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January 31, 2006


Thom H.

I have just completed The Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Cutler which covers the same era and indeed mentions Hooke and Newton as well as a host of other 17th Century luminaries. "Seashell" has wheted my appetited for delving further into the early days of science and the scientific method. I will have to keep an eye out for The Curious Life of Robert Hooke and I will keep in mind your analysis as I read it.

dan purrington

Actually Hooke's feuds with Newton reflect much more favorably on Hooke than the Cambridge Don. Hooke's criticisms on light and color, while wrong, were judicious, and in 1679-80 exchange over planetary motion, Hooke was right and gave Newton the key to dynamics that made the Principia possible. Of course, Hooke could not have matched Newton once he was unleashed. Among many sources, see Feingold's Robert Hooke: Gentleman of Science in Cooper and Hunter (2006).

Dr. Andreas Pechtl

The portrait, which Lisa Jardine claims to be one of Hooke, acutally represents the Flemish alchemist Jan Baptist van Helmont. This was proved by me as early as in 2004, when I had first heard of Mrs. Jardine's "discovery", and independently by Prof. William Jensen. Thus, the question of the missing portrait of Robert Hooke still remains an unsolved problem.

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  • Diane A. Kelly
    Diane Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studies the neural wiring and mechanical engineering of reproductive systems.
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    Jim Cambias writes science fiction and designs games in the lonely wilderness of Western Massachusetts.