, where's all the math nerds?

Gauss can find a bijection between the integers and the reals.

Gauss knows what the biggest number is.

Gauss can regauss a monitor.

posted by kmz at 8:15 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gauss can find a bijection between the integers and the reals.

Gauss knows what the biggest number is.

Gauss can regauss a monitor.

posted by kmz at 8:15 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, okay, that explains why I got really, really stupid a few years ago. Someone must have used a degausser on my head.

posted by seanmpuckett at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2011

posted by seanmpuckett at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2011

*Gauss can guard any art gallery all by himself.*

The thing I perhaps love most about the internet is the ability for me to see really obscure jokes in a context where they're actually funny.

posted by GuyZero at 9:57 AM on April 21, 2011

Gauss doesnt use

posted by milestogo at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2011

*c*, he can determine the constant of integration.posted by milestogo at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2011

These are interesting because unlike chuck norris facts where you can be as fantastical and imaginative as you want, you have to walk a fine line here between mathematical plausibility on one hand and something that is techinically impossible on the other (otherwise, mathematically speaking, anyone can usually do it )

For instance, somthing like "gauss can divide by 0" doesn't really work for me because there is simply no meaning in it, whereas something like the bijection from the integers to the reals above works because even though it is impossible it has some meaning.

Also, this is not a hard thing:

posted by milestogo at 10:23 AM on April 21, 2011

For instance, somthing like "gauss can divide by 0" doesn't really work for me because there is simply no meaning in it, whereas something like the bijection from the integers to the reals above works because even though it is impossible it has some meaning.

Also, this is not a hard thing:

*Gauss can prove two theorems with one proof.*posted by milestogo at 10:23 AM on April 21, 2011

Gauss can sum the integers from 1 to 100 as a child.

posted by Obscure Reference at 10:44 AM on April 21, 2011

posted by Obscure Reference at 10:44 AM on April 21, 2011

Childishly?

posted by Reverend John at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2011

posted by Reverend John at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2011

NEEERRRRDDDSSSS!!!!

posted by hellslinger at 12:00 PM on April 21, 2011

posted by hellslinger at 12:00 PM on April 21, 2011

Gauss can square the circle. Gauss knows pi.

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2011

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2011

*Man, where's all the math nerds?*

Sorry I don't have any Gauss jokes.

But, do you know why the mathematician named her dog Cauchy?

Because he left a residue at every pole!

posted by Rob Rockets at 1:23 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

*Gauss can sum the integers from 1 to 100 as a child.*

posted by Obscure Reference

posted by Obscure Reference

That

*is*an obscure reference, and that's how I learned it, too (from my parents'

*Reader's Digest*), but a few years ago I read somewhere that the problem the teacher posed was to sum 100 consecutive integers starting with a larger number, as I recall (exceedingly unreliably) 1801.

One thing Gauss could not do, evidently, was bring himself to publish his invention of non-Euclidean geometry a decade or two ahead of the works of Riemann, Lobachevsky and Bolyai, thereby depriving himself of what would have been one of the most lastingly brilliant jewels in his dazzling crown hoard.

Strange a mathematician and physicist that preeminent would be so dependent on

*amour-propre*, and doubly ironic considering how concerned he was to establish his priority in everything else he did.

posted by jamjam at 1:32 PM on April 21, 2011

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar.

The first says, "I'll have a beer."

The second says, "I'll have one half of a beer."

The third says, "I'll have one fourth of a beer."

The bartender pulls out two bottles and says, "Fuck you guys."

posted by exogenous at 2:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

The first says, "I'll have a beer."

The second says, "I'll have one half of a beer."

The third says, "I'll have one fourth of a beer."

The bartender pulls out two bottles and says, "Fuck you guys."

posted by exogenous at 2:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

This made me laugh loudly enough to get my roommate to look at me funny. Thank you.

posted by Hactar at 5:09 PM on April 21, 2011

*Gauss found BB(6), but his publisher refused to print it.*I suspect said publisher ran out of paper.posted by Hactar at 5:09 PM on April 21, 2011

I ♥

Don't worry. It's perfectly normal.

posted by benito.strauss at 5:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

*e*^{āx2}!Don't worry. It's perfectly normal.

posted by benito.strauss at 5:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Chuck Norris jokes are funny because they are ironic. Chuck Norris is not actually a badass but he played one in some bad movies and TV shows, so it's funny to pretend he is.

Gauss really was a mathematical badass (one of the top 4 or 5 mathematically geniuses of all time for sure, arguably #1 or #2), so pretending he's marginally better than that isn't very funny.

(My list, in no particular order: Euclid (depending), Archimedes, Gauss, Euler and Newton.)

posted by DU at 4:40 AM on April 22, 2011

Gauss really was a mathematical badass (one of the top 4 or 5 mathematically geniuses of all time for sure, arguably #1 or #2), so pretending he's marginally better than that isn't very funny.

(My list, in no particular order: Euclid (depending), Archimedes, Gauss, Euler and Newton.)

posted by DU at 4:40 AM on April 22, 2011

*I ā„ eāx2!*

Don't worry. It's perfectly normal.

Don't worry. It's perfectly normal.

I was born this way. Wrong thread?

posted by Mental Wimp at 7:48 AM on April 22, 2011

I guess I just have stats on the brain. Maybe I should have posted it this way:

Don't worry, it's perfectly normal.

posted by benito.strauss at 8:07 AM on April 22, 2011

Don't worry, it's perfectly normal.

posted by benito.strauss at 8:07 AM on April 22, 2011

*Chuck Norris jokes are funny because they are ironic.*

That's not why Chuck Norris jokes are funny. They're funny because witty exaggeration is funny. A good Chuck Norris joke is equally funny if you put someone else's name in the Chuck Norris spot.

posted by straight at 11:59 AM on April 22, 2011

*I guess I just have stats on the brain. Maybe I should have posted it this way:*

Don't worry, it's perfectly normal.

Don't worry, it's perfectly normal.

Yep, I got the pun the first time. Gaussian kernel and all.

posted by Mental Wimp at 12:20 PM on April 26, 2011

Ah well, not only do I have stats on the brain, I seem to have

posted by benito.strauss at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

**teaching**stats on the brain, and seem to need to__MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN__that__MY POINT IS NOT BEING MISSED__. Apologies for the un-subtlety.posted by benito.strauss at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

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Gauss can prove two theorems with one proof.But he refuses to show his workings.

posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:43 AM on April 21, 2011