Born on the 18th of July, 1635, Robert Hooke was an established English scientist and inventor. Back in the year 1665, Hooke had written a book entitled Micrographia, where he famously coined the term “cell”, the most basic biological structure, for the very first time, and it stuck on. Driven and intelligent, with a passion that burned for science and mechanics, Robert Hooke attended the University of Oxford, which is where he happened to have assisted fellow science superstar Robert Boyle with the success of his air pump experiments. His skill and achievements range from astronomy to biology, as well as physics, architecture, and instrument maker.
He may not be the Hooke you had in mind (I know, I got excited for a second too. I thought for sure it would have been Captain Hook from Peter Pan. Perhaps the next article), but this Hooke’s got a lot of interesting facts about him. So get ready, because here are 10 facts you can’t miss about Robert Hooke:
Fact 1: Robert Hooke, though having been blessed enough to reach the old and tender age of 70, was a very sickly boy. As a matter of fact, he was so sickly that his mother and his father both thought he would never make it passed childhood.
Fact 2: Robert Hooke was intended to enter the life of a Holy man, rendering his time and effort to the church just as his family had for the ministry. Pretty soon, however, his father relented, and allowed Robert to be left with his own devices, seeing as the church just wasn’t for him. The world would soon discover where Robert’s calling truly lied.
Fact 3: He is most famous for founding his namesake, Hooke’s Law, the theory for the measurement of elasticity. The law dictates that the tension force in a spring increases in direct proportion to the length it’s stretched to. Rubber band, anyone?
Fact 4: Aside from being a distinguished scientist and inventor, Hooke was also a phenomenal artist! His skills in drawing have led him to be able to assume the title architect. He is also responsible for the designs of several buildings after the Great Fire of London.
Fact 5: Hook was in fact responsible for coining the widely used scientific term “cell”. The story goes something along the lines of Hooke discovering plant cells for the very first time. He thought they looked very much like rooms that were found in the monastery, which were called cell. The rest is history.
Fact 6: Robert Hooke was also credited for his findings on fossils, believing that they were once living organisms whose cells have since been mineralized. Often, Hooke would use his microscope to study the ancient cells within fossilized wood.
Fact 7: This guy just might be your new favorite scientist in the history of forever, because aside from figuring out the use of the quintessential elastic band, we also have him to thank for the invention of the Iris Diaphragm in cameras, as well as the universal joints we all need for our motor vehicles, and even the balance wheel inside our watches! Not all heroes wear capes.
Fact 8: War of the Great Minds: Robert Hooke’s famous beef with none other than Sir Isaac Newton revolved around whether or not is was himself or Newton who discovered gravitation, as well as the planets.
Fact 9: Hooke, Robert Hooke. Father of Microscopy, originator of the word “Cell”, mathematician, architect, scientist, inventor. You’re welcome.
Fact 10: Is there anything this man can’t do? When he was a child and his love for drawing and the arts grew, he would create his own art materials out of chalk, iron ore, as well as some cole. And to think some of us couldn’t even skip rope.