The mathematician Bernhard Riemann was born #OTD in 1826. He made deep contributions to complex analysis and number theory, but is best remembered by physicists for his work on the foundations of geometry that would provide the mathematical framework for general relativity.
Riemann was the star pupil of Gauss, who described Riemann's PhD thesis on complex variables as the work of someone with “a gloriously fertile originality.”
A few years later, when Riemann was up for a faculty position, Gauss tasked him with reformulating the foundations of geometry. Riemann's lecture "On the Hypotheses Which Lie at the Foundations of Geometry" was delivered in 1854. Here's a thread:
Unfortunately, Riemann was never in very good health, and in 1862 he developed tuberculosis. He convalesced in Italy off and on for a few years, but eventually succumbed to the illness. Riemann passed away in 1866 at age 39.
There is an apocryphal story that many unpublished works were carelessly thrown away by someone cleaning out Riemann's quarters after he passed away.

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More from @mcnees

Oct 8, 2018
Good afternoon.
Happy Dogtober.
Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” but it’s a poodle.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
The physicist Niels Bohr was born #OTD in 1885. He applied Planck’s new ideas about quanta to develop the first modern model of atomic structure in 1913, which motivated the development of quantum mechanics over the next few decades.
Inage: Atomic Heritage Foundation
Here’s a thread from last year about the historical context for his model, and how it set physicists on the path to quantum mechanics.
A story about Bohr. In 1939, Rosenfeld told the Princeton Physics Journal Club about his work with Bohr on fission, after Meitner & Frisch's discovery but before its publication. Bohr quickly wrote a letter to Nature asserting priority of Meitner & Frisch. nature.com/articles/14333…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
Jason Van Dyke found guilty of 2nd degree murder and multiple counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
All 16 counts of aggravated battery. One for each shot.
Not guilty of Official Misconduct, apparently?
Read 4 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Koba & Takeda submitted their paper "Radiation Reaction in Collision Processes, III" to the journal Progress of Theoretical Physics #OTD in 1948. It described a method for calculating certain quantities in quantum electrodynamics via "transition diagrams." academic.oup.com/ptp/article/4/…
Their paper was submitted just two days before Freeman Dyson's ground-breaking article on Feynman diagrams was submitted to Physical Review. The approaches are very similar, as was clear to all three scientists!
Upon learning of their results, Dyson amended his own paper to recognize their work. He lamented the effect of the war on the dissemination of important ideas: "The isolation of these Japanese workers has undoubtedly constituted a serious loss to theoretical physics."
Read 4 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
He took out a full page ad in the newspaper demanding the death penalty for five black kids who turned out to be innocent, and still insisted on their guilt even after the real perpetrator confessed.
Here is the ad Trump placed in all four of New York’s major newspapers, months before the end of the trial, when I’d assume presumption of innocence would still apply.
Then in 2014 he *wrote an op-ed* in the Daily News saying they were probably still guilty, even though someone else confessed to the crime.
nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-c…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Sputnik 1, the first satellite made by humans, was launched into low Earth orbit #OTD in 1957.
Image: NSSDC, NASA
The launch of Sputnik marked the beginning of the Space Age. Here, let a young Jeff Goldblum show you what the mood was like in the Pentagon.
Before young squire Goldblum was warning us about the perils of toying with dinosaur DNA (@SUEtheTrex), he was racing down the hallways of the Pentagon with the latest bit of intel on the threat from above.
Read 4 tweets

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