Hooke, Robert 1634-1703

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Hooke was an English experimental physicist, but his versatility led him into several fields. He was the first to state clearly that the motion of heavenly bodies must be regarded as a mathematical problem and he approached in a remarkable manner the discovery of universal gravitation.

He conferred the name "cell" on the units of plant structure. This has been retained although used in a sense different from what Hooke intended. He used a "magnifying glass to examine everything he could lay his hands on," and wrote a large book called Micrographia (1665). He first recognized that charcoal, cork, and plant tissues were "all perforated and porous, much like a honeycomb." To these pores he gave the name cells but the cell walls were not considered constituent parts of the cells. He stated "for in several of these vegetables whilst green, I have with my microscope plainly enough discovered these cells filled with juices, and by degrees sweating them out." He was interested in "slicing up indiscriminately animal and plant tissues and studying their structures with the aid of his new toy."

Hooke had a strong temper and made virulent attacks on Newton and other scientists claiming that their published work was due to him.



Robert Hooke - Biographical information

Source: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/evolution.html