Just a minute...

Before I go on, click here for my page on Hooke's Law and Robert Hooke's other achievements.

Getting back to "why Hooke's law?"

You know those stories you hear about famous peoples' teachers having told them they'd never amount to much, like Einstein? Well, I am a prime example. My Physics teacher said the same to me; well he didn't actually say it but I'm pretty sure it crossed his mind, maybe once. I've proved him wrong though, because I took something from those lessons. He didn't know it but I took a seed. I took it and planted it, I watered it and it grew, it grew into something tremendous, something unexpected:


You ask most people what Hooke's Law is, no really go ask them, and after a blank look you'll get something like; "don't stick one in your finger?" Well I say:

"NO!" and then I say "Hooke's Law states that the extension of a helical spring is directly proportional to the weight applied, provided the elastic limit of the spring is not exceeded."

People look at you in a different way when you say that.

Yes, Hooke's Law has left a lasting impression on me. He had a lot of challengers, most notably Boyle and his law for one, (something about volumes of gas and pressure, "yeah whatever Boylie"), but you know those others just pale into insignificance. Hooke's Law is top.

Sadly, although sounding fantastic, (read it again, it just flows off the tongue) it only has one practical use in life and that is bungey jumping. If Captain Hooke hadn't invented his law there'd be piles of dead bungey jumpers lying about today. Having said that if he hadn't invented his law then maybe Newton wouldn't have invented gravity so Bungey jumpers would be ok again, apart from hanging around a lot which they do anyway, but I digress.

From all this comes hookeslaw.com. So Mr. Hughes, I salute you! Without you I would never be running this DotCOM. I am happy to prove you wrong, as I'm sure you are happy to be proved wrong. I made it! :-)

Other great laws
OK, periodically I'll dig up another good, interesting laws of physics/life that we just couldn't do without. Periodically means, when I get round to it. I'd like to do it daily or weekly but being lazy I'll not commit to that. Knowing me it'll be annually.

To make it real easy for me we'll start with Gravity.

Gravity is great, it's a real down to earth type law, (editor's note: "sigh"). Gravity was invented by Sir Isaac Newton. Newt, as his friends jovially called him had a problem, he was unusually short, only 2' 6" to the tip of his head. Newton, (he died a long time ago so wasn't my friend) had a passion for apples. One day, having spent hours jumping for a just out of reach apple from a small tree, he fell exhausted to the ground and went into a deep sleep full of vivid dreams of bunsen burners, petri dishes and test tubes, (he'd been moonlighting as a chemist you see). In amongst this jumble of images came a moment of clarity, an epiphany if you will. In this moment Newton saw the answer to his prayers, "an apple getting law." "Why go to the apple, when the apple can come to me?" he said in his sleep. He was awoken by a painful bump on the head. Startled he opened his eyes to an amazing scene. Apples surrounded him. "EUREKA!" he shouted. Unable to control his excitement he rushed home to his friend Vic and exclaimed "Get Red Apples Victor, In Trees Yes!" Sadly the bump on the head was so traumatic he never ate another apple ever again, however there is a happy ending. Newton made a fortune from his invention, from royalties from every single item that fell to the ground.


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