Talk:Robert Hooke

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spelling error under early lif, "groups" should be "group" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica prepared April 1687 and sent to Doctor Edmund Halley for publication caused Hooke to claim priority over the realization of the inverse square law of gravity. Newton had made no mention in his first edition of Hooke's contribution, but did made some amends in the second edition. Newton tried to prevent the publication of the third edition in reaction to these claims. Hooke's 1662 voyage to the West Indies helped him discover how gravity changes (with a weaker attraction) near the equator inspired his application of the Inverse-square law in regards to planetary motion.

History knows Hooke wrote a letter to Newton "in 1679 explaining his theories on planetary motion which he considered to be a force continuously acting upon the planet and diverting it from a straight path. Newton wrote back explaining his theory of the Earth's rotation, providing a sketch showing the path of a falling object spiralling towards the centre of the earth. Newton admitted his own drawing was wrong but 'corrected' Hooke's sketch based on his (Newton's) theory that the force of gravity was a constant when Hooke replied that his (Hooke's) theory of planetary motion would make the path of the falling object an ellipse - providing a sketch to demonstrate his argument. It is important to note here that Hooke wrote again to Newton stating that he (Hooke) considered gravity to involve an inverse square law. Gravity isn't a constant as Hooke could empirically prove.

Hooke's contemporaries may have had difficulties in grasping this concept for in 1684 Wren, Hooke, and Halley discussed at the Royal Society, whether the elliptical shape of planetary orbits was a consequence of an inverse square law of force depending on the distance from the Sun. Halley wrote that Robert Hook says he has the answer but would not publish it for some time so that others (Newton?) trying and failing might know how to value it. Newton tried to prevent the publication of the third edition in reaction to these claims. Fifty years later, after the death of Hooke when Newton wrote his own recollections of these events, the account he gives disagrees with the historical facts and records surviving this period. These records are available for inspection today.

When Newton became the President of the Royal Society in 1703, the year of Hooke's death, his duties would have involved the responsibility of the society's repository, including the various donations by fellows of the society. Many of Hooke's contributions have been lost or dispersed without record as to what happened to them. Hooke's design for a marine chronometer was rediscovered only in 1950 at the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Conjecture may suggest that Newton acted deliberately in losing many important works. Many other causes could have contributed to the loss of these items —— although it might be considered that Newton had motives to imply culpability.

FYI - The portrait was recently rediscovered! - Sparky

As it happens I have just borrowed my father's copy of the relevant five volumes of Gunther's Early Science at Oxford which has renewed my interest (trivia: at least one of the five was Espinasse's personal copy). Some light reading for bedtime, there :-) - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] (W) AfD? 15:10, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Diminutive stature[edit]

Was Hooke 5'10"? Do we have a reference. If so that doesn't sound particularly short. In fact according to [1], 70% of American men today are 5'10" or shorter.

On the other hand he may have had a stoop, as mentioned in the quotes here. -- Solipsist 01:02, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Solipsist is right, this is quite clear form the papers in Gunther. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] (W) AfD? 13:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC) 07:32, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Schoolboy howler on the real origin origin of Hooke's Law of elasticity:

Of Hooke the saying is this - When engaged in connubial bliss, Did stretch and did strain with such incredible pain, That he cried out, "Ut tensio sic vis". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

John Ray/Robert Hooke[edit]

File:HOOKE Robert.jpg
A portrait, claimed by historian Lisa Jardine to be of Robert Hooke

This image is claimed to be of Hooke, but is not authenticated. Is it worth adding it to the article itself, if only to illustrate the view (stated in the article) that it is authentic? GeeJo (t) (c) 02:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd say so. It is consistent with contemporary descriptions of Hooke, and the argument advanced by Jardine is (if I recall correctly) reasonably convincing. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 11:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

It is offensive to offer the portrait at the head of the article with a caption that says this is not the subject. It is unnecessary to show a discredited portrait. Is there no picture of the bust ? Reg nim

I see that some one (Reg nim?) has deleted the discredited portrait. I think we have to agree and let the deletion stand. --Concrete Cowboy 18:52, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
The picture of the Hooke bust can be found in the weblinks, but this engraving is not very satisfying ...

As well known young Robert Hooke had been a student of Dr. Richard Busby and had lived at Busby's home for a while. For Busby's portrait please confine to

Busby's portrait was originally painted by John Riley (1646-1691). We only know James Watson's engraving of this painting (published in 1775), showing Busby together with a scholar. Does anybody know anything more about the Busby portrait and the identity of the scholar? Please confine the scholar's face to the face of the Hooke seal discussed in the article.

Dugald Stewart on Hooke's Priority[edit]

In his Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Ch. 4, Sect. 4, Dugald Stewart quoted Hooke as follows: "I will explain (says Hooke, in a communication to the Royal Society in 1666) a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the three following positions. 1. That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action. 2. That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve. 3. That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer. As to the proportion in which those forces diminish by an increase of distance, I own I have not discovered it, although I have made some experiments to this purpose. I leave this to others, who have time and knowledge sufficient for the task."Lestrade 19:45, 9 March 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Chris Lawrence on John Riley's portrait of Richard Busby, Head Master of Westminster School 1640-95.[edit]

The pupil in the portrait is not, apparently, Hooke but Philip Henry, the 17th century divine who was at Westminster school 1643-47. Matthew H. Lee in "Diaries and Letters of Philip Henry", 1631-1696 (London, Kegan, Paul, Trench Co. 1882) p.32. 'Another tribute to his character must have been paid about this time (1688) by Riley, the painter, in associating his name with that of Dr. Busby. The history of the picture, which hangs in Christ Church Hall, seems forgotten, but the fact remains that Busby's favourite pupil is represented standing beside his old master, and helping him, as we are told he did, in collecting words for his dictionary.' -- (talk) 07:04, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Boyle, maybe[edit]

"It is possible that Hooke formally stated Boyle's Law, as Boyle was not a mathematician." Certainly it is possible, but is it supported or speculation? If the latter, I think it would be at least as good to leave teh reader to make that speculation - just saying that Boyle was not, assuming that is clear, a mathematician, an that Hooke was and worked for him. Midgley 13:40, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

It's in Gunther. Just zis Guy you know? 19:19, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, maybe it should read "Gunther suggests.." /speculated/wondered. Neal Stephenson gave Hooke a mixed sort of treatment - presumably he had read Gunther...Midgley 22:21, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Hooke Folio surfaces[edit]

From The Independent", Fri 17th March 2006, page 6: Hooke Mss to fetch more than £1m. The RObert Hooke Folio (picture) lost for 300y and encapsulates the revolution in scientific understnading in the 1660s is expeceted to fetch . auction Bonhams, London. record of the scientist's experim.. ; correspondence 3 inches thick auction 28th March." Midgley 13:40, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Hooke Folio - "Turning the Pages"
Something truly remarkable happened in January 2006. An unknown 320-year old text was discovered, written by one of the world's greatest scientists. It contained Robert Hooke's minutes of the earliest years of the Royal Society's work and his reflections and comments upon them.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of 17th century science and the scholarly potential of this volume. The Royal Society was created in 1660 as the world's first independent Fellowship-based academy of science. It promoted the new philosophy of learning by experiment, observation and international correspondence. As the Society's Curator of Experiments from 1662, Robert Hooke was at the forefront of this revolution and by 1677, he had been appointed Royal Society Secretary.
The Hooke Folio shows its author in both roles, as a working experimental scientist and as an administrator. More importantly, it reveals year-by-year and meeting-by-meeting the intellectual ferment of the period 1661-1691 when science, in the modern sense, was born.
Rivalries and disputes over inventions meant that Hooke did not trust the written account of Royal Society activities left by his Secretarial predecessor, Henry Oldenburg. Therefore the Folio begins with Hooke's corrective copy of early minutes, intended as a definitive record of the events described. In fact, Oldenburg's and Hooke's writings enrich one another.
As Secretary, Hooke drafted original descriptions of Society meetings from the late 1670s and these rough minutes form the second part of the Hooke Folio. Here, the Folio contains material that was lost or distorted in official accounts of the Royal Society's story, for example fuller versions of major scientific discoveries.
The Hooke Folio is a uniquely interesting record of 17th century science. Now, you can view the secrets of the manuscript by turning pages that have been undisturbed for three centuries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
The above material, originally added unsigned by an anonymous user, seems to have been copied verbatim from this Royal Society web page. Since the preceding text is a copyrighted news release, is it appropriate for this Wikipedia page concerning Robert Hooke's article? - Astrochemist (talk) 13:30, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Flea drawing[edit]

Since there was no evidience for the assertion that the flea drawing was by Christopher Wren and the image page attributes it to Hooke, I have removed "by Christpher Wren". IanWills 14:07, 29 March 2006 (UTC) IanWills

Robert Hooke was a very tough scientist. After his fathers death and an orphanage of a childhood he still was one of the most famous scientists of his time. - 04:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


The list of Hooke's inventions seems to have some incorrect listings. On this page he is credited with the invention of the compound microscope and thermometer. Other pages contradict this.(and I'm pretty sure the other pages are right) I Used To Be DooD 00:01, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The rhumb lines[edit]

From the article for rhumb lines as were in 20/01/07 00:37 GMT:

"In navigation, a rhumb line (or loxodrome) is a line crossing all meridians at the same angle, i.e. a path of constant bearing. It is obviously easier to manually steer than the constantly changing heading of the shorter great circle route.

The idea of a loxodrome was invented by a Portuguese Mathematician Pedro Nunes in the 1500s."

MindMeNot 00:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what the above has to do with Robert Hooke. Should it be deleted? Amplified? - Astrochemist (talk) 13:30, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Was part of Robert Hooke's invention list mentioned before which I believe was removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MindMeNot (talkcontribs) 12:07, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

More info please[edit]

I would really like more information on Robert Hooke please because it said absolutely nothing about him working on cells and most of the time when you're trying to write a biology report and there is nothing about cells then you are screwed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 12 September 2007 (UTC)


In Science: A History: 1543 to 2001 by John Gribbin, it is stated that Hooke had only two siblings - a sister, Katherine, born in 1628, and John, born in 1630 (who became a grocer). Gribbin also states that Hooke's education was neglected early on not because of headaches (although that may have been part of it; Gribbin doesn't say), but because he was initially so sickly that he wasn't expected to live. He was so delicate that for the first seven years his diet consisted of milk and milk products, fruit, and no meat whatsoever. America's Wang 13:29, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

So why does the article say there were 4 children in the family? "2 brothers and 2 sisters," well that makes 4, all right. It means he had one brother and 2 sisters. But then the next sentence says both his brothers were ministers. WTF? LightSpeed (talk) 20:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

That is in Robert Hooke#Early life. The "two brothers were also ministers" refers to the father (John Hooke). According to the reference, the father/mother had four children: Anne, Katherine, John (son of John), Robert (subject of this article). Johnuniq (talk) 01:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Hooke picture?[edit]

Robert Hooke portrait.jpg

I'm removing the Hooke picture added to the page today. The picture carries no authoritative citation to being that of Robert Hooke. It would be quite a coup for Wikipedians to uncover a Hooke picture since his biographers have failed to do so for several centuries. --Astrochemist 00:51, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone know then what is the origin of the image I uploaded to commons? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 23:40, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
There's another one here. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 23:48, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
This is no portrait medal of Hooke but of Italian astronomer Domenico Cassini as can be easily proved just by reading the inscription of the medal! Andreas Pechtl, 15:38, 8 May 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Hooke picture, part two[edit]

I just now reverted the Robert Hooke page to the 18 January 2008 version of Coemgenus. The portrait that was added needs to be kept off the page unless there is high-level scholarly evidence that it is in any way related to Hooke. See previous comments above about the picture. (The picture appears to come from a grade-school class project.) -- The burden of proof is on any editor who adds this alleged Hooke portrait to the article. Please see WPV. In over 300 years, no one has yet found a Hooke picture. (On the other hand, if you find one, please phone the newspapers!) -- As for the infobox that was recently added, please carefully consider the categories before putting it back. Hooke was a many-sided individual. -- Astrochemist (talk) 21:22, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

It took me several weeks to locate another source for the above picture. The source given at Wikimedia appears to be a school project in the US. It is likely that this alleged Hooke portrait was taken from page 16 of M. F. Ashley Montagu's A Spurious Portrait of Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703), Isis, volume 33, March, 1941. See also the July 3, 1939 issue of Time (page 39). - Astrochemist (talk) 23:24, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


I find the early life section very confusing as it talks about Hooke's parents giving up on his education and then goes on to say he was educated in Freshwater and Westminster school from the age of 13. So at what point did they give up on his education and did they then change their minds and send him to Westminster? Also it seems rather strange to talk about his birth in the second paragraph rather than the first. It reads like two separate strands that have been lumped together. Richerman (talk) 17:32, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The works cited in the "Further reading" section would probably allow one to sort out the above. If I can find time I'll try, but you or someone else may be able to do it faster than me. - Astrochemist (talk) 13:06, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I see you found some time :-) Thanks for that it reads much better now. Richerman (talk) 22:05, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Help with Hooke[edit]

Last weekend I spent quite a bit of time adding to almost every section of the Hooke article. There is still much to do, especially regarding Hooke's personal life, friends, family, and so on. I'm not a Hooke expert, just someone with too many books and a long interest in the history of science. Help with Hooke will be appreciated, even if it's just policing the article to keep the vandalism down. - Astrochemist (talk) 02:39, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Hooke is often depicted as a somewhat hateful grouch. Today I added a new section with some documentation for those depictions. What is still needed is something to give a more-balanced picture of his personality. As before, help will be appreciated. - Astrochemist (talk) 21:30, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Which pictures?[edit]

I'm certainly no fan of long stretches of unbroken web text, but I wonder to what degree pictures of others besides Hooke and of buildings largely associated with others are appropriate for this article. Would Huygens, Flamsteed, Halley, and Barrow pictures be appropriate for Newton's Wikipedia page? Are Wollaston and Davy pictures appropriate for Faraday's page (and vice versa)? I'm somewhat concerned that once the door is opened then pictures of others mentioned in Hooke's article also will be added, cluttering and distracting from the text. Is there a Wikipedia policy or are there some guidelines that apply here? -- Astrochemist (talk) 14:10, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

One saving grace of Wiki is the use of pics to visualise and lessen the often deadening effect of large blocks of text. Your suggestion about Davy and Faraday are great. How many textbooks use colour images? Printing is so far behind the times that Wiki is the single resource which can exploit pictures top relieve text. I wish academic journals could be so liberated. Peterlewis (talk) 17:33, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

The current version of the article is a great improvement on earlier editions by adding relevant pics. It brings the man and the scientist back to life, and recognises his amazing work. I added the Davy pic to the article on Faraday, and I notice others have reciprocated with another much improved article. The pics in my opinion bring these great scientists back to life, and are a big advance on the 1911 versions. Peterlewis (talk) 05:54, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Rough Edit: removed awkward quote(?)[edit]

I was reading this article for general interest and noticed a sentence at the end of the "Early Life" part of the biography section that seemed rather out of place. Furthermore, it was referenced as a quote (although was not in quotation marks) and read "Robert has done many important things in his life, he helped us understand things better, he made clocks more accurate and help[sic] in a lot of other area's[sic]." There was no lead-in to this sentence and it doesn't appear to me to be related to the surrounding text. Anyway, I don't really know any better regarding this supposed quotation but I removed it since it was in a very inappropriate place. I am just drawing attention so that perhaps this article's regular editors can make a better resolution and include the quote where appropriate. Joshua Davis (talk) 05:31, 28 May 2008 (UTC) He was the first to create the microscope. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Nodal patterns[edit]

According to the minutes of the Royal Society for July 6 1680 (online edition), Hooke reported and demonstrated nodal patterns on a water surface in that session, and not the Chladni-type experiment. Are there any more fundamental source documents as to whether and when he did the flour-on-a-plate experiment? The actual source for the flour story seems to be Dr. Birch's History of the Royal Society, who apparently refers to the same RS session, but with Hooke using flour instead of water. Confusing. Avocadohead (talk) 11:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Link suggestion[edit]

There is an hour-long talk available on-line in which the British surveyor and Academic, Michael Cooper, gives an overview and summarizes the current status of Hooke very nicely: I think that this would be very nice addition to this page. (I only don't put it up myself as there is a possible conflict-of-interest as I am connected with Gresham College, where the lecture was given). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamesfranklingresham (talkcontribs) 16:48, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Excellent presentation, from which I learned that Hooke's remains were moved. I added an external link to the article. - Astrochemist (talk) 02:16, 23 December 2008 (UTC).

Hooke's degree?[edit]

I've seen RH referred to as Dr. Robert Hooke, but there's nothing about a medical (?) degree in his Wikipedia article. I also have a vague recollection that his degree is mentioned in Margaret 'Espinasse's book, but I don't have a page number. Can someone enlighten me and, if appropriate, add the information to Hooke's Wikipedia article? I'll look around too. - Astrochemist (talk) 13:58, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I just now added an old reference, which appears to be based on Hooke's diary. Something more readily accessible would be better. - Astrochemist (talk) 19:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


Links to a place, not Red Ochre, can this be fixed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC) hooke died in 1635 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


Are you sure that Hooke actually believed in biological (macro) evolution? I was reading a bit on a Berkley website that states his experience with fossils and it shows different quotes from him. I can see that Hooke believed that the fossil record showed new species that became extinct, but did he ACTUALLY believe that this was due to MACROEVOLUTION? I always thought that he was a creationist, but maybe I am wrong. From what I saw so far, I concluded that he believed in microevolution when viewing the fossils, but I did not see a source that he supported macroevolution. Does anybody have a comment on that?

LOAP —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Optical Telegraphy[edit]

I think, it was Robert Hooke who suggested transmitting messages by putting huge letters on a large board that should be placed on roofs of high buildings. The receiver was meant to decipher the message by means of a telescope. However, the system of Chappe surpassed his concept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 27 November 2009 (UTC)


The article (as it currently stands) says: "Robert was the last of four children, two brothers and two sisters, and there was an age difference of seven years between him and the next youngest."

One, I don't understand how he could be the last of four when he supposedly had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Two, another person commented that a biography published elsewhere claimed Robert had one brother and one sister, and they were born 5 and 7 years before Robert.

Has anyone come up with conclusive information about Robert and his siblings? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

the term cell, and formatting[edit]

I replaced "coined the word cell" in the top Infobox with "applied the word cell", as in he applied an existing word to a biological concept. refdate 2010-03-11, line number 42 approx., states the origin of the word:

bef. 1150; 1665–75 for def. 4; ME celle < OF celle < ML cella monastic cell, L: room (see cella); OE cell < ML, as above; see cella

Also formatted the page so the contents box appears on right in the first screen, as the article has relatively long intro. The format ed is a suggestion without attatchment.

  • although, reverting replacement by User:Dramartistic, I think this is an issue for recent contributors to article. See no edits by that user in last 1000, 2 years, here.

I note the article pushes the WP size top limit at 59k, and as it's now on my watchlist and I intend to study it more over some weeks, I may attempt to precis it a little as I go. This might mean an eventual "yes" in box 4 on the article status checklist. Please discuss this if you're inclined, best, Trev M (talk) 11:36, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Thumbnail sizes[edit]

I put a note in User talk:84user giving a reason for a preference for keeping the thumbnails sized down. Trev M 00:21, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

44 KB PNG version used in article, 20 KB as thumb
9 KB PNG version, 10 KB as 100 pixel thumb
20 KB PNG version, 10 KB as thumb
35 KB SVG version, 11 KB as thumb
9 KB PNG version, 17 KB as 150 pixel thumb
I've added some figures there for the number of kilobytes downloaded: 276 KB of images and 38 KB of html; the Javascript and CSS are downloaded only once per session. This means a user clicking a link to Robert Hooke from outside wikipedia will suffer an initial 400 kilobyte download. A user arriving from another wikipedia article will suffer only 310 kilobytes. With this edit I then reduced the thumbnail sizes using "upright=scalefactor" and the total image size is now 175 kilobytes, a saving of 100 at the cost of lower detail. I see another 35 kilobytes saving is possible by converting the PNGs to JPGs (properly sized and Huffman optimised). More can be saved by removing thumbnails, here a list of some sizes in kilobytes: microscope drawing = 43; escapement = 20; Moon = 18; Saturn = 14; Micrographia = 11; Huygens painting = 11; Louse = 11; microscope photo = 8. If editors agree on a particular relative size for each PNG image I can then make optimised JPGs scaled to the largest thumbnail selectable in preferences. -84user (talk) 04:36, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Update. As an experiment I recreated the image in File:Anchor Escapement.png (44 KB full size, 20 KB as 100 pixel thumb) from the original source and produced a 9 KB version.
To the right are other images from Commons:Category:Escapements. -84user (talk) 13:51, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
original JPEG costs only 12 KB as a 220 pixel thumb compared to the 39 KB PNG thumb
More update. I noticed File:Hooke-microscope.png was non-optimal on Commons (127 KB) so I uploaded an optimised but otherwise image-identical version (65 KB). But this did not help the thumbnail size here: it only reduced from 43 to 39 KB. I then examined the thumbnail that mediawiki serves and it was uncompressed - an optimised thumbnail (but otherwise 100% image-identical) should have been 19 KB. But the original source File:Hooke Microscope.jpg gives a yet more efficient 12 KB 220 pixel thumbnail. It seems effort could be spent persuading mediawiki to use better PNG optimisations. -84user (talk) 15:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)


Hooke demonstrated, and measured, light as a wave. The Hooke's prism is amazing. So I am sure that it should be here. I will do the research to give a referenced section. If someone writes it before I get back I won't mind.Reg nim (talk) 21:30, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I have searched for the Hooke or Hooke's Prism and found nothing. I am shocked. Help please. Reg nim (talk) 19:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

TOC on the right side[edit]

I moved the TOC back to the left side, because putting it on the right makes it very difficult to see. Given that 99% of Wikipedia articles have a TOC on the left, there needs to be a very compelling reason to put it on the right, where a lot of people won't notice it. I'm assuming (by the HTML comment that was there) that the reason someone did it is because the article introduction is so long, but, honestly, the solution to that should be cutting down the intro by a paragraph or two. Most of what's there looks like it should be moved down to the Life and Works section, especially that gigantic fourth paragraph, but I'll leave that up to someone who knows the subject matter better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:50, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 12 September 2010[edit]

{{Edit semi-protected}} "In 1663 and 1664..." should have a comma after 1664. Near the bottom of the Royal Society section.

Done Favonian (talk) 18:43, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
That paragraph (sentence) has a wider issue: it states he "produced" the microscopical observations, later combined into Micrographia. Does this mean he published them or recorded them in his notes? Trev M   18:48, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 16 September 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} Please change the name of Robert Hooke's mother from Mirena Blazer to Cecelie Gyles because in all my research I have not found the name of his mother to be Mirena Blazer, I believe this is wrong. Replace text with:

Robert Hooke was born in 1635 in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight to John Hooke and Cecelie Gyles, daughter of Robert Gyles of Brading, Isle of Wight. Robert's father was married twice, the first time to Margaret who was previously twice widowed. She died shortly after their marriage. John Hooke then married Cecelie Gyles and they had four children together, Anne (c. 1625-1661), Katherine (b. 1628), John Jr.(1630-1678, suicide) and Robert (1635-1703).

Source: (talk) 18:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks, Stickee (talk) 22:11, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

hookeweb a reliable source?[edit]

Doubtful, I'd say. Comment? Trev M   19:53, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Lack of clarity regarding his rebuilding plan for London after the great fire[edit]

Please Change

"""He performed pioneering work in the field of surveying and map-making and was involved in the work that led to the first modern plan-form map, though his plan for London on a grid system was rejected in favour of rebuilding along the existing routes.


"""He performed pioneering work in the field of surveying and map-making and was involved in the work that led to the first modern plan-form map. His plan for rebuilding London on a grid system, after the great fire of 1666, was rejected in favour of rebuilding along the previously existing routes.

Kerfuffle090 (talk) 19:41, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Wilkins Group[edit]

Hooke is said to have been involved with a group of ardent Royalists around John Wilkins but Wilkins seems to have been pro-Cromwell (he was his son-in-law) & lost his post on the Restoration. How is this?-- (talk) 08:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)--Streona (talk) 08:58, 24 June 2011 (UTC)


Would it be appropriate to mention that The Open University's Department of Physical Sciences is housed in the 'Robert Hooke Building'? Info here: (talk) 16:21, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request by Wickedjargon[edit]

under 3.3 Microscopy. 3 points of:

- it should mention that its magnification was x30 -it should mention that he used this microscope to observe the cork (a bark tissue) from Oak. -the image farther up with the text "Cell structure of Cork by Hooke" should placed down here since this is the relevant part. (in fact no reference is made to it at all in that section, seems a bit out of place) - a reference from the text to this image should be made - "Hooke coined the term cell for describing biological organisms" this should be rephrased to "Hooke coined the term "cell" for the pore-like structures he observed in cork using his microscope.

please change "In 1665 Hooke published Micrographia, a book describing microscopic and telescopic observations, and some original work in biology. Hooke coined the term cell for describing biological organisms, the term being suggested by the resemblance of plant cells to monks' cells. The hand-crafted, leather and gold-tooled microscope he used to make the observations for Micrographia, originally constructed by Christopher White in London, is on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC." to "In 1665 Hooke had Micrographia published, a book describing microscopic and telescopic observations, and some original work in biology. The book was the Royal Society's first book publication. Hooke's microscope had a magnification of 30 times. Despite the low magnification, it allowed Hooke to see pore-like structures in the cork of Oak. Hooke coined the term "cell" to name the pore-like structures on cork of Oak he observed under his microscope, the term being suggested by the resemblance of plant cells to monks' cells. This was the initial break through in The Cell Theory. The hand-crafted, leather and gold-tooled microscope he used to make the observations for Micrographia, originally constructed by Christopher White in London, is on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC."


  1. ^ page 2 of Biological Science e4 (Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company) ISBN: 0321598202

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wickedjargon (talkcontribs)

Not done for now: - I'm marking this request as "not done for now", purely because it's been here for a long time, which means that nobody to date has been prepared to make the edit for you. This doesn't mean there's anything "wrong" with what you propose, just that no consensus has developed in that time, and it seems to me to be a substantial enough change to require consensus. I hope that editors more knowledgeable about this article might be able to comment on the proposed change, and it remains here for further discussion. Thanks. Begoontalk 10:46, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Party for the improvement of the article entitled "Robert Hooke".[edit]

Hello everybody.

Per a recent contribution that we made to the History of Science wikiproject, we announce with some jubilation that General Atomic is launching the initiative "Footsteps of Nature". It is the purpose of this initiative, to improve this article, first to GA status and ultimately to FA status.

This project is considered open to collaboration by General Atomic and any users who wish to contribute are welcome to do so. To acquire the authority to edit the sandbox in which the work shall be conducted, please contact General Atomic on our talk page.

--GA Communicate 18:18, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Could someone kindly add Savart wheel to the "See also" section. Thank you, (talk) 18:55, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done good suggestion, thanks - Arjayay (talk) 19:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, (talk) 19:38, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Birth date[edit]

Hooke was born on July 18, not the 28. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

The Old Style birth date 18 July 1635 has been converted to New Style 28 July, and marked appropriately. But that raises the question of why the same conversion hasn't been applied to the death date 3 March 1703 (unless it actually has been converted from 20 February). If it hasn't been converted, the NS death date would be 14 March, to match the NS birth date. Can anyone comment on this? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:09, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 9 July 2014[edit]

The origin of the use of cell comes from Micrographia, where the structure of cork is likened to the cells of a honeycomb, yet the text repeats the myth about cells in a monastery. The link to monks should be replaced by a link to honeycomb. (verbatim "the resemblance of plant cells to monks' cells" should be replaced with "the resemblance of plant cells to cells in honeycomb")

The same request has been made on the cell (biology) page which quotes the relevant passage likening cork to a honeycomb.

Pete Kirkham (talk) 20:18, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:39, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
The relevant passage of Micrographia is Observation XVIII on cork where the word 'cell' is introduced, in which Hooke compares the 'pores' in cork with cells of honeycomb.
Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the observation read:
"First, in that it had a very little solid substance in comparison of the empty cavity that was contain'd between, as does more manifestly appear by the Figure A and B of the XI Scheme, for the intersitia, or walls ( as I may so call them) or partitions of those pores were near as thin in proportion to their pores, as those thin films of Wax in a honey-comb (which enclose and constitute the hexangular cells) are to theirs .
Next, in that these pores, or cells, where not very deep, but consisted of a great many little Boxes, separated out of one continued long pore, by certain diaphragms, as is visible by the Figure B, which represents a sight of the those pores split the long-ways..."
In paragraph 2 Hooke compares the walls of the 'pores' in cork to the walls of cells in honeycomb. In paragraph 3 and on through history, they are referred to as 'cells'. No comparison is made to monastic accommodation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pete Kirkham (talkcontribs) 00:58, 10 July 2014
Pictogram voting comment.svg Note: I can't seem to access this source to verify the passage exists. —cyberpower ChatOnline 08:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Donecyberpower ChatOnline 09:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)