Ernest W. Brown: The Fifteenth Bruce Medalist

In the 1880s George H. Darwin (son of the biologist) was the Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge University. Primarily interested in mathematical problems related to the tides and to the formation of the Earth and Moon, he knew that George William Hill's publications on the Moon's motion were important, but it would be some years before he would find the time to delve into them himself. So he did what professors often do: he asked a student to explore the papers. The student was Ernest W. Brown, and the problem of the Moon's motion would occupy most of his life.