Plücker, Julius(yo͞o`lyo͝os plü`kər), 1801–68, German mathematician and physicist. He became professor of mathematics (1836) and of physics (1847) at the Univ. of Bonn. He is known for his work in analytical geometry, in magnetic and electrical properties (he discovered the fluorescence of cathode rays), and in spectroscopy (he first suggested that the lines in the spectrum of an element were peculiar to that element). Plücker originated line geometry, which substitutes the straight line for the point as the unit in space.
Born July 16, 1801, in Elberfeld; died May 22, 1868, in Bonn. German mathematician and physicist.
Pliicker was a professor at the University of Bonn from 1828 to 1834; he again became a professor there in 1836. His principal works were concerned with geometry. He generalized the concept of coordinates and introduced homogeneous and tangential coordinates. Important results in the theory of algebraic curves were also obtained by him. Plücker’s later research dealt with electrical discharges in gases and with spectroscopy. In 1862 he became the first to obtain atomic and molecular spectra of such elements as hydrogen and nitrogen.