Magnus Georg Paucker

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Magnus Georg von Paucker
Born November 1787
Died August 1855 (1855-09) (aged 67)
Nationality Russia
Alma mater University of Dorpat
Known for Handbuch der Metrologie Rußlands und seiner deutschen Provinzen
Awards Demidov Prize (1832)
Scientific career
Institutions Mitau Gymnasium

Magnus Georg von Paucker (Russian: Магнус-Георг Андреевич Паукер; Magnus-Georg Andreyevich Pauker, 26 November [O.S. 15 November] 1787 in Simuna – 31 August [O.S. 19 August] 1855 in Jelgava)[1] was the first Demidov Prize winner in 1832 for his work Handbuch der Metrologie Rußlands und seiner deutschen Provinzen.[2]


Paucker was born in the small Estonian village of Simuna. In 1805, he began his studies in astronomy and physics at the University of Dorpat, where his professors included Georg Friedrich Parrot and Johann Wilhelm Andreas Pfaff.[2] Between 1808–1809, Paucker took part in the surveying of the Emajõgi river which was the first geodetic expedition on the territory of Estonia.[3] In 1809 he contributed to the construction of the first optical telegraph line in Russia from Saint Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo.[2]

In 1811, Paucker took over as a lecturer at the University of Dorpat, succeeding Ernst Friedrich Knorre. In 1813 he was awarded his Ph.D. for a thesis in solid physics titled De nova explicatione phaenomeni elasticitatis corporum rigidorum.[2]

Paucker left Dorpat in 1813 and stayed the rest of his life in Mitau where he was a professor of mathematics at the Mitau Gymnasium and an organizer of the first scientific society in Latvia, the Kurland Society of Literature and Arts.[4]