Robert Hooke: Facts and Information

Here are some interesting facts about Robert Hooke.

  • Robert Hooke was a 17th century English philosopher and architect. He is best known for Hooke’s Law which addresses the relationship between force and distance in physics.

  • Robert Hooke was born on the Isle of Wight in 1635 and was fascinated by drawing and by mechanical devices.
  • He attended London’s Westminster School, and studied mechanics, Latin and Greek.
  • In 1655, Hooke moved to Oxford and became assistant to the chemist Robert Boyle.
  • In 1662, he became Curator of Experiments for the Royal Society, a post he held for 40 years.
  • Aged just 30, in 1665 Robert Hooke published one of the most important science books ever, the Micrographia. It described his experiments with telescopes and microscopes.
  • Hooke suggested that a pendulum could be used to measure gravity. He was also the first person to realize that light rays could bend, and that matter expands when heated.
  • Hooke was a keen astronomer and tried to measure the distance to various stars. He was one of the first to see the Rings of Saturn, and he also studied moon craters.
  • He invented the iris type diaphragm for cameras, and the balance wheel used in watches. He also discovered that all life is made up of cells and how they affect physical appearance.
  • Robert Hooke also worked as an architect, and made more money from architecture than science. He helped to design many buildings in London after many were destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666.
  • During his later years, Hooke often argued with other scientists, especially Isaac Newton.
  • He died in 1703 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in St Helen Bishopsgate Church, in London.

Robert Hooke

  • Nobody knows for sure what Robert Hooke looked like, as there is no portrait known to be of him.
  • A likeness of Hooke was on a window in a London church, but was destroyed in 1993.

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