(born Sept. 17, 1826, Breselenz, Hanover—died July 20, 1866, Selasca, Italy) German mathematician. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Göttingen and later taught principally at Göttingen. His dissertation (1851) was on function theory. He became convinced that mathematical theory could link magnetism, light, gravitation, and electricity and suggested field theories, in which the space surrounding electrical charges may be mathematically described. While continuing to develop unifying mathematical themes in the laws of physics, he created Riemannian geometry (or elliptic geometry), which proved essential to Albert Einstein's model of space-time in relativity theory. Riemann surfaces, Riemann integrals, and Riemann curvature, among other concepts, contributed to the understanding of curves and surfaces, as well as of calculus. With Carl Friedrich Gauss, Riemann helped establish Göttingen's reputation as a world leader in mathematical research. His work widely influenced geometry and analysis.
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