From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 6, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 486 pages
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Cambridge University's Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics is one of the world's most celebrated academic positions. Since its foundation in 1663, the chair has been held by seventeen men who represent some of the most influential minds in science and technology. Principally a social history of mathematics and physics, the story of these great natural philosophers and mathematical physicists is told here by some of the finest historians of science. This informative work offers new perspectives on world famous scientists including Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage, Paul Dirac, and Stephen Hawking.
 

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Contents

Isaac Barrow and the foundation of the Lucasian
45
Very accomplished mathematician philosopher
69
William Whiston in Cambridge
135
Nicholas Saunderson
171
Edward Waring
205
George Gabriel Stokes
295
Joseph Larmors
343
the purest soul in an atomic age
387
Is the end in sight for the Lucasian chair?
425
Appendix The statutes of the Lucasian
461
Index
475
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Kevin Knox is Historian at the Institute Archives, Caltech. He has held positions as Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in the Humanities at Caltech.

Richard Noakes is a British Academy-Royal Society Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the History of Science, in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University. He previously held a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.

Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942. He received a first class honors degree in natural science from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He was a theoretical physicist and has held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University from 1982 until his death. In 1974, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific organization. In 1963, he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The disease confined him to a wheelchair and reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements, but left his mental faculties untouched. He became a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes. He wrote numerous books including A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, Black Holes and Baby Universes, On the Shoulders of Giants, A Briefer History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design. In 1982, he was named a commander of the British Empire. A film about his life, The Theory of Everything, was released in 2014 and was based on his first wife Jane Hawking's book Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. He died on March 14, 2018 at the age of 76.

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