Hooke, Robert


An English physicist, born on the Isle of Wight (1635-1703). Hooke's studies were extremely diverse, encompassing biology, geology, physics, chemistry, and astronomy. He was also an accomplished inventor: He designed the universal joint, the iris diaphragm, a prototype of a respirator, and the balance spring. In 1662, he became the first Curator of Experiments for the Royal Society of London. Hooke discovered the theory for combustion and devised an equation for elasticity, which is now known as Hooke's Law. He also made important contributions in biology by describing and naming cells, which he observed with a compound microscope that he designed.

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