image hooke_r_micrographia_114
Image number: RS.18179
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Refraction

Date

1665

Creator

Unknown, Engraver

After

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural Philosopher

Object type

Library reference

RCN 45230

Material

Technique

Subject

Physics
   > Optics
      > Microscopy

Description

Various geometric diagrams depicting light rays interacting with glass. Intended as a visual representation of Robert Hooke’s experimentation into how best to improve the microscope.

Inscribed above: ‘Schem VI’

Written in the associated text: ‘I have made a Microscope with one piece of Glass, both whose surfaces were plains, I have made another only with a plano concave, without any kind of reflection, divers also by means of reflection. I have made others of Waters, Gums, Resins, Salts, Arsenick, Oyls, and with divers other mixtures of watery and oyly Liquors. And indeed the subject is capable of a great variety; but I find generally none more useful then that which is made with two Glasses’.

Plate 6 from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon (1665), the first fully-illustrated book on the topic of microscopy. In the preface Hooke asserts that he had discovered ‘a new visible World’.

Robert Hooke (1635-1703) British natural philosopher was a founding member of the Royal Society, elected in 1663.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom