(July 28, 1635 – March 3, 1703)

About one-and-a-half centuries before Michael Faraday served Humphry Davy, Robert Hooke served another great chemist named Robert Boyle. It was Hooke that assembled the instruments and readied the laboratory in which Boyle conducted his famous gas law experiments. And prior to serving Boyle, Hooke had served Thomas Willis in similar capacity. He learned well, and was able to make his mark on various fields of science. His tensile investigations enabled him to formulate his law of elasticity, which is fundamental to metallurgy and engineering. He would later rise to become the 9th Gresham Professor of Geometry at London. He is also recognized as the discoverer of cell. This is based on his cells and tissues studies in 1665: long before Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann developed their Cell Theory in 1839. And alongside Cornelis Drebbel, Giovanni Faber, Galileo Galilei and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke was at the forefront of 17th century microscopy. His pictorial treatise titled Micrographia was the first publication which illustrated how distinct various parts of plant and animals appeared under the microscope. It is as well, the first book in which the term “cell” was first used to denote the basic unit of a living entity. Apart from arousing interests in microscopy, Micrographia showcased Hooke’s versatility through its discourses on optics, astronomy, cytology, entomology and paleontology. In appreciation of his contributions to science, a lunar impact crater and a Martian impact crater (named Hooke) were designated in his honor. The same applies to the 3514 Hooke asteroid.


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