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July 22 , 2009

Heroes of Science: Physicists


The dawn of true ideas respecting mechanics has been described in the volume of this series devoted to astronomers. At the time when the first of the following biographies opens there were a few men who held sound views respecting the laws of motion and the principles of hydrostatics. Considerable advance had been made in the subject of geometrical optics; the rectilinear propagation of light and the laws of reflection having been known to the Greeks and Arabians, whilst Willebrod Snellius, Professor of Mathematics at Leyden, had correctly enunciated the laws of refraction very early in the seventeenth century.

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