HIS_322D_Nov9 - HIS 322D November 9 2011 Today Christiaan...

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HIS 322D November 9, 2011 Today: Christiaan Huygens, the Pendulum, and the Laws of Motion Later followers of the mechanical philosophy, such as Huygens, followed Descartes’ ideas but transformed them. They weren’t really “cartesians” because they didn’t follow Desacartes’ exact ideas. Huygens came from an extremely distinguished family. His father was Constantine Huygens. His father was friends with Descartes. His father gave his children an outstanding education: His boys were exposed to the new philosophy and given a mathematically-oriented education. This was more-so than would have been expected for noblemen at that time. Huygens did important work around light. He worked out wave diffractions. To make effective telescopes, a really long telescope worked best. Huygens built large “ariel telescopes.” This was guided by his understanding of optics and his skill of grinding lenses. When Galileo first looked at Saturn, it looked as if it had two moons beside it. Over the years, it would change its appearance. People could see there was something odd going on with Saturn. It was a puzzle. Huygens solved this puzzle. He figured out that Saturn has flat rings. For a Cartesian, this made very good sense because they believed there were vortices around the sun and the planets. With Saturn, it’s like you could see this “whirlpool” around it with its ring. This ring changes its appearance because we’re seeing it from different angles. Huygens also discovered the largest moon of Saturn. This made him very famous across Europe for his telescopic discoveries for finding a new moon and solving the mystery of the shape of Saturn. Huygens also did important work on pendulum clocks. He developed a very accurate pendulum
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HIS_322D_Nov9 - HIS 322D November 9 2011 Today Christiaan...

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