Biography of Ludwig Becker
Ludwig Wilhelm Emil Ernst Becker was Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University from 1893 until he retired in 1935.
Born in Wesel, Germany, on 8 January 1860, Becker studied mathematics and physics for a short time at Berlin University, moving to the University of Bonn in 1879 where he specialised in astronomy. He graduated from Bonn in 1882 with a PhD, and went on to undertake an appointment in the Berlin Observatory, after which he came to Scotland in 1885 to work at the observatory at Dunecht, Aberdeenshire. He became temporary assistant at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, in 1889, working under Dr Copeland, the Astronomer Royal for Scotland.
Becker was appointed Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow in 1893 and was a popular lecturer - it was said that his classes were larger than those of any other professor of astronomy in Britain, and he was an approachable professor who easily made friends with his students. His main areas of research were in celestial mechanics, nebulae and the physical features of the moon.
Becker married in 1900 and had 5 children and 8 grandchildren. Following the First World War his wife and family returned to Germany, however he stayed in Glasgow until he retired in 1935, when he moved with his wife to Lagundo in Northern Italy. He died in Italy on 11 November 1947.
Born 8 January 1860, Wesel, Germany.
Died 11 November 1947.
University Link: Professor
Occupation categories: astronomers
Additional Information: www.theglasgowstory.com; obituary notice in 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', 1948, Vol. 108, p.41
Record last updated: 21st Mar 2016