Robert Hooke – Biography of Robert Hooke

The English physicist Robert Hooke was one of the most resourceful and versatile experimenters of all time.

Robert hookeThe son of a Freshwater clergyman on the Isle of Wight, he was born on July 18, 1635. His ill health prevented him from obtaining a regular education until he was 13 years old, when he was orphaned with a modest inheritance; He then entered the Westminster School. He later made his way as a member of the choir of Christ Church, Oxford, and attended Westminster College, graduating with a master’s degree in 1663. Hooke he remained at Oxford, where he became an assistant to Robert Boyle. Together they carried out many experiments on the effects of reduced air pressure, using an air pump that had been designed and built by Hooke.

In 1662 he became curator of the newly created Royal Society, his duties being to produce three or four significant experimental demonstrations for each weekly meeting of the society. Hooke he was ideal for this kind of work, and his career thereafter was immensely active and fertile. He founded microscopic biology with his pioneering micrography (1665). He invented the first practical compound microscope, the spiral spring flywheel mechanism, the universal joint, improved barometers, a divided dial for astronomical measurements, a simple calculating machine, and a sound device.

He also devised and performed numerous experiments to investigate the laws of gravity and suggested the inverse relationship of the square of the decrease in gravity with distance. He proposed in rudimentary form a wave theory of light, a dynamic theory of heat, a theory of combustion, and even a theory of evolution, all of which were accepted as scientific orthodoxy only in the 19th century.

He made careful astronomical observations to try to demonstrate the motion of the Earth from stellar parallax, gave a lecture on comets and earthquakes, and noted the relationship between falling barometer marks with an impending storm. After the great fire of London in 1666, he was hired by the city to rebuild projects and proved to be a skilled architect as well. For a time he also served as secretary and treasurer of the Royal Society.

Unfortunately, many projects that Hooke He was doing it simultaneously, and the haste with which he did everything meant that many of his ideas were never fully developed. This led to several priority disputes, the most notable of which was with Isaac Newton. Hooke He claimed that most of Newton’s optical investigations and his system of universal gravitation, which obeyed the inverse law of the square, were in his own works.

Hooke died in London on March 3, 1703, and for the 24 years following his death, when Newton was the dominant figure in the British scientific community, the reputation of Hooke It was affected. Its true greatness was not generally recognized until the 20th century.