Christiaan Huygens

Christiaan Huygens FRS (/ˈhaɪɡənz, ˈhɔɪ-/ HY-gənz, HOY-; Dutch: [ˈɦœyɣə(n)s]; Latin: Hugenius; 14 April 1629 – 8 July 1695) was a Dutch physicist, mathematician, astronomer and inventor, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major figure in the scientific revolution. In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan. As an inventor, he improved the design of the telescope with the invention of the Huygenian eyepiece. His most famous invention, however, was the invention of the pendulum clock in 1656, which was a breakthrough in timekeeping and became the most accurate timekeeper for almost 300 years. Because he was the first to use mathematical formulae to describe the laws of physics, Huygens has been called the first theoretical physicist and the founder of mathematical physics.

In 1659, Huygens was the first to derive the now standard formula for the centripetal force in his work De vi centrifuga. The formula played a central role in classical mechanics and became known as the second of Newton’s laws of motion. Huygens was also the first to formulate the correct laws of elastic collision in his work De motu corporum ex percussione, but his findings were not published until 1703, after his death. In the field of optics, he is best known for his wave theory of light, which he proposed in 1678 and described in 1690 in his Treatise on Light, which is regarded as the first mathematical theory of light. His theory was initially rejected in favor of Isaac Newton’s corpuscular theory of light, until Augustin-Jean Fresnel adopted Huygens’ principle in 1818 and showed that it could explain the rectilinear propagation and diffraction effects of light. Today this principle is known as the Huygens–Fresnel principle.

More info at: Christiaan Huygens – Wikipedia

Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:

Name(s):
      Christiaan Huygens
Occupation:
      Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer and Inventor
Birth:
      April 14, 1629, The Hague, Netherlands
Death:
      July 8, 1695, The Hague, Netherlands
Education:
      Leiden University


Additional Information:

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