|Grassmann, Hermann Günther (1809-1877)|
| German mathematician and
linguist who discovered a new calculus. It was one of the earliest mathematical
attempts to investigate n-dimensional space, where n is greater than 3.
He also studied ancient languages and comparative linguistics.
Grassmann was born in Stettin, Pomerania (now Szczecin, Poland), and studied at Berlin. He became a schoolteacher in Stettin.
Grassmann developed his method of calculus, which he called the theory of extension, from 1840. He published it 1844, but his vocabulary was so obscure that the book had virtually no impact at all until after his death. He used the method to reformulate Ampère's law and investigate the subject of algebraic curves, but again the work was ignored.
Grassmann learned and examined many ancient languages, such as Persian, Sanskrit, and Lithuanian. From his investigations he derived a theory of speech. He published a glossary to the Rig-Veda (Hindu sacred writings) 1873-75.