Arthur William Rucker

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Sir Arthur William Rucker (or Rücker), FRS (23 October 1848, Clapham Park, London, England – 1 November 1915, Yattendon, Berkshire) was a British physicist.

Education and career[edit]

Rucker gained his BA at Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1871, and was a Fellow there from 1871 to 1876. He was Professor of Physics at Yorkshire College, Leeds from 1874 to 1885, and then at the Royal College of Science from 1886 to 1901, when he left to become Principal of the University of London.[1]

He received the honorary degree Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from the University of Cambridge in May 1902,[2] and from the University of Oxford in June 1902.[3]

Royal Society[edit]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1884. He jointly gave the Royal Society's Bakerian Lecture in 1889, and was awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 1891: "For his researches on liquid films, and his contributions to our knowledge of terrestrial magnetism". He served as Secretary of the Royal Society from 1896 to 1901, and was knighted in 1902.[4]


In 1889 Rucker was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on electricity.


In the general election of 1885, Rucker stood as the Liberal candidate for the newly created Leeds North constituency. He was narrowly defeated by the Conservative candidate William Jackson by 4,494 votes to 4,237. The following year, Rucker stood again in the general election of 1886 as a candidate for the Liberal Unionist Party (a breakaway wing of the Liberals that formed an electoral pact with the Conservatives). In that election, where Rucker stood in the Pudsey constituency in West Yorkshire, he lost to the Liberal candidate Briggs Priestley by 5,207 votes to 4,036.[5]

Family life[edit]

His first wife died in 1878 and he married Thereza, a daughter of Nevil Story-Maskylene, in 1892.


  1. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36505). London. 12 July 1901. p. 9. 
  2. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36779). London. 28 May 1902. p. 12. 
  3. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36789). London. 9 June 1902. p. 12. 
  4. ^ "RÜCKER, Sir Arthur William". Who's Who. Vol. 57. 1905. p. 1397. 
  5. ^ Plarr, Victor (1895). Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries. p. 732. 


  • Entry for Rucker in the Royal Society's Library and Archive catalogue's details of Fellows (accessed 27 April 2008)

External links[edit]