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Physicist Christiaan Huygens

Physicist Christiaan Huygens

H408/0277

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Christiaan Huygens. Coloured portrait of the Dutch physicist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), the inventor of the pendulum clock. The idea of using a pendulum to measure time had been proposed by Galileo (1564-1642) but he had not found how to keep one swinging. On Christmas Day 1656 Huygens designed a table clock that kept the pendulum swinging by means of a spring. He later made further advances in time- keeping. Huygens moved to France to work for Louis XIV during 1666- 81 and published the results of his clock research in Horologium Oscillatorium (1673). Huygens also made advances in optics, astronomy, such as discovering the rings of Saturn, and mathematics.

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