Christian Goldbach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Christian Goldbach
BornMarch 18, 1690
DiedNovember 20, 1764 (aged 74)
Known forGoldbach's conjecture
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics and Law
Letter Goldbach-Euler signature.svg

Christian Goldbach (/ˈɡldbɑːk/; German: [ˈɡɔltbax]; March 18, 1690 – November 20, 1764) was a German mathematician who also studied law. He is remembered today for Goldbach's conjecture.


Born in the Duchy of Prussia's capital Königsberg, part of Brandenburg-Prussia, Goldbach was the son of a pastor. He studied at the Royal Albertus University. After finishing his studies he went on long educational voyages from 1710 to 1724 through Europe, visiting other German states, England, Holland, Italy, and France, meeting with many famous mathematicians, such as Gottfried Leibniz, Leonhard Euler, and Nicholas I Bernoulli. Back in Königsberg he got acquainted with Georg Bernhard Bilfinger and Jakob Hermann.

He went on to work at the newly opened St Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1725, as a professor of mathematics and historian of the academy.[1] In 1728, when Peter II became Tsar of Russia, Goldbach became his tutor.[1] In 1742 he entered the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[2]

Christian Goldbach was multilingual – he wrote a diary in German and Latin, his letters were written in German, Latin, French, and Italian and for official documents he used Russian, German and Latin.[3]

He died on November 20, 1764 at age of 74, in Moscow.


Letter from Goldbach to Euler, 1742

Goldbach is most noted for his correspondence with Leibniz, Euler, and Bernoulli, especially in his 1742 letter to Euler stating his Goldbach's conjecture. He also studied and proved some theorems on perfect powers, such as the Goldbach–Euler theorem, and made several notable contributions to analysis.[2] He also proved a result concerning Fermat numbers that is called Goldbach's theorem.


  • (1729) De transformatione serierum
  • (1732) De terminis generalibus serierum


  1. ^ a b "Christian Goldbach". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Rosen, Kenneth H. (2004). Elementary Number Theory, Fifth Edition. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-321-23707-2.
  3. ^ Adolf Juskevic, Judith Kopelevic: Christian Goldbach 1690-1764 (Vita Mathematica), Birkhäuser Publishing House, 1994, ISBN 3764326786, pg. XII.

External links[edit]