uygens Christian Huygens was born in the Hague in 1628 in the family of Konstantin Huygens and Susanna van barle, daughter of an Amsterdam merchant.
Constantine Huygens Constantin Huygens, the owner Zuilichem, Zelhem and Manicaland, was in the Netherlands a famous person. He was Secretary to Friedrich Henry of orange and then to William the Second of orange, and often visited England and France. However, he was not only a diplomat, but also a writer, author of theater plays and an Amateur scientist. He was close friends with many famous scientists. One of them was Descartes, who in 1628 settled in the Netherlands and regularly visited the family of Huygens.
Childhood When Christian was 8 years old, his mother died. After her death, the family, which had five children, took up a relative. The eldest son in the family was Constantine the younger, then followed by Christians, Ludwig, Susanna and Philips. They were taught by home teachers. Children were taught arithmetic, music, Latin, Greek, French and Italian and even logic; they were also taught to dance and ride horses. In all this especially Christians succeeded. At the age of nine, he could speak Latin. For three years he learned to play the viola da Gamba, the lute and the harpsichord. But especially great ability he showed in mathematics. Christians, he built himself a lathe and learnt how to work on it. In 1645, a 16-year-old Christian and his brother Constantine, who was one year older, entered the faculty of law of the University of Leiden, preparing for a diplomatic career. However, Christians were mainly engaged in mathematics. His teacher was a well-known at the time mathematician Franz van Schouten, an adherent of Descartes. At the time, Descartes was impressed by Huygens.
Another strong influence also came from France. With the mediation of his father, Christians began to correspond with the Parisian mathematician Mersenne. This correspondence did not last long, since Mersenne died in 1648, but it was of great importance for the young Huygens. Mersenne was struck by the abilities of a Christian and in a letter to his father Huygens even compared it with Archimedes. It is possible that this comparison gave Constantine a reason to call his son "my Archimedes".In 1647, Christian moved from Leiden University to the newly opened Oran College in Breda. It was assumed that Huygens will continue in deliriumhis legal education, this time with his younger brother Ludwig. But, as in Leiden, Huygens was mainly engaged in mathematics. Neither he nor his brother had finished their studies. In 1650, because of a duel between Ludwig and one of the students, their father ordered them to return home. Christians have not passed an academic examination either in Leiden or in delirium. The first work of Huygens was published in 1651 under the title "Theorems on the quadrature of hyperbole, ellipse and circle". Three years later his work "Discovery about the size of the circle"was published. This work finally established his reputation as a mathematician. Meanwhile, Huygens decided to devote himself to science, without taking any official position and living at his own expense. His only diplomatic mission was to travel to Denmark in 1649. On this trip, he accompanied count Heinrich van Nassau as his Secretary. Huygens accepted the position of Secretary mainly because he hoped to meet with Descartes, who had recently been a philosopher at the court of Queen Christina in Stockholm. But this meeting did not take place: Descartes died in 1650 Solving the problems of physics. In the fifties XVII century. the interest of Huygens to the problems of physics continued to grow. He delved into the laws of behavior of colliding bodies and managed to get a number of important results. Although he presented these results in a manuscript from 1655, and some of them announced - for example at a meeting of the Royal society of London - they were fully published only after his death. The manuscript was published in posthumous works under the title"on the movement of bodies under the influence of impact."At the time of Huygens knowledge about the phenomenon of collisions were scarce and unclear. In 1647. Descartes developed 7 rules for collision between two completely elastic bodies, but about these rules it was possible to make many remarks. First, there were cases in which the rules were not applicable. In addition, some of them were clearly contrary to experience. In fact, only one thing was correct, as later proved by Huygens, namely the rule for the case when two particles of the same mass approach each other at the same speed along a straight path and then collide with each other exactly in the center (Central collision). Huygens proposed an axiom according to which the collision process is determined by the relative velocity of the particles. This has the following important consequence. If we know the initial and final speed for a certain collision, we can also predict the course of any other collision, which occurs with the same initial relative speed, setting that for moving bodies has a physical value only the relative speed of these bodies, Huygens was the first scientist to formulate the principle of relativity of motion. It consists in the fact that the reference systems that move with respect to each other with a constant rectilinear velocity are equivalent to the description of physical phenomena. This equivalence is now called the Galileo principle of relativity, but it would be more correct to call it the Huygens principle of relativity. Guigens WAS also interested in optics. He sought to practical goal: to improve the existing telescopes and not limited to theoretical research. When it turned out that he could not buy good quality lenses, he began to Polish the lenses. In this he was helped by his brother Constantine. The brothers became excellent grinders, and their lenses have reached unprecedented quality at that time. Another improvement was designed Christian eyepiece consisting of two lenses (Huygens eyepiece). Using a telescope constructed by him, Huygens discovered the moon of Saturn in 1655, which was later named Titan. Some time later confirmed his hypothesis that the puzzling "appendages" of Saturn are rings. Huygens wrote about Saturn's moon to the English scientist A. Wallace, a ring of Saturn was announced with his work "New observations of the moon of Saturn" (1656) and "system of Saturn" (1659). For the first time in Paris for the first time, Huygens visited Paris in 1655, He met many prominent people, such as philosopher and mathematician Gassendi, Roberval, participated in the discussion of recent developments in mathematics and the natural Sciences and met with new problems. Huygens became interested in the calculus of probability. His research in this area led to the creation of a treatise on the calculation of gambling, which was published in 1657. in Latin, and later, in 1660, in Dutch. This work contained the foundations of modern probability theory. Exact hour. In September 1655, Huygens returned to Holland, where he began a period of hard work. Along with the study of the calculation of the probabilities, he took up a very practical matter: the design of accurate clocks. Such a tool was particularly important for navigation, as it could serve as an auxiliary tool for determining longitude at sea. For a successful solution to this problem, several awards were established, including the king of Spain. In 1657 g. according to the drawing of Huygens, a clock was designed, the course of which was regulated by a pendulum. The thought of using a pendulum was not new - Galileo also tried to put this idea into practice, but Huygens was the first to design a suitable pendulum clock. The problem of determining longitude at sea continued to occupy Huygens until the end of his life. In 1665, a "quick guide to the use of hours to determine longitude"was published. His efforts to adapt the pendulum clock for use on the sea led in 1675 to the design of a clock with a balance instead of a pendulum and a coil spring instead of weights. This design, which is still used in all mechanical watches, has won universal recognition. And again in Paris. In October 1660, Huygens again went to Paris. By this time he had already enjoyed such fame that Louis XIV gave him an audience. This time, he also enthusiastically participated in meetings in the house of de Manturov. Through London, where he met R. Boyle, he returned home in the spring of 1661. But not for long. Already in April 1663, Huygens again went to Paris; this time he accompanied his father, who went there with a diplomatic mission. In the summer of 1663, he travelled from Paris to London, where he was admitted to the Royal society, which had just been founded there. Meanwhile, in Paris there was a favorable climate for such scientists as Huygens. The new first Minister of the "sun king" Colbert sought to make France a center of culture and science. At his suggestion, the king decided to grant scholarships to some prominent artists and scientists, including Huygens. Even before his return to Holland in may 1664, he received a significant amount for that time in 1200 livres. Colbert decided to establish the Academy of Sciences, following the example of the Royal society of London, so that the Academy, for the glory of the king, organized meetings. Colbert wanted Huygens to take a prominent position in this Academy. The establishment of the Academy required a lot of time. Only in 1665 it became a fact, and Huygens was able to go to Paris to start his work there. He received from the king an annual amount of 6000 livres-more than any other member of the Academy. In addition, he lived in an apartment in the building of the Royal library, where there were also meetings of members of the Academy. Huygens was the undisputed leader of the Academy from the very beginning. Members of the Academy met twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Wednesdays I studied mathematics, including mechanics and astronomy, and on Saturdays I studied "natural science", to which all biology belonged. Huygens himself made several scientific programs that defined the main objectives of the Academy. Some of these tasks were very specific, such as testing the pendulum clock on floating ships, determining the speed of light and determining the circumference of the globe. In these programs, much attention was also paid to astronomy, and the Academy is intensively engaged in astronomical observations, and it is very helpful excellent telescopes and pendulum clock, designed by Huygens. The fact that astronomy has occupied such an important place, not so surprising if we take into account that this science was put in the XVII century, the beginning of renewal of the world picture. In all of these specific activities, Huygens had a very common goal. In the document, which he compiled between 1666 and 1668, he pointed out how important it is to accumulate as much knowledge about nature as possible, wrote: "In addition, it is proposed to investigate the root causes, which in perfect harmony determine both the structure of all physical bodies, and all the phenomena we observe, the usefulness of which will be infinite when this goal is achieved. Humanity will be able to use the newly created objects, being confident in how they will behave."After becoming a member of the Academy, Huygens remained in Paris with two breaks until 1681. From 1670 to 1671, then from 1676 to 1678, he was in Holland, both times to improve his health after a serious illness. In Paris, Huygens was in an environment that stimulated his scientific work. He liked it, and he had a lot of respect. In Paris, he wrote two important books: "Pendulum clock" (1673) and "Treatise on light", which was published only in 1690 Pendulum clock and light properties. "Pendulum clock" is considered to be the main work of Huygens and contains the results of his research related to this issue. Some sections are technical, others are purely mathematical. In the Treatise on light, a completely new theory of light is presented; it is successfully used to explain one already at that time known mysterious phenomenon: the double refraction of light in the Icelandic spar (splitting a beam of light falling on a crystal of Icelandic spar, two). Huygens was able to explain this phenomenon. Less striking properties of light, such as reflection and ordinary refraction, also found a simple explanation in his theory. The theory of light Huygens is often called the theory of waves, but rather call it the theory of push. Huygens used this mechanism to explain the spread of light. He suggested the existence everywhere of intermediate matter, the "ether", which in his view consisted of very densely Packed very small solids. According to Huygens, the light was nothing more than a regular following each other tremors, spreading the above method from the light source placed in some place. Based on the fact that each particle of the ether acts as a transfer center, he was able to prove that the tremors spread in space spherically. When creating the theory of light Huygens came from new experimental data then that the speed of light propagation has a finite value. For a long time they thought that light is an instantaneous phenomenon in the sense that it propagates at an infinite speed, but in 1676 the Danish astronomer O. römer based on his observations over the satellites of Jupiter came to the conclusion that the speed of light is finite. Huygens was convinced of the correctness of this conclusion. Based on the observations of römer, he estimated that the speed of light is slightly more than 200 000 km/s (the actual speed is almost 300 000 km/s). ANTIPROTESTANT. In 1681 Huygens fell so seriously ill that he had to go to Holland. He didn't have to go back to Paris. When two years later his health recovered, it turned out that his presence in Paris is undesirable. After the death of Colbert in 1683 in France there was a climate of intolerance, especially towards the Protestants. This was manifested with full clarity in the abolition of the edict of Nantes in 1685. Huygens has been the victim of both this anti-Protestant and the unfriendly feelings of his rivals at the Academy. So he stayed in Holland. Together with his father, he spent the summer in a country house of Hofwijck in Voorburg, and winter in the Hague. After his father died in 1687 at the age of 90, Huygens lived alone. Latest book. In the last years of his life, Huygens laid out his assumptions about the existence of life on other planets in a book published after his death in 1698 under the title "Kosmoteoros". In it, he considers it incredible that the Earth was the only planet on which there would be living beings, and concludes that the forms of life on other planets should not be very different from the forms of life on Earth. In the spring of 1695 Huygens fell ill. He died on 8 July 1695, probably in his apartment in Noordeinde in the Hague. On July 17, Christian Huygens was buried in the family crypt in the Church of St. Jacob in the Hague.