Christiaan Huygens

Christiaan Huygens

Birth
The Hague (Den Haag), Den Haag Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Death 8 Jul 1695 (aged 66)
The Hague (Den Haag), Den Haag Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Burial The Hague (Den Haag), Den Haag Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Memorial ID 36747106 · View Source
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Scientist. He has been considered one of the most outstanding scientists during the scientific revolution with his knowledge in physics, mathematics, astronomy and inventions. He was born in the Netherlands at The Hague into a wealthy, cultural and intelligent Dutch family. His father was a poet, diplomat and statesman. During his younger life, he was focused on mathematics, but also became interested in astronomy. He attended the University of Leiden, where he studied mathematics and law, and two years later, he entered the College of Breda. With his self-developed lenses, he discovered Titan, a moon of Saturn, and later, he discovered the famous rings of Saturn. Galileo had previously seen something strange around Saturn, but Huygens had a better telescope and could clearly identify this something as the rings of Saturn. He published his findings in “Systema Saturnium” in 1659. On October 15, 1997, the United States' NASA and other European space agents launched a space craft to study Saturn, which was named in honor of astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Hygens.. He was also known for his clock making. The pendulum clock, which he made in 1657, was a real breakthrough in this craft. He patented this clock and later the pocket watch in 1675. His oldest pendulum clock can be found in the Borhaave Museum in Leiden. In 1658 he published his book on clock making “Horologium Oscillatorium.” In 1663 he became a member of the Royal Society of Great Britain, and in 1666 after moving to Paris, France, he earned, even though a Dutchman, a position as a charter member in King Louis XIV's new French Academy of Sciences. He stayed in France during the France-Dutch War. In 1681, he returned The Hague with slowly declining health to reside in the inherited house from his father until his death, as french politics prevented him from returning to Paris. He traveled to London in 1689, met Sir Isaac Newton, and lectured on his own theory of gravity before the British Royal Society. In his last book of 1695 “Cosmotheroros,” he wrote about life on other planets as it is on Earth. This was an idea that Giordana Bruno believed and he was burned at the stake by the Italian authorities in 1600. Even though he published numerous research papers and books during his life time, “Cosmotheroros" was published posthumously in 1698. To honor him, there are five full-length statues of him and six portraits in various European cities. Also, a crater on the moon was named Mons Huygens and one on Mars, Huygens Crater. He was given credit for the discovery of light waves. Although some of his calculations were proven wrong with modern equipment, his calculation of the length of a day on Mars was basically correct: he states it was 24.5 hours and later it was determine to be 24 hours and 37 minutes.

Bio by: Rik Van Beveren


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Rik Van Beveren
  • Added: 5 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 36747106
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Christiaan Huygens (14 Apr 1629–8 Jul 1695), Find A Grave Memorial no. 36747106, citing Sint-Jacobskerk, The Hague (Den Haag), Den Haag Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands ; Maintained by Find A Grave .