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Robert Hooke was an English scientist and architect who was the first to view a microorganism through a microscope. He made significant contributions to the fields of physics, geology, paleontology, and even astronomy. Hooke is often recognized as “England’s Leonardo da Vinci”.

See the fact file below for more information on the Robert Hooke or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Robert Hooke worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.

Key Facts & Information


  • Robert Hooke was born on the Isle of Wight, an island that is part of Great Britain, in 1635. His mother was Cecily Gyles, and his father John Hooke was a priest for the Church of England. Hooke was the youngest of four siblings.
  • As a child, Robert Hooke was fascinated by mechanics, observation, and drawing. On one occasion, he dismantled a brass clock and built his own working replica using wood. He used coal, chalk, and iron ore to make his own drawing materials.
  • When his father died in 1648, Hooke inherited a sum of money that he took to London so he could study as an apprentice. He eventually entered the Westminster School upon the advice of its headmaster, Dr. Richard Busby.
  • While at Westminster, Hooke was quick to learn Latin and Greek, as well as master Euclid’s Elements. This was also when he began his lifelong study of mechanics.


  • Hooke eventually began attending the University of Oxford in 1653, where he was employed as a “chemical assistant” to Dr. Thomas Willis. It was there that he met scientist and philosopher Robert Boyle, who he then gained employment with as his assistant from 1655 to 1662.
  • In around 1662 or 1663, Hooke gained his Master of Arts degree. He described his stay at Oxford as the foundation for his passion for the field of science, with his colleagues contributing significantly to his eventual career.
  • Hooke became a member of the Royal Society, a group of scientists and philosophers working to improve knowledge of the natural sciences. He was appointed as the Society’s curator of experiments on November 12, 1661. This role enabled Hooke to demonstrate experiments from his own methods or from the suggestions of the Society’s members.
  • On March 1664, Hooke was appointed as Gresham Professor of Geometry and received his “Doctor of Physics” degree in 1691.


  • One of Hooke’s most significant contributions is his studies, observations, and illustrations in microscopy, which he compiled in his book, Micrographia, published in 1665.
  • In 1660, Hooke discovered the law of elasticity through his experiment with springs. This law, named Hooke’s Law, states that the force needed to stretch or compress a spring some distance is equally proportional to the size of that spring’s deformation.
  • He also contributed to knowledge on gravitation. Hooke argued for two principles in his lecture at the Royal Society in 1666: 1) all bodies move in a straight line unless deflected by some force and 2) the attractive force is stronger for closer bodies.
  • Hooke’s contributions to the study of gravitation partly provided ideas for scientist Isaac Newton’s successive discoveries on the laws of motion.
  • “I will explain,” says Hooke, in a communication to the Royal Society in 1666, “a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the following positions. 1. That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action. 2. That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve. 3. That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer. As to the proportion in which those forces diminish by an increase of distance, I own I have not discovered it….”
  • Hooke also made notable contributions to the field of horology or the study of timekeeping, such as using pendulums and balance springs to improve the timekeeping of clocks.
  • In his observations of fossil wood, Hooke was able to conclude that fossilized objects, such as wood and shells, were actually the remains of living things that had been soaked in petrifying water laden with minerals.


  • Hooke also worked as an architect aside from his continuous scientific work. He was Surveyor to the City of London and worked as chief assistant to architect Christopher Wren. Together with Wren, Hooke helped rebuild London after the Great Fire of 1666.
  • He worked on designs for the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Montagu House in Bloomsbury, the Bethlem Royal Hospital, the Royal College of Physicians, and many others.


  • Robert Hooke never married and spent most of his life in his birthplace (the Isle of Wight), in Oxford, and in London during his adulthood. He died in London on March 3, 1703, at the age of 67.
  • A chest of money and gold amounting to 8,000 British Pounds was found in his room at Gresham College. Prior to his death, he had talked about leaving a donation to the Royal Society that would have provided a laboratory and library under his name.
  • However, no such will was found, and his remaining money and gold were passed to his cousin Elizabeth Stephens. His body was buried at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, but the location of his grave remains unknown.

Robert Hooke Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Robert Hooke across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Robert Hooke worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Robert Hooke who was an English scientist and architect who was the first to view a microorganism through a microscope. He made significant contributions to the fields of physics, geology, paleontology, and even astronomy. Hooke is often recognized as “England’s Leonardo da Vinci”.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Robert Hooke Facts
  • Hooke Who?
  • Fact Checkpoint
  • Life Timeline
  • Biology or Physics?
  • Other Notable Veterans
  • As an Architect
  • Parts of a Microscope
  • Cell Theory
  • Quote from Hooke
  • Letters to Hooke

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Use With Any Curriculum

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Robert hooke — Academic Kids

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biography and research, discovery of the cell

The English naturalist Robert Hooke is rightly called one of the greatest fathers of physical science. It is his authorship that is credited with fundamental discoveries and scientific works. This is the study of a living cell, and the idea of ​​light waves, and the study of acoustics.


The future experimenter from the Isle of Wight entered this world on July 18, 1635. Despite the fact that his father was a priest, boy was interested in science from childhood, successfully mastered 9 languages0009 at Westminster School and later Oxford University.

The naturalist, who was an assistant to Robert Boyle himself, became a member of the Royal Society of London, a university professor and never tired of studying mathematics and physics. In the field of his study, there were also the basics of biology — in 1665, Micrographia was published, describing micro- and telescopic observations of human cells. Hooke first introduced the concept of a cell, and this happened almost by accident, in the course of studying an ordinary cork. The scientist discovered that the highly buoyant material consists of small cells, which he called cells.

Died March 3, 1703 in his London flat at the age of 67.

Inventions and discoveries

Robert Hooke was known as a versatile person: he was interested in almost everything secret and unexplored. Probably, it was this natural inclination that motivated the scientist to study the exact temperatures of melting and boiling water, as well as to clearly formulate the subtleties of the effect of force on an elastic body (the well-known Hooke’s law). Explorer also described the general picture of the movement of the planets.

And the number of his inventions seems to be endless. These are a mirror telescope and a hygrometer, an instrument for measuring wind force and a watch with a regulating spring, a machine for dividing a circle and an optical telegraph system. The scientist is also credited with the invention of the air pump. According to contemporaries, his last invention was a marine barometer.

Interesting facts about Hooke

The famous quarrel with Newton

Hooke entered the history of science thanks to his many achievements. But a quarrel with the equally famous physicist, the legendary Isaac Newton, brought him special popularity. Some historians are sure that the latter really used Hooke’s hypotheses about gravity and light, passing off as his own. Scientist accused a colleague of plagiarism, but Newton continued to insist on his own. Two well-known physicists constantly criticized each other in their views on certain physical phenomena — they say Newton even tried to burn Hooke’s manuscripts. However, both of them still entered the history of science.

Experiments, originally from childhood

As a child, the future researcher was often sick — doctors did not give him more than two decades of life.

By alexxlab

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