1664 __ « Micrographia or Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon »''' (Micrographie) » — Otocousticons
‣ Comment : Robert Hooke was one of the greatest inventors of the seventeenth century. Hooke’s interests knew no bounds. He made important contributions in many areas namely astronomy, optics, mechanics, geography, geology, architecture, materials, clock-making, naval technology, chemistry, microbiology and palaentology. He correctly formulated the theory of elasticity, the kinetic hypothesis of gases and the nature of combustion. His mechanical skill was unparalleled. He was unsurpassed in the seventeenth century as an inventor and designer of scientific instruments. It was Hooke, who first introduced the use of balance spring for the regulation of watches. He also made improvements in pendulum clocks and invented a machine for cutting the teeth of watch wheels. He greatly improved the microscope, telescope and the barometer. He invented a revolving drum recorder for pressure and temperature and a universal joint. His other inventions included an odometer, an ‘otocousticon’ as an aid to hearing, a reflecting quadrant, a land carriage, a diving bell and a method of telegraphy. He ascertained the number of vibrations corresponding to musical notes.. He anticipated the method for showing nodal lines in vibrating surfaces, the motion of the Sun among stars, correct notions as to the nature of fossils and the succession of living things on Earth. He published his extraordinary book Micrographia in 1665, which proved to be major milestone in the history of science. Hooke was the first meteorologist to keep records. He was also first to use freezing water as zero. Hooke was first to suggest that in general all matter expands on heating and that the air is made up of particles separated from each other by relatively large distances. He left many of his devices and ideas to be developed by others. Hooke’s Micrographia (“Tiny Drawings) was published in 1665. The book covered a variety of fields. It was a book with elaborate drawings of various things viewed by Hooke with a compound microscope and illumination system (a device that concentrated light on the viewing area of his double lensed microscopes), which he himself devised. Hooke observed organisms as diverse as insects, sponges, bryozoans (minute water animals that form branching, mosslike colonies and reproduce by budding), foraminifera (marine protozoans with calcareous shells full of tiny holes through which slender filaments project), and bird feathers. Micrographia was an accurate and detailed record of his observations. Most of the 57 illustrations contained in the book were drawn by Hooke himself and some might have been done by the famed Christopher Wren. The illustrations were so exacting that one could see the eye of a fly, the shape of the stinging organ of a bee, the anatomies of flea and louse, the structure of feathers and the form of molds. In Micrographia, Hooke described his wave theory of light. He compared the spreading of light vibrations to that of waves in water. Micrographia also included a series of observations of lunar craters and Hooke’s speculations as to the origin of these features. Hooke thought moon craters were caused either by collisions or boiling mud. Crystallography had its birth in this book. The book contained illustrations of the crystal structure of snowflakes. He discussed the possibility of manufacturing artificial fibres by a process similar to the spinning of the silkworm. In Micrographia, Hooke coined the word cell to describe the features of plant tissues he was able to discover under the microscope. He called them “cells” because they resembled the mosaic cells that monks lived in at the time. Hooke had no definite idea about the function of the cells found in plant tissues. He thought that like arteries and veins in animal body the cells might serve as channels to carry fluids through the plant material. The Micrographia also contained Hooke’s theory of fossils. (Dr Subodh Mahanti) — Hooke is known for his law of elasticity (Hooke’s Law) and for being “the father of microscopy” (Hooke coined the term “cell” to describe the basic unit of life). He worked with Robert Boyle and built the vacuum pumps used in Boyle’s experiments that led to the formulation of Boyle’s law (i.e., for a fixed amount of an ideal gas kept at a fixed temperature, P [pressure] and V [volume] are inversely proportional. — while one increases, the other decreases). Hooke was a noted architect, built telescopes that were used to observe the rotations of Mars and Jupiter, and was an early proponent of the theory of evolution as a result of a study of microscopic fossils. He investigated light refraction, deduced the wave theory of light, and was the first scientist to suggest that matter expands when heated and that air is made of small atomic particles separated by relatively large distances. He also managed to discover that gravity follows an inverse square law, and this governs planetary motion, an idea which was subsequently worked out in greater detail by Isaac Newton, who was an enemy of Hooke (and who failed to credit his work on gravitation). In other words, Hooke was one of the most brilliant minds of the 17th century. In 1665 Hooke published a book entitled “Micrographia, or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by magnifying glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon.” Hooke’s book contains descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses and primitive, proto microscopes (as indicated in the book’s title), together with “Observations and Inquiries” on them. In the book’s Preface, Hooke asserts that the lowest whispers, by certain means (which he does not reveal in the text), may be heard at the distance of a furlong (equal to one-eighth of a mile, which is 220 yards, 660 feet or 201.168 meters). He also claims that he knew a way by which it is easy to hear anyone speak through a wall three feet thick, and that by means of an “extended wire”, sound may be conveyed to a very great distance, almost in an instant ! In additional to all of his other great scientific discoveries, he also conducted, from 1664 to 1685, some little-known experiments in acoustics and sending sound through a wire. These involved wooden frames on hilltops, earphones, stretched wire, and cylinders. In his diary, for example, he wrote: “We shall tomorrow make a good experiment of the velocity in the vibrations of a sounding string, in which I shall acquaint you by the next.” In a later entry, Hooke notes his amazement that sound, traveling over a string, can be made to go around a corner. These experiments demonstrated that “the number of vibrations of an extended string, made in a determinate time requested to give a certain tone or note. [By this] it was found that a wire making two hundred seventy two vibrations in one second of time sounded G Sol Re Vt in the Scale of all Musick”. (Richard Grigonis, “A Telephone in 1665?”, Dec. 2008) — "Discoursed with Mr. Hooke," Samuel Pepys wrote, August 8, 1666, "about the nature of sounds, and he did make me understand the nature of musicall sounds made by strings, mighty prettily ; and told me that having come to a certain number of vibrations proper to make any tone, he is able to tell how many strokes a fly makes with her wings (those flies that hum in their flying) by the note that it answers to in musique, during their flying. That, I suppose, is a little too much refined, but his discourse in general of sound was mighty fine." (Samuel Pepys's "Dairy", vol. IV, p. 43, Bright's edition). (In THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, Vol. 17, 1880, p. 786)
‣ French comment : La “Micrographia” (Micrographie) en anglais est un traité scientifique de Robert Hooke décrivant les observations réalisées par le jeune auteur de vingt-huit ans au moyen de lentilles optiques. Publié en septembre 1664, l'ouvrage fut immédiatement un succès de librairie. Parmi les descriptions les plus célèbres, figurent celles de l'œil d'une puce ou d'une cellule de plante. Il inventa à cette occasion le terme "cellule", dont la structure lui rappelait une cellule de moine. Bien connu pour ses gravures cuivrées du monde miniature, en particulier de nombreux insectes, le texte sert d'appui à l'immense puissance de ce nouvel instrument qu'était le microscope. La “Micrographia” s'attache aussi à décrire des corps planétaires distants, la théorie de la dualité onde-particule ainsi que d'autres sujets scientifiques ou philosophiques auxquels l'auteur s'est intéressé. (Compiled from various sources) — Le document le plus ancien où la transmission du son à distance, soit formulée d'une manière un peu nette, remonte à l'année 1667, comme il résulte d'un écrit du physicien anglais Robert Hooke qui dit à ce propos : "Il n'est pas impossible d'entendre un bruit à grande distance, car on y est déjà parvenu, et l'on pourrait même décupler cette distance, sans qu'on puisse taxer la chose d'impossible. Je puis affirmer qu'en employant un fil tendu, j'ai pu transmettre instantanément le son à une grande distance, et avec une vitesse, sinon aussi rapide que celle de la lumière, du moins incomparablement plus grande que celle du son dans l'air. Cette transmission peut être effectuée non seulement entre le fil tendu en ligne droite, mais encore quand ce fil présente plusieurs coudes". Ce système de transmission des sons sur lequel sont basés les téléphones à ficelle qu'on vendait dans les rues il n'y a pas longtemps encore, était resté à l'état de simple expérience, jusqu'en 1819 époque à laquelle M. Wheatstone l'appliquera à sa lyre magique. Dans cet appareil, les sons étaient transmis à travers une longue tige en bois de sapin dont l'extrémité était adaptée à une caisse sonore. De là à l'emploi des membranes utilisées dans les téléphones à ficelle il n'y avait qu'un pas. Mais quel est celui qui a eu cette dernière idée ? ... Il est assez difficile de le dire. S'il faut en croire certains voyageurs, ce système serait employé depuis longtemps en Espagne pour les correspondances amoureuses. Quoi qu'il en soit, les cabinets de physique ne possédaient pas ces appareils il y a quelques années, et pourtant ils sont d'une grande importance scientifique, car ils montrent que les vibrations capables de reproduire la parole peuvent d'une ordre infiniment petit, puisqu'elles peuvent être transmises mécaniquement à des distances dépassant cent mètres. (Theodore du Moncel, p. 166)
‣ Original excerpt 1 : « The next care to be taken, in respect of the Senses, is a supplying of their infirmities with Instruments, and, as it were, the adding of. artificial Organs to the natural; this in one of them has been of late years accomplisht with prodigious benefit to all sorts of useful knowledge, by the invention of Optical Glasses. By the means of Telescopes, there is nothing so far distant but may be represented to our view; and by the help of Microscopes, there is nothing so small as to escape our inquiry; hence there is a new visible World discovered to the understanding. By this means the Heavens are open'd, and a vast number of new Stars, and new Motions, and new Productions appear in them, to which all the ancient Astronomers were utterly Strangers. By this the Earth it self, which lyes so near us, under our feet, shews quite a new thing to us, and in every little particle of its matter, we now behold almost as great a variety of Creatures, as we were able before to reckon up in the whole Universe it self. [...] And as Glasses have highly promoted our seeing, so 'tis not improbable, but that there may be found many Mechanical Inventions to improve our other Senses, of hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. 'Tis not impossible to hear a whisper a furlongs distance, it having been already done; and perhaps the nature of the thing would not make it more impossible, though that furlong should be ten times multiply'd. And though some famous Authors have affirm'd it impossible to hear through the thinnest plate of Muscovy glass; yet I know a way, by which 'tis easie enough to hear one speak through a wall a yard thick. It has not been yet thoroughly examin'd, how far Otocousticons [or Acoustics] may be improv'd, nor what other wayes there may be of quickning our hearing, or conveying sound through other bodies then the Air: for that that is not the only medium, I can assure the Reader, that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that of light, at least, incomparably swifter then that, which at the same time was propagated through the Air; and this not only in a straight line, or direct, but in one bended in many angles. » (Excerpt of the Preface, in “Micrographia”. [...] There may also be a possibility of discovering the internal motions and actions of bodies by the sound they make. Who knows but that, as in a watch, we may hear the beating of the balance, an the runnin)
‣ French translated excerpt 2 : « Je puis assurer le lecteur que j'ai, en employant un fil tendu, propagé le son à une distance considérable, instantanément, ou avec une vitesse en apparence incomparablement plus rapide que la vitesse de propagation à travers l'air dans le même espace de temps [...] — Il n’est pas impossible d’entendre un bruit à grande distance […], et l’on pourrait même décupler cette distance sans qu’on puisse taxer la chose impossible. […] Je connais un moyen facile de faire entendre la parole à travers un mur d’une grande épaisseur… qu’en employant un fil tendu, j’ai pu transmettre instantanément le son à une grande distance et avec une vitesse sinon aussi rapide que celle de la lumière, du moins incomparablement plus grande que celle du son dans l’air. Cette transmission peut être effectuée non seulement avec le fil tendu en ligne droite, mais encore quand ce fil présente plusieurs coudes. » (Quoted in Du Moncel Th., “Le téléphone”, Paris, 4e ed. Hachette et Cie, 1882, p. 2)
‣ Source : Hooke, Robert (1664), “Micrographia or Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon”, London, Printed by John Martyn and James Allestry, Printers to the Royal Society, are to be sold at their Shop in St Paul’s Churchyard, 1665 ; New edition, “Micrographia”, Published by BiblioBazaar, 2007, Preface pp. 17-21.
‣ Source : Tyndall, John (1867), “On Sound - A Course of Eight Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain”, Lecture 1 - Hooke’s anticipation of the Stethoscope, New York : D. Appleton and Company, 443 & 445 Broadway, pp. 42-43.
‣ Source : Du Moncel, Theodore (1881), “Les progrès de la téléphonie”, extrait d’une conférence faite à l’Exposition d’Électricité le 25 octobre 1881, In "La Lumière Électrique — Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 5, n°53-78, 1881, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité, 2 novembre 1881, No. 62, pp. 165-169.
‣ Source : Du Moncel, Theodore (1881), “Les progrès de la téléphonie”, extrait d’une conférence faite à l’Exposition d’Électricité le 25 octobre 1881, In "La Lumière Électrique — Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 5, n°53-78, 1881, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité, 5 novembre 1881, No. 63, pp. 184-186.
‣ Source : Baskevitch, François (2009), "L’air et le son dans l’Encyclopédie, un curieux silence", In Recherches sur Diderot et sur l’Encyclopédie 2009/1 (n° 44).
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