We have now to witness the diversified efforts of a company of men who, working for the most part independently, greatly added to the data of the physical sciences—such men as Boyle, Huygens, Von Gericke, and Hooke. It will be found that the studies of these men covered the whole field of physical sciences as then understood—the field of so-called natural philosophy. We shall best treat these successors of Galileo and precursors of Newton somewhat biographically, pointing out the correspondences and differences between their various accomplishments as we proceed. It will be noted in due course that the work of some of them was anticipatory of great achievements of a later century.

ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)

Some of Robert Boyle's views as to the possible structure of atmospheric air will be considered a little farther on in this chapter, but for the moment we will take up the consideration of some of his experiments upon that as well as other gases. Boyle was always much interested in alchemy, and carried on extensive experiments in attempting to accomplish the transmutation of metals; but he did not confine himself to these experiments, devoting himself to researches in all the fields of natural philosophy. He was associated at Oxford with a company of scientists, including Wallis and Wren, who held meetings and made experiments together, these gatherings being the beginning, as mentioned a moment ago, of what finally became the Royal Society. It was during this residence at Oxford that many of his valuable researches upon air were made, and during this time be invented his air-pump, now exhibited in the Royal Society rooms at Burlington House.[1]

His experiments to prove the atmospheric pressure are most interesting and conclusive. "Having three small, round glass bubbles, blown at the flame of a lamp, about the size of hazel-nuts," he says, "each of them with a short, slender stem, by means whereof they were so exactly poised in water that a very small change of weight would make them either emerge or sink; at a time when the atmosphere was of convenient weight, I put them into a wide-mouthed glass of common water, and leaving them in a quiet place, where they were frequently in my eye, I observed that sometimes they would be at the top of the water, and remain there for several days, or perhaps weeks, together, and sometimes fall to the bottom, and after having continued there for some time rise again. And sometimes they would rise or fall as the air was hot or cold."[2]

It was in the course of these experiments that the observations made by Boyle led to the invention of his "statical barometer," the mercurial barometer having been invented, as we have seen, by Torricelli, in 1643. In describing this invention he says: "Making choice of a large, thin, and light glass bubble, blown at the flame of a lamp, I counterpoised it with a metallic weight, in a pair of scales that were suspended in a frame, that would turn with the thirtieth part of a grain. Both the frame and the balance were then placed near a good barometer, whence I might learn the present weight of the atmosphere; when, though the scales were unable to show all the variations that appeared in the mercurial barometer, yet they gave notice of those that altered the height of the mercury half a quarter of an inch."[3] A fairly sensitive barometer, after all. This statical barometer suggested several useful applications to the fertile imagination of its inventor, among others the measuring of mountain-peaks, as with the mercurial barometer, the rarefication of the air at the top giving a definite ratio to the more condensed air in the valley.

Another of his experiments was made to discover the atmospheric pressure to the square inch. After considerable difficulty he determined that the relative weight of a cubic inch of water and mercury was about one to fourteen, and computing from other known weights he determined that "when a column of quicksilver thirty inches high is sustained in the barometer, as it frequently happens, a column of air that presses upon an inch square near the surface of the earth must weigh about fifteen avoirdupois pounds."[4] As the pressure of air at the sea-level is now estimated at 14.7304 pounds to the square inch, it will be seen that Boyle's calculation was not far wrong.

From his numerous experiments upon the air, Boyle was led to believe that there were many "latent qualities" due to substances contained in it that science had as yet been unable to fathom, believing that there is "not a more heterogeneous body in the world." He believed that contagious diseases were carried by the air, and suggested that eruptions of the earth, such as those made by earthquakes, might send up "venomous exhalations" that produced diseases. He suggested also that the air might play an important part in some processes of calcination, which, as we shall see, was proved to be true by Lavoisier late in the eighteenth century. Boyle's notions of the exact chemical action in these phenomena were of course vague and indefinite, but he had observed that some part was played by the air, and he was right in supposing that the air "may have a great share in varying the salts obtainable from calcined vitriol."[5]

Although he was himself such a painstaking observer of facts, he had the fault of his age of placing too much faith in hear-say evidence of untrained observers. Thus, from the numerous stories he heard concerning the growth of metals in previously exhausted mines, he believed that the air was responsible for producing this growth—in which he undoubtedly believed. The story of a tin-miner that, in his own time, after a lapse of only twenty-five years, a heap, of earth previously exhausted of its ore became again even more richly impregnated than before by lying exposed to the air, seems to have been believed by the philosopher.

As Boyle was an alchemist, and undoubtedly believed in the alchemic theory that metals have "spirits" and various other qualities that do not exist, it is not surprising that he was credulous in the matter of beliefs concerning peculiar phenomena exhibited by them. Furthermore, he undoubtedly fell into the error common to "specialists," or persons working for long periods of time on one subject—the error of over-enthusiasm in his subject. He had discovered so many remarkable qualities in the air that it is not surprising to find that he attributed to it many more that he could not demonstrate.

Boyle's work upon colors, although probably of less importance than his experiments and deductions upon air, show that he was in the van as far as the science of his day was concerned. As he points out, the schools of his time generally taught that "color is a penetrating quality, reaching to the innermost part of the substance," and, as an example of this, sealing-wax was cited, which could be broken into minute bits, each particle retaining the same color as its fellows or the original mass. To refute this theory, and to show instances to the contrary, Boyle, among other things, shows that various colors—blue, red, yellow—may be produced upon tempered steel, and yet the metal within "a hair's-breadth of its surface" have none of these colors. Therefore, he was led to believe that color, in opaque bodies at least, is superficial.

"But before we descend to a more particular consideration of our subject," he says, " 'tis proper to observe that colors may be regarded either as a quality residing in bodies to modify light after a particular manner, or else as light itself so modified as to strike upon the organs of sight, and cause the sensation we call color; and that this latter is the more proper acceptation of the word color will appear hereafter. And indeed it is the light itself, which after a certain manner, either mixed with shades or other-wise, strikes our eyes and immediately produces that motion in the organ which gives us the color of an object."[6]

In examining smooth and rough surfaces to determine the cause of their color, he made use of the microscope, and pointed out the very obvious example of the difference in color of a rough and a polished piece of the same block of stone. He used some striking illustrations of the effect of light and the position of the eye upon colors. "Thus the color of plush or velvet will appear various if you stroke part of it one way and part another, the posture of the particular threads in regard to the light, or the eye, being thereby varied. And 'tis observable that in a field of ripe corn, blown upon by the wind, there will appear waves of a color different from that of the rest of the corn, because the wind, by depressing some of the ears more than others, causes one to reflect more light from the lateral and strawy parts than another."[7] His work upon color, however, as upon light, was entirely overshadowed by the work of his great fellow-countryman Newton.

Boyle's work on electricity was a continuation of Gilbert's, to which he added several new facts. He added several substances to Gilbert's list of "electrics," experimented on smooth and rough surfaces in exciting of electricity, and made the important discovery that amber retained its attractive virtue after the friction that excited it bad ceased. "For the attrition having caused an intestine motion in its parts," he says, "the heat thereby excited ought not to cease as soon as ever the rubbing is over, but to continue capable of emitting effluvia for some time afterwards, longer or shorter according to the goodness of the electric and the degree of the commotion made; all which, joined together, may sometimes make the effect considerable; and by this means, on a warm day, I, with a certain body not bigger than a pea, but very vigorously attractive, moved a steel needle, freely poised, about three minutes after I had left off rubbing it."[8]


Working contemporaneously with Boyle, and a man whose name is usually associated with his as the propounder of the law of density of gases, was Edme Mariotte (died 1684), a native of Burgundy. Mariotte demonstrated that but for the resistance of the atmosphere, all bodies, whether light or heavy, dense or thin, would fall with equal rapidity, and he proved this by the well-known "guinea-and-feather" experiment. Having exhausted the air from a long glass tube in which a guinea piece and a feather had been placed, he showed that in the vacuum thus formed they fell with equal rapidity as often as the tube was reversed. From his various experiments as to the pressure of the atmosphere he deduced the law that the density and elasticity of the atmosphere are precisely proportional to the compressing force (the law of Boyle and Mariotte). He also ascertained that air existed in a state of mechanical mixture with liquids, "existing between their particles in a state of condensation." He made many other experiments, especially on the collision of bodies, but his most important work was upon the atmosphere.

But meanwhile another contemporary of Boyle and Mariotte was interesting himself in the study of the atmosphere, and had made a wonderful invention and a most striking demonstration. This was Otto von Guericke (1602-1686), Burgomaster of Magdeburg, and councillor to his "most serene and potent Highness" the elector of that place. When not engrossed with the duties of public office, he devoted his time to the study of the sciences, particularly pneumatics and electricity, both then in their infancy. The discoveries of Galileo, Pascal, and Torricelli incited him to solve the problem of the creation of a vacuum—a desideratum since before the days of Aristotle. His first experiments were with a wooden pump and a barrel of water, but he soon found that with such porous material as wood a vacuum could not be created or maintained. He therefore made use of a globe of copper, with pump and stop-cock; and with this he was able to pump out air almost as easily as water. Thus, in 1650, the air-pump was invented. Continuing his experiments upon vacuums and atmospheric pressure with his newly discovered pump, he made some startling discoveries as to the enormous pressure exerted by the air.

It was not his intention, however, to demonstrate his newly acquired knowledge by words or theories alone, nor by mere laboratory experiments; but he chose instead an open field, to which were invited Emperor Ferdinand III., and all the princes of the Diet at Ratisbon. When they were assembled he produced two hollow brass hemispheres about two feet in diameter, and placing their exactly fitting surfaces together, proceeded to pump out the air from their hollow interior, thus causing them to stick together firmly in a most remarkable way, apparently without anything holding them. This of itself was strange enough; but now the worthy burgomaster produced teams of horses, and harnessing them to either side of the hemispheres, attempted to pull the adhering brasses apart. Five, ten, fifteen teams—thirty horses, in all—were attached; but pull and tug as they would they could not separate the firmly clasped hemispheres. The enormous pressure of the atmosphere had been most strikingly demonstrated.

But it is one thing to demonstrate, another to convince; and many of the good people of Magdeburg shook their heads over this "devil's contrivance," and predicted that Heaven would punish the Herr Burgomaster, as indeed it had once by striking his house with lightning and injuring some of his infernal contrivances. They predicted his future punishment, but they did not molest him, for to his fellow-citizens, who talked and laughed, drank and smoked with him, and knew him for the honest citizen that he was, he did not seem bewitched at all. And so he lived and worked and added other facts to science, and his brass hemispheres were not destroyed by fanatical Inquisitors, but are still preserved in the royal library at Berlin.

In his experiments with his air-pump he discovered many things regarding the action of gases, among others, that animals cannot live in a vacuum. He invented the anemoscope and the air-balance, and being thus enabled to weight the air and note the changes that preceded storms and calms, he was able still further to dumfound his wondering fellow-Magde-burgers by more or less accurate predictions about the weather.

Von Guericke did not accept Gilbert's theory that the earth was a great magnet, but in his experiments along lines similar to those pursued by Gilbert, he not only invented the first electrical machine, but discovered electrical attraction and repulsion. The electrical machine which he invented consisted of a sphere of sulphur mounted on an iron axis to imitate the rotation of the earth, and which, when rubbed, manifested electrical reactions. When this globe was revolved and stroked with the dry hand it was found that it attached to it "all sorts of little fragments, like leaves of gold, silver, paper, etc." "Thus this globe," he says, "when brought rather near drops of water causes them to swell and puff up. It likewise attracts air, smoke, etc."[9] Before the time of Guericke's demonstrations, Cabaeus had noted that chaff leaped back from an "electric," but he did not interpret the phenomenon as electrical repulsion. Von Guericke, however, recognized it as such, and refers to it as what he calls "expulsive virtue." "Even expulsive virtue is seen in this globe," he says, "for it not only attracts, but also REPELS again from itself little bodies of this sort, nor does it receive them until they have touched something else." It will be observed from this that he was very close to discovering the discharge of the electrification of attracted bodies by contact with some other object, after which they are reattracted by the electric.

He performed a most interesting experiment with his sulphur globe and a feather, and in doing so came near anticipating Benjamin Franklin in his discovery of the effects of pointed conductors in drawing off the discharge. Having revolved and stroked his globe until it repelled a bit of down, he removed the globe from its rack and advancing it towards the now repellent down, drove it before him about the room. In this chase he observed that the down preferred to alight against "the points of any object whatsoever." He noticed that should the down chance to be driven within a few inches of a lighted candle, its attitude towards the globe suddenly changed, and instead of running away from it, it now "flew to it for protection" —the charge on the down having been dissipated by the hot air. He also noted that if one face of a feather had been first attracted and then repelled by the sulphur ball, that the surface so affected was always turned towards the globe; so that if the positions of the two were reversed, the sides of the feather reversed also.

Still another important discovery, that of electrical conduction, was made by Von Guericke. Until his discovery no one had observed the transference of electricity from one body to another, although Gilbert had some time before noted that a rod rendered magnetic at one end became so at the other. Von Guericke's experiments were made upon a linen thread with his sulphur globe, which, he says, "having been previously excited by rubbing, can exercise likewise its virtue through a linen thread an ell or more long, and there attract something." But this discovery, and his equally important one that the sulphur ball becomes luminous when rubbed, were practically forgotten until again brought to notice by the discoveries of Francis Hauksbee and Stephen Gray early in the eighteenth century. From this we may gather that Von Guericke himself did not realize the import of his discoveries, for otherwise he would certainly have carried his investigations still further. But as it was he turned his attention to other fields of research.


A slender, crooked, shrivelled-limbed, cantankerous little man, with dishevelled hair and haggard countenance, bad-tempered and irritable, penurious and dishonest, at least in his claims for priority in discoveries—this is the picture usually drawn, alike by friends and enemies, of Robert Hooke (1635-1703), a man with an almost unparalleled genius for scientific discoveries in almost all branches of science. History gives few examples so striking of a man whose really great achievements in science would alone have made his name immortal, and yet who had the pusillanimous spirit of a charlatan—an almost insane mania, as it seems—for claiming the credit of discoveries made by others. This attitude of mind can hardly be explained except as a mania: it is certainly more charitable so to regard it. For his own discoveries and inventions were so numerous that a few more or less would hardly have added to his fame, as his reputation as a philosopher was well established. Admiration for his ability and his philosophical knowledge must always be marred by the recollection of his arrogant claims to the discoveries of other philosophers.

It seems pretty definitely determined that Hooke should be credited with the invention of the balance-spring for regulating watches; but for a long time a heated controversy was waged between Hooke and Huygens as to who was the real inventor. It appears that Hooke conceived the idea of the balance-spring, while to Huygens belongs the credit of having adapted the COILED spring in a working model. He thus made practical Hooke's conception, which is without value except as applied by the coiled spring; but, nevertheless, the inventor, as well as the perfector, should receive credit. In this controversy, unlike many others, the blame cannot be laid at Hooke's door.

Hooke was the first curator of the Royal Society, and when anything was to be investigated, usually invented the mechanical devices for doing so. Astronomical apparatus, instruments for measuring specific weights, clocks and chronometers, methods of measuring the velocity of falling bodies, freezing and boiling points, strength of gunpowder, magnetic instruments—in short, all kinds of ingenious mechanical devices in all branches of science and mechanics. It was he who made the famous air-pump of Robert Boyle, based on Boyle's plans. Incidentally, Hooke claimed to be the inventor of the first air-pump himself, although this claim is now entirely discredited.

Within a period of two years he devised no less than thirty different methods of flying, all of which, of course, came to nothing, but go to show the fertile imagination of the man, and his tireless energy. He experimented with electricity and made some novel suggestions upon the difference between the electric spark and the glow, although on the whole his contributions in this field are unimportant. He also first pointed out that the motions of the heavenly bodies must be looked upon as a mechanical problem, and was almost within grasping distance of the exact theory of gravitation, himself originating the idea of making use of the pendulum in measuring gravity. Likewise, he first proposed the wave theory of light; although it was Huygens who established it on its present foundation.

Hooke published, among other things, a book of plates and descriptions of his Microscopical Observations, which gives an idea of the advance that had already been made in microscopy in his time. Two of these plates are given here, which, even in this age of microscopy, are both interesting and instructive. These plates are made from prints of Hooke's original copper plates, and show that excellent lenses were made even at that time. They illustrate, also, how much might have been accomplished in the field of medicine if more attention had been given to microscopy by physicians. Even a century later, had physicians made better use of their microscopes, they could hardly have overlooked such an easily found parasite as the itch mite, which is quite as easily detected as the cheese mite, pictured in Hooke's book.

In justice to Hooke, and in extenuation of his otherwise inexcusable peculiarities of mind, it should be remembered that for many years he suffered from a painful and wasting disease. This may have affected his mental equilibrium, without appreciably affecting his ingenuity. In his own time this condition would hardly have been considered a disease; but to-day, with our advanced ideas as to mental diseases, we should be more inclined to ascribe his unfortunate attitude of mind to a pathological condition, rather than to any manifestation of normal mentality. From this point of view his mental deformity seems not unlike that of Cavendish's, later, except that in the case of Cavendish it manifested itself as an abnormal sensitiveness instead of an abnormal irritability.


If for nothing else, the world is indebted to the man who invented the pendulum clock, Christian Huygens (1629-1695), of the Hague, inventor, mathematician, mechanician, astronomer, and physicist. Huygens was the descendant of a noble and distinguished family, his father, Sir Constantine Huygens, being a well-known poet and diplomatist. Early in life young Huygens began his career in the legal profession, completing his education in the juridical school at Breda; but his taste for mathematics soon led him to neglect his legal studies, and his aptitude for scientific researches was so marked that Descartes predicted great things of him even while he was a mere tyro in the field of scientific investigation.

One of his first endeavors in science was to attempt an improvement of the telescope. Reflecting upon the process of making lenses then in vogue, young Huygens and his brother Constantine attempted a new method of grinding and polishing, whereby they overcame a great deal of the spherical and chromatic aberration. With this new telescope a much clearer field of vision was obtained, so much so that Huygens was able to detect, among other things, a hitherto unknown satellite of Saturn. It was these astronomical researches that led him to apply the pendulum to regulate the movements of clocks. The need for some more exact method of measuring time in his observations of the stars was keenly felt by the young astronomer, and after several experiments along different lines, Huygens hit upon the use of a swinging weight; and in 1656 made his invention of the pendulum clock. The year following, his clock was presented to the states-general. Accuracy as to time is absolutely essential in astronomy, but until the invention of Huygens's clock there was no precise, nor even approximately precise, means of measuring short intervals.

Huygens was one of the first to adapt the micrometer to the telescope—a mechanical device on which all the nice determination of minute distances depends. He also took up the controversy against Hooke as to the superiority of telescopic over plain sights to quadrants, Hooke contending in favor of the plain. In this controversy, the subject of which attracted wide attention, Huygens was completely victorious; and Hooke, being unable to refute Huygens's arguments, exhibited such irritability that he increased his already general unpopularity. All of the arguments for and against the telescope sight are too numerous to be given here. In contending in its favor Huygens pointed out that the unaided eye is unable to appreciate an angular space in the sky less than about thirty seconds. Even in the best quadrant with a plain sight, therefore, the altitude must be uncertain by that quantity. If in place of the plain sight a telescope is substituted, even if it magnify only thirty times, it will enable the observer to fix the position to one second, with progressively increased accuracy as the magnifying power of the telescope is increased. This was only one of the many telling arguments advanced by Huygens.

In the field of optics, also, Huygens has added considerably to science, and his work, Dioptrics, is said to have been a favorite book with Newton. During the later part of his life, however, Huygens again devoted himself to inventing and constructing telescopes, grinding the lenses, and devising, if not actually making, the frame for holding them. These telescopes were of enormous lengths, three of his object-glasses, now in possession of the Royal Society, being of 123, 180, and 210 feet focal length respectively. Such instruments, if constructed in the ordinary form of the long tube, were very unmanageable, and to obviate this Huygens adopted the plan of dispensing with the tube altogether, mounting his lenses on long poles manipulated by machinery. Even these were unwieldy enough, but the difficulties of manipulation were fully compensated by the results obtained.

It had been discovered, among other things, that in oblique refraction light is separated into colors. Therefore, any small portion of the convex lens of the telescope, being a prism, the rays proceed to the focus, separated into prismatic colors, which make the image thus formed edged with a fringe of color and indistinct. But, fortunately for the early telescope makers, the degree of this aberration is independent of the focal length of the lens; so that, by increasing this focal length and using the appropriate eye-piece, the image can be greatly magnified, while the fringe of colors remains about the same as when a less powerful lens is used. Hence the advantage of Huygens's long telescope. He did not confine his efforts to simply lengthening the focal length of his telescopes, however, but also added to their efficiency by inventing an almost perfect achromatic eye-piece.

In 1663 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and in 1669 he gave to that body a concise statement of the laws governing the collision of elastic bodies. Although the same views had been given by Wallis and Wren a few weeks earlier, there is no doubt that Huygens's views were reached independently; and it is probable that he had arrived at his conclusions several years before. In the Philosophical Transactions for 1669 it is recorded that the society, being interested in the laws of the principles of motion, a request was made that M. Huygens, Dr. Wallis, and Sir Christopher Wren submit their views on the subject. Wallis submitted his paper first, November 15, 1668. A month later, December 17th, Wren imparted to the society his laws as to the nature of the collision of bodies. And a few days later, January 5, 1669, Huygens sent in his "Rules Concerning the Motion of Bodies after Mutual Impulse." Although Huygens's report was received last, he was anticipated by such a brief space of time, and his views are so clearly stated—on the whole rather more so than those of the other two—that we give them in part here:

"1. If a hard body should strike against a body equally hard at rest, after contact the former will rest and the latter acquire a velocity equal to that of the moving body.

"2. But if that other equal body be likewise in motion, and moving in the same direction, after contact they will move with reciprocal velocities.

"3. A body, however great, is moved by a body however small impelled with any velocity whatsoever.

"5. The quantity of motion of two bodies may be either increased or diminished by their shock; but the same quantity towards the same part remains, after subtracting the quantity of the contrary motion.

"6. The sum of the products arising from multiplying the mass of any hard body into the squares of its velocity is the same both before and after the stroke.

"7. A hard body at rest will receive a greater quantity of motion from another hard body, either greater or less than itself, by the interposition of any third body of a mean quantity, than if it was immediately struck by the body itself; and if the interposing body be a mean proportional between the other two, its action upon the quiescent body will be the greatest of all."[10]

This was only one of several interesting and important communications sent to the Royal Society during his lifetime. One of these was a report on what he calls "Pneumatical Experiments." "Upon including in a vacuum an insect resembling a beetle, but somewhat larger," he says, "when it seemed to be dead, the air was readmitted, and soon after it revived; putting it again in the vacuum, and leaving it for an hour, after which the air was readmitted, it was observed that the insect required a longer time to recover; including it the third time for two days, after which the air was admitted, it was ten hours before it began to stir; but, putting it in a fourth time, for eight days, it never afterwards recovered.... Several birds, rats, mice, rabbits, and cats were killed in a vacuum, but if the air was admitted before the engine was quite exhausted some of them would recover; yet none revived that had been in a perfect vacuum.... Upon putting the weight of eighteen grains of powder with a gauge into a receiver that held several pounds of water, and firing the powder, it raised the mercury an inch and a half; from which it appears that there is one-fifth of air in gunpowder, upon the supposition that air is about one thousand times lighter than water; for in this experiment the mercury rose to the eighteenth part of the height at which the air commonly sustains it, and consequently the weight of eighteen grains of powder yielded air enough to fill the eighteenth part of a receiver that contained seven pounds of water; now this eighteenth part contains forty-nine drachms of water; wherefore the air, that takes up an equal space, being a thousand times lighter, weighs one-thousandth part of forty-nine drachms, which is more than three grains and a half; it follows, therefore, that the weight of eighteen grains of powder contains more than three and a half of air, which is about one-fifth of eighteen grains...."

From 1665 to 1681, accepting the tempting offer made him through Colbert, by Louis XIV., Huygens pursued his studies at the Bibliotheque du Roi as a resident of France. Here he published his Horologium Oscillatorium, dedicated to the king, containing, among other things, his solution of the problem of the "centre of oscillation." This in itself was an important step in the history of mechanics. Assuming as true that the centre of gravity of any number of interdependent bodies cannot rise higher than the point from which it falls, he reached correct conclusions as to the general principle of the conservation of vis viva, although he did not actually prove his conclusions. This was the first attempt to deal with the dynamics of a system. In this work, also, was the true determination of the relation between the length of a pendulum and the time of its oscillation.

In 1681 he returned to Holland, influenced, it is believed, by the attitude that was being taken in France against his religion. Here he continued his investigations, built his immense telescopes, and, among other things, discovered "polarization," which is recorded in Traite de la Lumiere, published at Leyden in 1690. Five years later he died, bequeathing his manuscripts to the University of Leyden. It is interesting to note that he never accepted Newton's theory of gravitation as a universal property of matter.