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Christian Huygens. Childhood. Born in 1629 in The Hague, Netherlands Belonged to an important Dutch family Home schooled by private teachers until 16 Studied law and mathematics at the University of Leiden. Early Career. Interested in the heavens

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Childhood l.jpg
Childhood

  • Born in 1629 in The Hague, Netherlands

  • Belonged to an important Dutch family

  • Home schooled by private teachers until 16

  • Studied law and mathematics at the University of Leiden


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Early Career

  • Interested in the heavens

  • Developed an improved way of grinding lenses

  • Built very large refracting telescopes

  • Discovered many features of the solar system

  • Published the first book on probability theory


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Professional Career

  • Elected to the Royal Society in 1633

  • Founding member French Royal Society in 1666

  • Published several books on topics ranging from light, to math, to life on other planets

  • Mentor of Gottfried Leibniz in mathematics

  • Patented a pocket watch


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Time Keeping

  • Invented very accurate pendulum clock

  • This enabled mariners to determine latitude


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Wave Theory

  • Believed that light consisted of waves

  • Developed what is now known as “Huygens’ Principle”

  • Argued that if light were a particle, two intersecting beams would bounce off each other


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Celestial Worlds

  • Believed that the universe was full of life much like 17th century Europe

  • Published The Celestial Worlds Discover’d on the topic

  • Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, who also believed in many inhabited worlds, was burned at the stake for his beliefs in 1600


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Christian Huygens

  • He died in the Netherlands in 1695

  • Many things named in his honor including a Lunar mountain range, a Martian crater, an asteroid, the bright spot in the Orion Nebula, and a NASA space probe.


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References

  • www.wikipedia.org

  • Portrait taken from www.worldtempus.com/wt/1/1043

  • http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/messier/xtra/Bios/huygens.html

  • http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Huygens.html

  • Saturn image taken from http://my.voyager.net/~stargazer/huygens.html

  • Huygens’ Principle diagram taken from http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath242/kmath242.htm


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