About this book
Hermann Günther Graßmann was one of the most remarkable personalities in 19th-century science. A "small-town genius", he developed a groundbreaking n-dimensional algebra of space and contributed to a revolution in the understanding of mathematics. His work fascinated great mathematicians such as W. R. Hamilton, J. W. Gibbs and A. N. Whitehead. This intellectual biography traces Graßmann’s steps towards scientific brilliance by untangling a complicated web of influences: the force of unsolved problems in mathematics, Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Dialectic, German Romanticism and life in 19th-century Prussia. The book also introduces the reader to the details of Graßmann’s mathematical work without neglecting his achievements in Sanskrit philology and physics. And, for the first time, it makes many original sources accessible to the English-language reader.