Carl David Tolmé Runge

Carl David Tolmé Runge (pronounced /ˈʀuŋˌge/) (August 30 1856January 3 1927) was a German mathematician, physicist, and spectroscopist.

He was co-developer and co-eponym of the Runge–Kutta method (pronounced /ˌʀuŋgeˈkuta/), in the field of what is today known as numerical analysis.

He spent the first few years of his life in Havana, where his father Julius Runge was the Danish consul. The family later moved to Bremen, where his father died early (in 1864).

In 1880 he received his Ph.D. in mathematics at Berlin, where he studied under Karl Weierstrass. In 1886 he became a professor in Hannover, Germany.

His interests included mathematics, spectroscopy, geodesy and astrophysics. In addition to pure mathematics he did a great deal of experimental work studying spectral lines of various elements (together with Heinrich Kayser), and was very interested in the application of this work to astronomical spectroscopy.

In 1904, on the initiative of Felix Klein he received a call to the Georg-August University of Göttingen, which he accepted. There he remained until his retirement in 1925.

Runge crater on the Moon is named after him.

See also:

Works by C. Runge


  • F. Paschen: "Carl Runge", Astrophysical Journal 69:317–321, 1929. .
  • Iris Runge: Carl Runge und sein wissenschaftliches Werk, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1949.

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