1670 – England
‘Within the limits of elasticity, the extension ( Strain ) of an elastic material is proportional to the applied stretching force ( Stress )’
Hooke’s law applies to all kinds of materials, from rubber balls to steel springs. The law helps define the limits of elasticity of a material.
In equation form; the law is expressed as F = kx, where F is force, x change in length and k is a constant. The constant is known as Young’s Modulus, after THOMAS YOUNG who in 1802 gave physical meaning to k.
Boyle and Hooke formed the nucleus of scientists at Gresham College in Oxford who were to create the Royal Society in 1662 and Hooke served as its secretary until his death. Newton disliked Hooke’s combative style (Hooke accused Newton of plagiarism, sparking a lifelong feud between the two) and refused to attend Royal Society meetings while Hooke was a secretary.
Hooke mistrusted his contemporaries so much that when he discovered his law he published it as a Latin anagram, ceiiinosssttvu, in his book on elasticity.
Two years later, when he was sure that the law could be proved by experiments on springs, he revealed that the anagram meant Ut tensio sic vis. That is, the power of any spring is in the same proportion with the tension thereof.
At the same time, in 1665 Hooke published his work Micrographia presenting fifty-seven illustrations drawn by him of the wonders seen with the microscope.
- MICROGRAPHIA (www.roberthooke.org.uk)
- National Library of Medicine (archive.nlm.nih.gov)
- HookeMicro (digital.library.wisc.edu)