Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke

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Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703) was an English scientist, essentially mechanical and meteorologist, born at Freshwater, on the Isle of Wight, who formulated the theory of planetary motion and the first theory of the elastic properties of matter.

The son of a humble Protestant pastor, he began as a choirman at the Oxford Church of Christ and went to study at Oxford University (1653), where he began as a laboratory assistant to Robert Boyle (1655), and later his collaborator in gas studies, proving to be an expert experimenter and have a strong inclination for mechanics.

A pioneer in the hypothesis that tangential stresses are proportional to angular strain rates and that normal components are linear functions of strain rates, his first invention was the portable winding clock (1657) and spelled out the law of elasticity or law of deformation. Hooke (1660), according to which the deformations suffered by bodies are, in principle, directly proportional to the forces applied to them.

His skill with experiments earned him the election and membership of the Royal Society (1662) as curator of experiences. He was also a professor of geometry at Greshan College. He described the cellular structure of cork (1665) and published Micrographia, about his discoveries in optics and beginning his analysis of the effects of prism, spheres and blades, using the microscope. With the microscope also made important contribution to the study of the structure of the cells, due to him the origin of this term. This same year another invention: the barometer. Fluid resilience researcher and scholar of universal gravitation, has adapted windmill designs to lay out air and water flow meters.

His notes and his theory of planetary rotations were very important for later astronomical research. Using a reflective telescope, he even discovered stars and deduced the rotation of planet Jupiter around its axis. He enunciated a law on the force of gravity which, perfected a few years later by Isaac Newton, became one of the elementary concepts of physics. He has also developed other studies on thermodynamics and optics and among his creations are still mentioned types of hygrometers and an anemometer, a universal joint and an effective improvement of the vacuum pump. He was the successor of Oldenburg as secretary of the Royal Society (1677-1682) and died in London, England.