Plücker, Julius

Plücker, Julius

▪ German mathematician and physicist
born June 16, 1801, Elberfeld, Duchy of Berg [Germany]
died May 22, 1868, Bonn

      German mathematician and physicist who made fundamental contributions to analytic (analytic geometry) and projective geometry as well as experimental physics.

      Plücker attended the universities in Heidelberg, Bonn, Berlin, and Paris. In 1829, after four years as an unsalaried lecturer, he became a professor at the University of Bonn, where he wrote Analytisch-geometrische Entwicklungen, 2 vol. (1828–31; “The Development of Analytic Geometry”). This work introduced abridged notation (a flexible type of mathematical “shorthand”) and exploited the possibility of taking lines rather than points as the fundamental geometric elements. Through this idea, he developed the principle of duality in projective geometry, which states that if a theorem is true, then its dual theorem—obtained by switching dual elements (lines and points) and their corresponding statements—is also true. In 1834 Plücker became a professor of mathematics at the University of Halle before returning to Bonn two years later. In Theorie der algebraischen Curven (1839; “Theory of Algebraic Curves”), he presented the famous “Plücker formulas” relating the number of singularities (points at which a function is not defined or is infinite) on algebraic curves to those of their dual curves. His System der analytischen Geometrie (1835; “System of Analytic Geometry”) introduced the use of linear functions in place of the usual coordinate systems. Plücker's System der Geometrie des Raumes in neuer analytischer Behandlungsweise (1846; “System of the Geometry of Space in a New Analytical Treatment”) contains a more systematic and polished rendering of his earlier results.

      These geometric investigations ran against the strong current associated with mathematician Jakob Steiner (Steiner, Jakob)'s synthetic school based in Berlin. Sensing this, Plücker turned away from geometry and concentrated on physics. In 1847 he began research on the behaviour of crystals in a magnetic field, establishing results central to a deeper knowledge of magnetic phenomena. At first alone and later with the German physicist Johann W. Hittorf (Hittorf, Johann Wilhelm), Plücker investigated the magnetic deflection of cathode rays (cathode ray). Together they made many important discoveries in spectroscopy, anticipating the German chemist Robert Bunsen (Bunsen, Robert Wilhelm) and the German physicist Gustav R. Kirchhoff (Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert), who later announced that spectral lines (spectral line series) were characteristic for each chemical substance. In 1862 Plücker pointed out that the same element may exhibit different spectra at different temperatures. According to Hittorf, Plücker was the first to identify the three lines of the hydrogen spectrum, which a few months after his death were recognized in the spectrum of solar radiation.

      Following Steiner's death in 1863, Plücker returned to the study of mathematics with his pioneering work on line geometry, Neue Geometrie des Raumes gegründet auf die Betrachtung der geraden Linie als Raumelement (1868–69; “New Geometry of Space Founded on the Treatment of the Straight Line as Space Element”). He died before finishing the second volume, which was edited and brought to completion by his gifted young pupil Felix Klein (Klein, Felix).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Plücker, Julius — ► (1801 68) Matemático y físico alemán. Descubrió la luminiscencia verde producida por las descargas en el vacío (rayos catódicos) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Plücker — Plücker, Julius …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Julius Plücker — Julius Plücker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Julius Plücker — Naissance 16 juin 1801 Elberfeld (Saint Empire romain germanique) Décès 22 mai  …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Julius Plucker — Julius Plücker Julius Plücker. Julius Plücker (16 juin, 1801 – 22 mai, 1868) était un mathématicien et un physicien allemand. Il a obtenu des résultats fondamentaux en géométrie analytique et fut un pionnier dans les recherches sur l …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Plücker — Plücker, Julius, Mathematiker und Physiker, geb. 16. Juli 1801 in Elberfeld, gest. 22. Mai 1868 in Bonn, habilitierte sich 1825 in Bonn als Privatdozent, wurde 1829 außerordentlicher Professor der Mathematik daselbst, 1834 in Halle und 1836… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Plücker — Plücker, Julius, Mathematiker und Physiker, geb. 16. Juli 1801 in Elberfeld, seit 1836 Prof. in Bonn, gest. das. 22. Mai 1868, hauptsächlich verdient um die analytische Geometrie; entdeckte die Fluoreszenz der Kathodenstrahlen und konstruierte… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Julius Plücker — Infobox Scientist name = Julius Plücker |300px image width = 300px caption = Julius Plücker birth date = birth date|1801|6|16|mf=y birth place = Elberfeld, Duchy of Berg death date = death date and age|1868|5|22|1801|6|16|mf=y death place = Bonn …   Wikipedia

  • Plücker — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Albert Plücker (1864–1945), deutscher Arzt Johannes Plücker (1628–1680), Bürgermeister von Elberfeld Johannes Plücker (1656–1709), Bürgermeister von Elberfeld Johannes Plücker (1711–1780), Bürgermeister… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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