Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
The Lucasian Chair of Mathematics is a mathematics professorship in the University of Cambridge, England; its holder is known as Lucasian Professor. The post was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, who was Cambridge University's Member of Parliament from 1639–1640; and it was officially established by King Charles II on January 18, 1664. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious academic posts in the world and its former holders include Isaac Newton, Joseph Larmor, Charles Babbage, George Stokes, Paul Dirac and Stephen Hawking.
History of the Chair
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 holder of the post is the theoretical physicist Michael Green who is currently a fellow in Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge. He was appointed in October 2009, succeeding Stephen Hawking who retired in September 2009, in the year of his 67th birthday, as required by the University. Hawking now holds the position of Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.
List of Lucasian Professors
|1663||Isaac Barrow||Classics and mathematics|
|1669||Isaac Newton||Mathematics and physics|
|1798||Isaac Milner||Mathematics and chemistry|
|1826||George Biddell Airy||Astronomy|
|1828||Charles Babbage||Mathematics and computing|
|1849||George Gabriel Stokes||Physics and fluid mechanics|
|1969||James Lighthill||Fluid mechanics|
|1979||Stephen Hawking||Theoretical physics and cosmology|
|2009||Michael Green||Theoretical physics|
- "Michael Green to become Lucasian Professor of Mathematics". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Knox, K.; Noakes, R. and Hawking, S. (2007). From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521663938.
- "A Brief History of The Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at Cambridge University.". Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Hawking gives up academic title". BBC News. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- Kevin Knox and Richard Noakes, From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics ISBN 0-521-66310-5