Hooke’s programme: Final thoughts

Ofer Gal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This is Hookes Programme, and it presents quite a mystery. In this, its final version which Hooke sent to Newton on 17 January 1680, concluding a short and intense correspondence between the two the Programme looks extremely familiar. And not only to the uninitiated layman, who may see here, with unchecked hindsight, the now selfevident elements of Newtonian cosmology: inertial motion, curved into an oval by a centripetal force declining with the square of distance. It also appears almost trivial to the trained historian of seventeenth-century science, who recognizes Keplers motive power, Descartess motion and Huygenss style investigation of curves. Yet, we well know, this combination of ideas was completely foreign to all these venerable members of the honorary order of the new science, let alone their less innovative contemporaries. So much so, that the designated reader of this paragraph, Isaac Newton, definitely the most skilled person of his time to understand Hookes Programme and perceive its importance, had to be tutored through it carefully and almost reluctantly. And so much so, that even its author, Robert Hooke, had to be helped with some of its seemingly most trivial aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobert Hooke
Subtitle of host publicationTercentennial Studies
EditorsMichael Hunter, Michael Cooper
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351902816, 9781315244020
ISBN (Print)075465365X, 9780754653653
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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