HIS_322D_Nov7 - HIS 322D November 7 2011 Today Robert Hooke...

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HIS 322D November 7, 2011 Today: Robert Hooke He was one of the most important scientific figures, but was largely overshadowed by Isaac Newton due to long-running disputes. We actually don’t know what Robert Hooke looked like. He was from a rather different social background than other leading figures of the world. Hooke came from a fairly modest background (his father was a clergyman). Hooke had to work for a living unlike the other leading figures had to do. He had to use his wits to make a living. Hooke – He was born in southern England. He was always sickly and often described as twisted. He had a hunched back, and physically had some difficulties. From early on he’d show remarkably abilities with mechanical things – form early on he could take apart and put together clocks, and began making his own. This is a significant part of his whole view of the world – he was a mechanical philosopher in the sense that everything is just matter in motion, and also that the world in a machine and comparable to clockwork. After Hooke’s father died, he went to Westminster to study. He went on to Oxford University, working his way through. He never took a degree here (this wasn’t really unusual for people at this time, though). Here, he began to work with Boyle. Hooke was the main hands-on man with experimental manipulation (Boyle did help a little). This is partly because he is a hired assistant (because he needed the money), but Boyle tended to get the credit. The Royal Society hired Hooke in 1664 (it was founded in 1660, and got its royal charter in 1662). Hooke began doing experiments for them, and this became a paid position. This was an important part of his life. He was expected by the society to bring before them several substantial experiments every week. This is nearly impossible to have several experiments to show a group every week – but Hooke managed to do this. This wore him out though, and probably damaged his health (which wasn’t that great before). Hooke was also responsible for keeping some of the records of the Royal Society. Hooke
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas.

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HIS_322D_Nov7 - HIS 322D November 7 2011 Today Robert Hooke...

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