John Couch Adams - Mathematician and Astronomer

John Couch-Adams
John Couch-Adams

John Couch Adams was born at Laneast, near Launceston, in 1819 to a poor farming family. He went to the village school where he studied Greek and algebra. Later, he went to a private school in Devonport run by a cousin where he should considerable prowess in mathematics. Through his studies he won a scolarship to St John’s College, Cambridge and graduated in Mathematics with exceptional grades. Hebecame a fellow of the college soon after.

Adams is perhaps best known for his work in astronomy. Whilst investigating irregularities in the motion of the planet Uranus, he discovered the planet Neptune. He was also an important researcher of the motion of the moon and of the November meteors.

Adams eventually became director of the Cambridge Observatory. He was also an important researcher of the motion of the moon and of the November meteors. Although he was offered a knighthood by Queen Victoria, he refused the honour, not wanting the celebrity status or the expensive lifestyle. Adams died in 1892 in Cambridge. There is a memorial tablet to him in Westminster Abbey and a lunar crater was named after him.