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August Ferdinand Mobius

The life story of August Ferdinand Mobius.

Alex Bossman

on 25 May 2010

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Transcript of August Ferdinand Mobius

August Ferdinand Möbius Mobius was born on November 17, 1790
and he died on September 26, 1868. He
was born in Germany, and lived there his
whole life. He is known for the Möbius strip.
His family had wanted him study law. Almost all Möbius's work was published in Crelle's Journal, the first journal devoted exclusively to publishing mathematics. August Möbius was educated at home until
he was 13, and at that age, he went to the College in Schulpforta. The teacher who influenced Möbius most during this time was Karl Mollweide. In 1813 Möbius travelled to Göttingen where he studied astronomy under Gauss. Gauss was the director of the Observatory in Göttingen He was offered a post as an astronomer in Greifswald in 1816 and then a post as a mathematician at Dorpat in 1819. e refused both, partly through his belief in the high quality of Leipzig University, partly through his loyalty to Saxony. In 1825 Mollweide died and Möbius hoped to transfer to his chair of mathematics taking the route Mollweide had taken earlier. Collge Life

He went to three different colleges
including the University of Leipzig,
the University of Göttingen and the
University of Halle. His family had wanted him study law and indeed he started to study this topic. However he soon discovered that it was not a subject that gave him satisfaction and in the middle of his first year of study he decided to follow him own preferences rather than those of his family. He therefore took up the study of mathematics, astronomy and physics. Möbius's idea to use barycentric coordinates to identify points in the projective plane attracted the attention of the whole mathematical community. He had created the first significant example of homogeneous coordinates. Tributes

* The crater Möbius on the Moon's far side is named after him.
* The asteroid 28516 Möbius is also named after him.
* In StarCraft, the upgraded energy reactor of the Terran Ghost is called "Moebius Reactor"
* Möbius plays a big role in Brian Lumley's Necroscope book series.
Mobius Strip

A Möbius strip is a two-dimensional surface with only one side. The Möbius strip, also called the twisted cylinder, is a one-sided nonorientable surface obtained by cutting a closed band into a single strip, giving one of the two ends thus produced a half twist, and then reattaching the two ends. The strip bearing his name was invented by Möbius in 1858, although it was independently discovered by Listing, who published it, while Möbius did not.

An easy way to make a Mobius strip is to pull out about 18 inches of adding machine ribbon paper.
Put a half-twist in it and tape the two ends together. You've just made a Mobius Strip! References


Quick Facts

His mother died when he was only 3 years old.
In 1815 he wrote his doctoral thesis on The Occultation of fixed stars
His mother was related to Martin Luther
His mother was a dance teacher.


Möbius did publish important work on astronomy. He wrote De Computandis Occultationibus Fixarum per Planetas (1815) concerning occultations of the planets. He also wrote on the principles of astronomy, Die Hauptsätze der Astronomie (1836) and on celestial mechanics Die Elemente der Mechanik des Himmels


Mobius was the only child of Johann Heinrich Möbius. He was not the only member of the Möbius family to become a famous scientist. His grandson Paul, a neurologist, is remembered for his controversial theories on the structure of the human brain. According to one of his conclusions, the center of mathematical reasoning was located at the left corner of the forehead. From him we also know that his grandfather used to regard mathematics as something poetic.
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