Lucasian Professor of Mathematics


Lucasian Professor of Mathematics

The incumbent of the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, the Lucasian Professor is the holder of a mathematical professorship at the University of Cambridge. The post was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, who was Cambridge University's Member of Parliament from 1639–1640, and was officially established by King Charles II on January 18, 1664. Lucas, in his will, bequeathed his library of 4,000 volumes to the University and left instruction for the purchase of land whose yielding should provide £100 a year for the founding of a professorship. One of the stipulations in Lucas' will was that the holder of the professorship should not be active in the church. Isaac Newton later appealed to King Charles II that this requirement excused him from taking holy orders, which was compulsory for most Fellows of the University at that time (some Fellowships were exempt). The King supported Newton, and excused all holders of the professorship, in perpetuity, from the requirement to take holy orders.

The current Lucasian Professor of Mathematics is renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. He was appointed in 1980.

List of Lucasian Professors

*1664 Isaac Barrow
*1669 Sir Isaac Newton
*1702 William Whiston
*1711 Nicholas Saunderson
*1739 John Colson
*1760 Edward Waring
*1798 Isaac Milner
*1820 Robert Woodhouse
*1822 Thomas Turton
*1826 Sir George Biddell Airy
*1828 Charles Babbage
*1839 Joshua King
*1849 Sir George Stokes
*1903 Sir Joseph Larmor
*1932 Paul Dirac
*1969 Sir James Lighthill
*1980 Stephen Hawking

ee also

*List of Professorships at the University of Cambridge

References

* [http://www.lucasianchair.org/ Lucasian Chair of Mathematics website]
*Kevin Knox and Richard Noakes, "From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics" ISBN 0-521-66310-5


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