Christiaan Huygens

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Christiaan Huygens

Netherlands 1629 – 1695

Comment: Astronomy; inventor; clocks; pendulums; centripetal force; wave theory of light opposed Newton's particle theory, debate still going!; developed a balance spring watch contemporaneously with, though separately from, Robert Hooke, Reformulated Isaac Newton's 2nd Law of Gravity; built basic form of internal combustion engine, fueled by gunpowder, he never successfully built one; Saturn 's ring; Transit of Mercury; believed in extraterrestrial life; the Architecture Structure Problem; when Newton said "If I see far, it is because I stand on the shoulders of Giants", he easily could have been thinking of Huygens;


Teachers: Constantijn Huygens, father; René Descartes; Blaise Pascal; Galileo;

Students: Nicolaas Hartsoeker AKA Nicolas Malebranche; Giovanni Cassini; Ebenezer Sibly; Ben Franklin; Isaac Newton; Edmond Halley;

Friends: Suzanna van Baerle, wife; Louis XIV; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; Henry Oldenburg; Melchisédech Thévenot aka Melchisédec Thévenot (@ 1620 – 1692), inventor of the Bubble Level;

Enemies: Robert Hooke, at times; Athanasius Kircher, whose theories he made fun of;

Organizations: The Royal Society; French Academy of Sciences

Author: Horologium Oscillatorium sive de motu pendulorum, 1673;


Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiaan_Huygens ; listen here in English - http://librivox.org/treatise-on-light-by-christiaan-huygens/ ; http://www.tgdaily.com/space-features/80963-long-sought-pattern-of-ancient-light-detected ;