Stadtfriedhof, Göttingen, Germany

gkat_022.pdf51° 31 53.71 N, 9°5437.18E


An Elephant’s Graveyard

The 1,000-year-old city of Göttingen in Germany is best known for its famous university. The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen was founded in 1734 and has welcomed some of the greatest scientists of Europe (as well as assorted kings and politicians including Otto von Bismarck). Sadly, Göttingen is rarely mentioned among the top European universities (Oxford, Cambridge, and others get that honor), but it has fostered some of the best scientific minds of the last 300 years.

The mathematicians Wilhelm Ackermann, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Richard Dedekind, Bernhard Riemann, Felix Klein, Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, and David Hilbert all studied or taught at the university. The physicists associated with the university include Paul Dirac (Nobel Prize in 1933), Max Born (Nobel Prize in 1954), J. Robert Oppenheimer (see also page 416), Max Planck (Nobel Prize in 1918), Enrico Fermi (Nobel Prize in 1938), Werner Heisenberg (Nobel Prize in 1932), and Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Prize in 1945). Chemists are also well...