Robert hooke


Robert Hooke was an important and renowned scientist of British nationality during the seventeenth century. He managed to do extensive and important work in areas such as biology , physics and astronomy . He was the first scientist who managed to discover the law of elasticity which is known today as Hooke’s Law .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 07/28/1635
  • Where he was born: Freshwater, England
  • When he died: 03/03/1703
  • Where he died: London, England

Who was Robert Hooke?

Robert Hooke was a recognized and outstanding scientist of English nationality, very prominent during the seventeenth century who made important contributions in many fields, such as mathematics , optics , mechanics , architecture and astronomy .

  • Historic context
  • Robert Hooke Biography
  • Death
  • Education
  • Contributions
  • Discoveries of Robert Hooke
  • Cell theory
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Importance of Robert Hooke
  • Phrases
  • Acknowledgments
  • Presence in popular culture
  • Curiosities about Robert Hooke

Historic context

Regarding the historical context in which Robert Hooke unfolded, this is considered one of the most prolific and important decades for the field of science because at that time great inventions were discovered that had an important relevance both in that century and in the future. Transplants had begun, the laser began to be used, science evolved more and more every day.

Robert Hooke Biography

Robert Hooke was born on July 18, 1635 on the Isle of Wight located in England . He could not study as a child because his parents did not have the money to enroll him in school, however he managed to graduate from university after his father passed away and left him an inheritance with which he could continue studying. As a young man, he showed great interest in mechanics , observation and drawing .

He formed Tuesday in the choir of the Christian Church of Oxford and then was hired by Thomas Willis who employed him as an assistant chemistry . He was also an assistant to Robert Boyle . While at Oxford studying he met John Wilkins whom he became friends with and later joined the Royal Society . He worked as a professor of geometry at Gresham College in 1665 and also served as a surveyor in London two years later.


Robert Hook died on March 3, 1703 in the city of London.


Due to the bad economic situation that his parents had, Robert Hooke could not have a real education as a child and for that reason his father dedicated himself to teaching him writing , arithmetic , he taught him to read and his first notions about the classics . Then he managed to enter the Westminster school located in London where he managed to stand out for his good performance receiving his university degree at age 18 at the University of Oxford .


His contributions to the field of science were of great importance especially to physics and biology . Thanks to him, it was possible to formulate what is now known as Hooke’s Law , a law that makes it possible to predict different types of physical events. Another of his great contributions was his great work known as Micrographia in which the images that had been taken by means of optical microscopy were shown for the first time , a contribution that is considered the true precursor of scientific popularization .

Robert Hooke first coined the word cell and in this way managed to open a path to the world of popularization while promoting the use of various types of instruments that were useful for scientific description . He also formulated the Theory of Planetary Movements, which he saw as a mechanical problem . He participated in the creation of the first scientific society that existed in the world, the Royal Society of London.

Discoveries of Robert Hooke

Over time, Robert Hooke had many ideas which turned into very interesting and novel inventions. Some of his main inventions were the following:

  • Air pump that was one of his first inventions and was also known as the Boylean machine . It was used to analyze the elasticity of the air and its effects , aspects that would later lead to the formulation of the Gas Law.
  • Capillarity . He managed to discover that the height to which water could go in thin glass tubes was closely related to the diameter of the tube.
  • Using the microscope, he was able to discover that a cork sheet contained small polyhedral cavities that were similar to a honeycomb. I call these locations by the name of a cell .
  • After knowing the existence of these cavities, he managed to establish and create the cell theory .
  • He was responsible for discovering the planet Uranus by observing comets and formulating various ideas regarding gravitation. To do this, he also invented various types of instruments in order to be able to measure the movements of the sun and stars.
  • He created the Theory of Planetary Motion and expressed the principles of universal attraction that established that all bodies move in a straight line except when they are deflected due to an external force.

Cell theory

When he was 26 years old, Christopher Wren commissioned him to perform a series of microscopic studies . At the beginning, he only had to analyze insects, however, he decided to analyze and study other types of elements such as blood, urine and cork. To conduct research used microscopes of great approach which he designed and analyzes that allowed greater depth and precision.

He analyzed the cork and realized that there were small openings in the material that were in the microscopic walls that made it up. He called these small structures by the name of cells , a term that went down in the history of science and that still remains today as an important part of these branches. It was in his famous work called Micrographia that Robert Hooke included his cell theory and was the first man who could calculate the number of cells that existed in a cubic inch.

Physical characteristics

As for his physical characteristics, there is very little data, but apparently he was a man of medium height, gray eyes, brown hair, and he had an unsightly physical appearance .


Regarding his personality, it is said that Robert Hooke was an irascible man , very proud and somewhat gloomy but he was also a good friend and ally. He struggled to be able to protect everything they accomplished and actually created ciphertext to hide what he discovered. He had great facility for thought and was a hard worker but for many he was a despicable person , distrustful , a little melancholic and jealous . Even his personality has been seen as vindictive and envious , full of acynical temperament and always lonely .


His mother was named Cecily Gyles and his father was John Hooke , who served as a rural priest.


He had a romantic relationship with one of his nieces named Grace Hooke , however, they never got married.


There are no recorded data on Robert Hooke’s children.

Importance of Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke was one of the most important scientists that existed because thanks to his work they managed to give the name to the basic unit of life, in other words to the cell . In addition, his contributions and inventions managed to give rise to the microscope , a device that he managed to improve by adding a focusing mechanism and a light source. Hooke’s law left us as a legacy that made possible through study is that the behavior of the springs that will develop an accurate clock for the first time.

Thanks to him, today we know that the theory of light was a wave and it was a theory that would be the fundamental basis of particle physics that emerged in the twentieth century. He was able to discover that if the matter expanded it was because it had been heated and furthermore, he revealed that the air that was breathed was made up of small particles that also had large spaces between them.


Among the main phrases of Robert Hooke the following are cited:

  • With the help of microscopes , there is nothing so small as to escape our investigation; hence there is a new visible world discovered for understanding.
  • It is commonly believed that anyone who tabulates numbers is a statistician .
  • The nature … is, so to speak, a movement continues.
  • The steps of nature must be followed, not only in its ordinary course, but also when it seems that put to work their shifts, to make many overdubs and turns, and to use any kind of art to prevent our discovery .


Among its main recognitions we find:

  • Member of the Royal Society of London.
  • Currently, the Hooke Medal is awarded in his honor by the British Society of Cell Biologists,

Presence in popular culture

In the cultural presence, the importance that Robert Hooke had in the field of science is still remembered. It is possible to find him in some of the television series such as Cosmos, where he appears as a character and one of the best geniuses in universal history.

Curiosities about Robert Hooke

Some curiosities of Robert Hooke were:

  • He was a member of the Royal Society along with several renowned scientists.
  • He also worked as a healer for about forty years.
  • He was an enemy of Isaac Newton since he did not give him fair credit for his ideas regarding gravity.

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