- Focus on Physics

Physics Timeline 1651 – 1699

Dates Characters Theories and discoveries
1654 Ferdinand II Sealed thermometer
1656 Christiaan Huygens Rings and moons of Saturn
1657 Christiaan Huygens Pendulum clock
1657 Pierre Fermat, Fermat’s principle in optics
1659 Christiaan Huygens Surface features on Mars
1660 Otto von Guericke Electrostatic machine
1660 Robert Boyle Sound will not travel in a vacuum
1661 Robert Boyle Corpuscular theory of matter
1661 Robert Boyle Chemical elements, acids and alkalis
1662 Robert Boyle Boyle’s law for ideal gases relating volume to pressure
1663 Blaise Pascal Isotropy of pressure
1663 James Gregory Describes a reflecting telescope
1663 Huygens, Wallace & Wren

Laws of elastic collisions
1664 Robert Hooke The great red spot of Jupiter
1664 Rene Descartes Published support for Copernican theory
1665 Isaac Newton Studies the principles of mechanics and gravity, mass and force
1665 Giovanni Cassini Rotation periods of Jupiter, Mars and Venus
1665 Francesco Grimaldi His wave theory of light is published
1665 Hooke, Huygens Colours of oil film explained by wave theory of light and interference
1665 Robert Hooke Studies with a microscope
1665 Robert Boyle Air is necessary for candles to burn
1666 Robert Boyle Fluid experiments
1666 Isaac Newton Studies spectrum of light
1666 Isaac Newton Begins work on laws of mechanics and gravitation
1667 Jean Picard Observes anomalies in star positions later explained as aberration
1668 John Wallis Conservation of momentum
1668 Isaac Newton Reflecting telescope
1669 Erasmus Bartholin Describes double refraction caused by polarisation of Iceland feldspar
1669 Hennig Brand Element phosphorus
1669 Gottfreid Leibniz First concepts of action
1670 Robert Boyle Produces hydrogen by reacting metals with acid
1671 Giovanni Cassini Accurate measurement of distance to Mars and scale of solar system
1672 Jean Richer The period of a pendulum varies with latitude
1672 Isaac Newton Variation of pendulum is due to equatorial bulge
1673 Ignace Pardies Wave explanation for refraction of light
1673 Christiaan Huygens Laws of centripetal force
1674 Robert Hooke Thought planetary motion as a balance of centfifugal force and gravity
1675 Giovanni Cassini Saturns has separated rings which must be composed of small objects
1675 Isaac Newton Delivers his theory of light
1676 Olaus Roemer Measured the speed of light by observing Jupiter’s moons
1676 Robert Hooke Law of elasticity and springs
1676 Edme Mariotte pressure = 1 / volume (Boyle’s law) and height of atmosphere
1678 Robert Hooke Inverse square law of gravity
1678 Christiaan Huygens Writes about wave theory of light
1679 Christiaan Huygens Polarisation of light
1680 Isaac Newton Demonstrates that inverse square law implies eliptical orbits
1684 Isaac Newton Inverse square law and mass dependence of gravity
1684 Gottfreid Leibniz Differential calculus
1687 Isaac Newton Publishes laws of motion and gravitation
1687 Isaac Newton Publishes analysis of sound propagation
1688 P. Varignon Addition of forces
1690 Christiaan Huygens Principle of Huygens, secondary waves
1690 John Locke Knowledge comes only from experience and sensations
1692 Richard Bentley Why do stars not fall together under gravitation?
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