Hermann Alexander Brück died on 4th March 2000. He had retired from the joint post of Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and Astronomer Royal for Scotland in 1975, having transformed the Royal Observatory Edinburgh into a major player in world astronomy. Born in 1905 in Berlin, he attended the universities of Kiel, Bonn and Munich. At the latter, working amongst many of the great physicists of the twentieth century, his doctoral studies – on the wave mechanics of crystals – were supervised by Arnold Sommerfield. His interest in astronomy had been ignited early in life, and in the new physics in which he was immersed it was natural that he should turn to astronomical spectroscopy. After completing his doctoral studies, he followed his friend A. Unsöld into this field by securing a post at the Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory. There he joined the physics colloquium which included von Laue, Grotrian and Einstein.