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Robert Hooke - Essay Example

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In Europe, between the 14 and the 17th centuries prevailed one of magnificent epochs in human history - the Age of Renaissanace. The human mind got liberated from the burden of aeons-old superstition, ignorance and thoughtlessness. People in European countries started wondering about, thinking, exploring and investigating the world around them in a sytematic and impactful manner…
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Robert Hooke
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Download file to see previous pages The simple thought never occurred to the famous philospher that he may need further corroboration to his obsevation before he could state it as a universal fact. The Greeks could see, but their vision was severely limited, there was not much of scope, and there were no scientific instruments. And even that breadth and depth of thinking among men of the ancient Western civilization died out with the advent of religious dogmatism, at which point the dark ages began.
But fortunately, though these medieval times of nescience lasted for a long time, they did not last forever. The Greek spirit eventually revived. The glorious age of Renaissance began, men again began to think and look at the world around them with a new clarity. Soon they began to see farther than anyone had before them. Much much farther - through the telescope. They began to see a litte deeper too, and deeper: through a microscope. It was all about vision. And a man of science who lived towards the end of Renaissance, and who most perfectly represented this expanding vision of human mind was Robert Hooke. His advances in material science, astronomy and micrography paved way to the 19th and 20th century science in a significant way. Robert Hooke was the quintessential renaissance man, ever curious, ever exploring, ceaselessly seeking answers, studying, theorizing, inventing, and relentlessly pursuing knowledge in general. Some have called him the greatest experimental scientist of the 17th century.

A prolific inventor and designer of scientific instruments besides being a natural philosopher par excellence, Robert Hooke is best known to modern students of physics through Hooke's law of elasticity, and to students of biology as a pioneer of cell theory. However, these aspects reflect but a minor part of Hooke's immense achievement in an astonishingly wide variety of scientific fields - in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, astronomy, and geology. He was also in a big way into architecture and naval technology, and in a smaller way into sundry items of scientific interest.

But, by far the most interesting, and sadly the most unfortunate, fact about Robert Hooke is that he remained a forgotten genius for a long time even well into the twentieth century. It is thanks to a remarkable biography of Mrs. Margaret Espinasse in the 1950's that students of scientific history have been able to recognize the true scale of Robert Hooke's immense contribution to science. More recent times have seen a spate of important books on Robert Hooke, books such as "Man Who Knew Too Much: The Strange & Inventive Life of Robert Hooke 1635-1703" by Stephen Inwood, "England's Leonardo: Robert Hooke and the Seventeenth-Century Scientific Revolution" by Allan Chapman, "Robert Hooke and the Rebuilding of London" by Michael Cooper, "Robert Hooke: Creative Genius, Scientist, Inventor" by Mary Gow, "The Curious Life of Robert Hooke : The Man Who Measured London" by Lisa Jardine. Most recently, " Robert Hooke: Tercentennial Studies" have also been published. The sheer number of works published on Robert Hooke is an indication clear enough as to the real scope of his scientific caliber. But the big question remains: How ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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