KARSTEN

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15.12.1732 Neubrandenberg/D - 17.4.1787 Halle/D
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Wenceslaus Johann Gustav Karsten was taught by private lectures in mathematics. He made studies in theology and philosophy in Rostock from 1750 to 1752 and in Jena until 1754. He was appointed mathematics Lecturer at Rostock University in 1753 and in parallel was a Privatdozent in philosophy from 1755. From 1758 Karsten was a professor of logics there and in this position published his Basics of mathematics in 1760. In the meantime, Euler took interest in Karsten's work and the latter edited Euler's Teoria motus corporum rigidorum in 1765. Following a dispute in the Mecklenburg-Schwerin County, its Duke founded the Friedrich University in Bützow, to where Karsten moved in 1760 as professor of mathematics and where he served as rector. Both of the two universities of the small county were unable to develop such that they were re-united in 1789. Unsatisfied with the poor conditions at Bützow University Karsten moved in 1778 to Halle University succeeding Johann Andreas Segner (1707-1774) as professor of mathematics and natural sciences. There, Karsten published a number of books mainly in mathematics and its applications to technology.
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Karsten presented several papers and books relating to questions in hydraulics and hydrodynamics. In 1773 he wrote on the optimum arrangement of jet-engines, an important topic in the 18th century where complete cities often were destroyed by fires. Another paper of the same year was devoted to the Archimedean screw, one of the pumping machineries that were mainly used for drainage of water from swamps. The 1790 book relates to the fundamentals of natural sciences, in which hydraulics was also treated based on Karsten's excellent relations to Euler. Karsten was awarded the title Hofrat in the counties of Mecklenburg, and Prussia, and he was a Member of the Bavarian, the Copenhagen and the Haarlem Academies of Sciences.
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Günther, O. (1882). Karsten. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 15: 430-431. Leipzig.
Karsten, W.J.G. (1769). Lehrbegriff der gesamten Mathematik 4: Mechanik. Röse: Greifswald. Karsten, W.J.G. (1770). Lehrbegriff der gesamten Mathematik 5: Hydraulik. Röse: Greifswald. Karsten, W.J.G. (1773). Abhandlung über die vortheilhafteste Anordnung der Feuersprützen. Röse: Greifswald.
Karsten, W.J.G. (1790). Anfangsgründe der Naturlehre. Gren: Halle.
Poggendorff, J.C. (1863). Karsten, Wenceslaus Johann Gustav. Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch 1: 1224-1225. Barth: Leipzig, with bibliography. http://www.mathematik.uni-halle.de/history/karsten/ P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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