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date: 15 November 2019

Hooke, Robertlocked

  • Clive Greated

Extract

(b Freshwater, Isle of Wight, July 18, 1635; d London, March 3, 1702). English physicist. He was educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he encountered leading natural philosophers associated with empirical learning, including Robert Boyle, whose assistant he became. In 1662 he became curator of experiments to the Royal Society, holding the post for 15 years. He was one of the six commissioners who supervised the rebuilding of London after the 1666 fire.

In his own day Hooke was most noted for his Micrographia (1665), concerned with his observations with the microscope; now he is most famous for having proclaimed a general law of elasticity. He is known in acoustics for having (unjustly) claimed to have proved that the vibrations of a simple spring are isochronous; for having shown the Royal Society in 1681 ‘a way of making Musical and Other Sounds...

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