The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Mayer, Johann Tobias

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MAYER, Johann Tobias, a German mathematician, born at Marbach, Würtemberg, Feb. 17, 1723, died in Göttingen, Feb. 20, 1762. He gained a living when a mere youth by teaching mathematics. He early made himself known by scientific productions. The university of Göttingen in 1750 chose him its professor of mathematics, and appointed him director of its observatory. His “Zodiacal Catalogue,” comprising 998 stars, is of high authority; and his “Lunar Tables,” published in 1755, were deemed of such value by the English astronomer royal that the British parliament awarded his widow £3,000. The most important of his discoveries was the principle of the “repeating circle,” employed by Borda in measuring the arc of the meridian.