Robert Hooke

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Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke was born on the Isle of Wight, England on July 28, 1635. He was the youngest of their four children. For a large part of his childhood, Robert Hooke’s health was delicate. He spent much of his school time at home.As a young boy, he impressed his father with his skills in drawing and his work on instruments such as clocks. In 1648, Robert Hooke’s father died, leaving him a legacy of 40 pounds. The 13-year-old boy traveled to London to be educated at Westminster School, where he learned Greek and Latin and studied mathematics and mechanics.In 1653, he enrolled at the University of Oxford’s Christ Church College, where he studied experimental science and became a chorister. Two years later, Hooke’s career took a further turn towards science.His abilities in working with mechanical instruments had become very refined, and he secured work in Oxford as an assistant to one of the founders of modern chemistry – Robert Boyle. Hooke worked with Boyle for seven years; during this time Boyle discovered Boyle’s Law. In about 1660, Hooke invented the balance spring, vital for accurate timekeeping in pocket watches, one of which he made for his own use. A pendulum cannot be used in a pocket watch, so another way of marking the passage of time is needed. He also discovered Hooke’s Law, which states that the tension force in a spring increases in direct proportion to the length it is stretched to.In his later years, Hooke became increasingly grumpy, engaging in a number of feuds with other scientists, often about who said what first. Hooke’s most famous feud was with Isaac Newton. Hooke thought Newton had not acknowledged Hooke’s ideas about gravity sufficiently. Although it is believed artists painted portraits of Hooke in his lifetime, none of these paintings now exists. Historians think that, although nobody deliberately set out to destroy paintings of Hooke, nobody made any great effort to preserve them either. The result is that we do not have any likenesses of this great scientist.Robert Hooke died aged 67, on March 3, 1703, in London. He had suffered ill-health for some years, but the precise cause of his death was not recorded. Thanks mainly to his work as an architect, he died a very wealthy man.


Hooke's reputation in the history of biology largely rests on his book Micrographia.He did a microscopical observation was his study of thin slices of cork.He also examined fossils with a microscope and noted close similarities between the structures of petrified wood and fossil shells and living wood and living mollusc shells on the other.

Lasting Impact

His last stand was Hooke's law which is a principle of physics that states that the force is needed to extend or compress a spring by some distance X is proportional to that distance.





1635 -Born1653 - Took up a scholar’s place at Christ Church, Oxford University.1657 - developed the pocket watch. 1662- secured the job as Curator of Experiments for the Royal Society1666 - Published a book on comets 1678 - Publication of his treatise on elasticity upon known as Hooke’s Law1703 - Death

Robert Hooke

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