Person: Bruns, Ernst Heinrich
Heinrich Bruns was a German scientist who was interested in astronomy, mathematics and geodesy and worked on the three body problem.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Bruns studied in Berlin from 1866 to 1871, obtaining a doctorate under Weierstrass and Kummer in 1871 for his thesis De proprietate quadam functionis potentialis corporum homogeneorum Ⓣ(The property of a potential function of a homogeneous body).
- In 1873 Bruns left Pulkovo to take up the position of observer at the Dorpat Observatory (now Tartu, Estonia).
- Peter Carl Ludwig Schwarz had taken over from Thomas Clausen when he retired as director in the year before Bruns arrived at the Observatory.
- After three years at Dorpat, Bruns was appointed as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Berlin where he remained until 1882.
- Bruns was the second director, the first being Carl Christian Bruhns who held the position from 1861 until his death in 1881.
- Bruns held these positions until his death in 1919.
- Bruns was interested in astronomy, mathematics and geodesy.
- Bruns showed in 1887 that there could be no conserved quantities which could be expressible as algebraic functions of the positions and velocities of the three bodies.
- A few years later Poincaré extended Bruns' work to show that no solution to the three-body problem was possible given by algebraic expressions and integrals.
- In addition to this major contribution to the three-body problem, Bruns also published major contributions to potential theory.
Born 4 September 1848, Berlin, Germany. Died 23 September 1919, Leipzig, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Germany, Physics
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive