Historia de la ciencia Resumen Micrographia is a historic book by Robert Hooke, detailing the then thirty-year-old Hookes observations through various lenses. Published in September , the first major publication of the Royal Society, it was the first scientific best-seller, inspiring a wide public interest in the new science of microscopy. It is also notable for coining the biological term cell. Observations: Hooke most famously describes a flys eye and a plant cell where he coined that term because plant cells, which are walled, reminded him of a monks quarters. Known for its spectacular copperplate engravings of the miniature world, particularly its fold-out plates of insects, the text itself reinforces the tremendous power of the new microscope.
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And as this is the peculiar priviledge of humane Nature in general, so is it capable of being so far advanced by the helps of Art, and Experience, as to make some Men excel others in their Observations, and Deductions, almost as much as they do Beasts.
The only way which now remains for us to recover some degree of those former perfections, seems to be, by rectifying the operations of the Sense, the Memory, and Reason, since upon the evidence, the strength, the integrity, and the right correspondence of all these, all the light, by which our actions are to be guided is to be renewed, and all our command over things it to be establisht.
It is therefore most worthy of our consideration, to recollect their several defects, that so we may the better understand how to supply them, and by what assistances we may inlarge their power, and secure them in performing their particular duties.
As for the actions of our Senses, we cannot but observe them to be in many particulars much outdone by those of other Creatures, and when at best, to be far short of the perfection they seem capable of: And these infirmities of the Senses arise from a double cause, either from the disproportion of the Object to the Organ, whereby an infinite number of things can never enter into them, or else from error in the Perception, that many things, which come within their reach, are not received in a right manner.
And from thence it must follow, that not having a full sensation of the Object, we must be very lame and imperfect in our conceptions about it, and in all the proportions which we build upon it; hence, we often take the shadow of things for the substance, small appearances for good similitudes, similitudes for definitions; and even many of those, which we think, to be the most solid definitions, are rather expressions of our own misguided apprehensions then of the true nature of the things themselves.
The effects of these imperfections are manifested in different ways, according to the temper and disposition of the several minds of men, some they incline to gross ignorance and stupidity, and others to a presumptuous imposing on other mens Opinions, and a confident dogmatizing on matters, whereof there it no assurance to be given. These being the dangers in the process of humane Reason, the remedies of them all can only proceed from the real, the mechanical, the experimental Philosophy, which has this advantage over the Philosophy of discourse and disputation, that whereas that chiefly aims at the subtilty of its Deductions and Conclusions, without much regard to the first ground-work, which ought to be well laid on the Sense and Memory; so this intends the right ordering of them all, and the making them serviceable to each other.
The first thing to be undertaken in this weighty work, is a watchfulness over the failings and an inlargement of the dominion, of the Senses. To which end it is requisite, first, That there should be a scrupulous choice, and a strict examination, of the reality, constancy, and certainty of the Particulars that we admit: This is the first rise whereon truth is to begin, and here the most severe, and most impartial diligence, must be imployed; the storing up of all, without any regard to evidence or use, will only tend to darkness and confusion.
The next care to be taken, in respect of the Senses, is a supplying of their infirmities with Instruments, and, as it were, the adding of artificial Organs to the natural; this in one of them has been of late years accomplisht with prodigious benefit to all sorts of useful knowledge, by the invention of Optical Glasses. By the means of Telescopes, there is nothing so far distant but may be represented to our view; and by the help of Microscopes, there is nothing so small, as to escape our inquiry; hence there is a new visible World discovered to the understanding.
By this the Earth it self, which lyes so neer us, under our feet, shews quite a new thing to us, and in every little particle of its matter; we now behold almost as great a variety of Creatures, as we were able before to reckon up in the whole Universe it self. And I beg my Reader, to let me take the boldness to assure him, that in this present condition of knowledge, a man so qualified, as I have indeavoured to be, only with resolution, and integrity, and plain intentions of imploying his Senses aright, may venture to compare the reality and the usefulness of his services, towards the true Philosophy, with those of other men, that are of much stronger, and more acute speculations, that shall not make use of the same method by the Senses.
The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy: It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things.
It is said of great Empires, That the best way to preserve them from decay, is to bring them back to the first Principles, and Arts, on which they did begin. As for my part, I have obtained my end, if these my small Labours shall be thought fit to take up some place in the large stock, of natural Observations, which so many hands are busie in providing.
If I have contributed the meanest foundations whereon others may raise nobler Superstructures, I am abundantly satisfied; and all my ambition is, that I may serve to the great Philosophers of this Age, as the makers and the grinders of my Glasses did to me; that I may prepare and furnish them with some Materials, which they may afterwards order and manage with better skill, and to far greater advantage.
But I will not here prevent my self in what I may say in another Discourse, wherein I shall make an attempt to propose some Considerations of the manner of compiling a Natural and Artificial History, and of so ranging and registring its Particulars into Philosophical Tables, as may make them most useful for the raising of Axioms and Theories. The Understanding is to order all the inferiour services of the lower Faculties; but yet it is to do this only as a lawful Master, and not at a Tyrant.
It must not incroach upon their Offices, nor take upon it self the employments which belong to either of them. It must watch the irregularities of the Senses, but it must not go before them, or prevent their information. It must examine, range, and dispose of the bank which it laid up in the Memory: but it must be sure to make distinction between the sober and well collected heap, and the extravagant Ideas, and mistaken Images, which there it may sometimes light upon.
Nor are the other three so perfect, but that diligence, attention, and many mechanical contrivances, may also highly improve them. Perhaps we may thereby also judge as other Creatures seem to do what is wholsome, what poyson; and in a word, what are the specifick properties of Bodies.
There may be also some other mechanical wayes found out, of sensibly perceiving the effluvia of Bodies; several Instances of which, were it here proper, I could give of Mineral steams and exhalations; and it seems not impossible, but that by some such wayes improved, may be discovered, what Minerals lye buried under the Earth, without the trouble to dig for them; some things to confirm this Conjecture may be found in Agricola, and other Writers of Minerals, speaking of the Vegetables that are apt to thrive, or pine, in those steams.
The Instrument is this. I prepare a pretty capaceous Bolt-head AB, with a small stem about two foot and a half long DC; upon the end of this D I put on a small bended Glass, or brazen syphon DEF open at D, E and F, but to be closed with cement at F and E, as occasion serves whose stem F should be about six or eight inches long, but the bore of it not above half an inch diameter, and very even; these I fix very strongly together by the help of very hard Cement, and then fit the whole Glass ABCDEF into a long Board, or Frame, in such manner, that almost half the head AB may lye buried in a concave Hemisphere cut into the Board RS; Schem.
But because there really is some small change of the upper surface also, I find by several Observations how much it rises in the Ball, and falls in the Pipe F, to make the distance between the two surfaces an inch greater then it was before; and the measure that it falls in the Pipe is the length of the inch by which I am to mark the parts of the Tube F, or the Board on which it lyes, into inches and Decimals: Having thus justned and divided it, I have a large Wheel MNOP, whose outmost limb is divided into two hundred equal parts; this by certain small Pillars is fixt on the Frame RT, in the manner exprest in the Figure.
But this is but one way of discovering the effluvia of the Earth mixt with the Air; there may be, perhaps many others, witness the Hygroscope, an Instrument whereby the watery steams volatile in the Air are discerned, which the Nose it self is not able to find. Others there, are, may be discovered both by the Nose, and by other wayes also. Thus the smoak of burning Wood is smelt, seen, and sufficiently felt by the eyes: The fumes of burning Brimstone are smelt and discovered also by the destroying the Colours of Bodies, as by the whitening of a red Rose: And who knows, but that the Industry of man, following this method, may find out wayes of improving this sense to as great a degree of perfection at it is in any Animal, and perhaps yet higher.
This is oftentimes further promoted also by the help of Burning-glasses, and the like, which collect and unite the radiating heat. Thus the roughness and smoothness of a Body is made much more sensible by the help of a Microscope, then by the most tender and delicate Hand.
Perhaps, a Physitian might, by several other tangible proprieties, discover the constitution of a Body as well as by the Pulse. And what a multitude of these would a diligent Man meet with in his inquiries? And this for the helping and promoting the sensitive faculty only.
Next, as for the Memory, or retentive faculty, we may be sufficiently instructed from the written Histories of civil actions, what great assistance may be afforded the Memory, in the committing to writing things observable in natural operations. If a Physitian be therefore accounted the more able in his Faculty, because he has had long experience and practice, the remembrance of which, though perhaps very imperfect, does regulate all his after actions: What ought to be thought of that man, that has not only a perfect register of his own experience, but it grown old with the experience of many hundreds of years, and many thousands of men.
What a prodigious variety of Inventions in Anatomy has this latter Age afforded, even in our own Bodies in the very Heart, by which we live, and the Brain, which is the seat of our knowledge of other things? In Celestial Observations we have far exceeded all the Antients, even the Chaldeans and Egyptians themselves, whose vast Plains, high Towers, and clear Air, did not give them so great advantages over us, as have over them by our Glasses. By the help of which, they have been very much outdone by the famous Galileo, Hevelius, Zulichem; and our own Countrymen, Mr.
And to say no more in Aerial Discoveries, there has been a wonderful progress made by the Noble Engine of the most Illustrious Mr.
Boyle, whom it becomes me to mention with all honour, not only as my particular Patron, but as the Patron of Philosophy it self; which he every day increases by his Labours, and adorns by his Example. And I do not only propose this kind of Experimental Philosophy as matter of high rapture and delight of the mind, but even as a material and sensible Pleasure.
So vast it the variety of Objects which will come under their Inflections, so many different wayes there are of handling them, so great is the satisfaction of finding out new things, that I dare compare the contentment which they will injoy, not only to that of contemplation, but even to that which most men prefer of the very Senses themselves.
The Glasses I used were of our English make, but though very good of the kind, yet far short of what might be expected, could we once find a way of making Glasses Elliptical, or of some more true shape; for though both Microscopes, and Telescopes, as they now are, will magnifie an Object about a thousand thousand times bigger then it appears to the naked eye; yet the Apertures of the Object-glasses are so very small, that very few Rays are admitted, and even of those few there are so many false, that the Object appears dark and indistinct: And indeed these inconveniences are such, as seem inseparable from Spherical Glasses, even when most exactly made; but the way we have hitherto made use of for that purpose is so imperfect, that there may be perhaps ten wrought before one be made tolerably good, and most of those ten perhaps every one differing in goodness one from another, which is an Argument, that the way hitherto used is, at least, very uncertain.
So that these Glasses have a double defect; the one, that very few of them are exactly true wrought; the other, that even of those that are best among them, none will admit a sufficient number of Rayes to magnifie the Object beyond a determinate bigness. Against which Inconveniences the only Remedies I have hitherto met with are these. The way for doing which is this. By all which means the light of the Sun, or of a Window, may be so cast on an Object, as to make it twice as light as it would otherwise be without it, and that without any inconvenience of glaring, which the immediate light of the Sun is very apt to create in most Objects; for by this means the light is so equally diffused, that all parts are alike inlightned; but when the immediate light of the Sun falls on it, the reflexions from some few parts are so vivid, that they drown the appearance of all the other, and are themselves also, by reason of the inequality of light, indistinct, and appear only radiant spots.
None of all which ways though much beyond any other hitherto made use of by any I know do afford a sufficient help, but after a certain degree of magnifying, they leave us again in the lurch. Hence it were very desirable, that some way were thought of for making the Object-glass of such a Figure as would conveniently bear a large Aperture.
As for Telescopes, the only improvement they seem capable of, is the increasing of their length; for the Object being remote, there is no thought of giving it a greater light then it has; and therefore to augment the.
Aperture, the Glass must be ground of a very large sphere; for, by that means, the longer the Glass be, the bigger aperture will it bear, if the Glasses be of an equal goodness in their kind. Richard Reives here at London, which will bear an Aperture above three inches over, and yet make the Object proportionably big and distinct; whereas there are very few thirty foot Glasses that will indure an Aperture of more then two inches over.
So that for Telescopes, supposing we had a very ready way of making their Object Glasses of exactly spherical Surfaces, we might, by increasing the length of the Glass, magnifie the Object to any assignable bigness.
And for performing both these, I cannot imagine any way more easie, and more exact, then by this following Engine, by means of which, any Glasses, of what length soever, may be speedily made.
It seems the most easie, because with one and the same Tool may be with care ground an Object Glass, of any length or breadth requisite, and that with very little or no trouble in fitting the Engine, and without much skill in the Grinder. Further, the motions of the Glass and Tool do so cross each other, that there is not one point of eithers Surface, but has thousands of cross motions thwarting it, so that there can be no kind of Rings or Gutters made either in the Tool or Glass.
I have not as yet made any attempts of that kind, though I know two or three wayes, which, as far as I have yet considered, seem very probable, and may invite me to make a tryal as soon as I have an opportunity, of which I may hereafter perhaps acquaint the world. And this gave me the Angle of Inclination, APS answering to the Angle of Refraction BPE: for the surface of the Liquor in the Box will be alwayes horizontal, and consequently AB will be a perpendicular to it; the Angle therefore APS will measure, or be the Angle of Inclination in the Liquor; next EPB must be the Angle of Refraction, for the Ray that passes through the sight G, passes also perpendicularly through the Glass Diaphragme at F, and consequently also perpendicularly through the lower surface of the Liquor contiguous to the Glass, and therefore suffers no refraction till it meet with the horizontal surface of the Liquor in CC, which is determined by the two Angles.
By means of this Instrument I can with little trouble, and a very small quantity of any Liquor, examine, most accurately, the refraction of it not only for one inclination, but for all; and thereby am inabled to make very accurate Tables; several of which I have also experimentally made, and find, that Oyl of Turpentine has a much greater Refraction then Spirit of Wine, though it be lighter; and that Spirit of Wine has a greater Refraction then Water, though it be lighter also; but that salt Water also has a greater Refraction then fresh, though it be heavier: but Allum water has a less refraction then common Water, though heavier also.
So that it seems, as to the refraction made in a Liquor, the specifick gravity is of no efficacy. By this I have also found that look what proportion the Sine of the Angle of one Inclination has to the Sine of the Angle of Refraction, correspondent to it, the same proportion have all the Sines of other Inclinations to the Sines of their appropriate Refractions.
But when ever I had occasion to examine the small parts of a Body more accurately, I took out the middle Glass, and only made use of one Eye Glass with the Object Glass, for always the fewer the Refractions are, the more bright and clear the Object appears.
All the other Contrivances are obvious enough from the draught, and will need no description. Now though this were the Instrument I made most use of, yet I have made several other Tryals with other kinds of Microscopes, which both for matter and form were very different from common spherical Glasses. I have made a Microscope with one piece of Glass, both whose surfaces were plains. I have made another only with a plano concave, without any kind of reflection, divers also by means of reflection.
For it is exceeding difficult in some Objects, to distinguish between a prominency and a depression, between a shadow and a black stain, or a reflection and a whiteness in the colour. Besides, the transparency of most Objects renders them yet much more difficult then if they were opacous.
Power seems to suppose them such. And the ends of all these Inquiries they intend to be the Pleasure of Contemplative minds, but above all, the ease and dispatch of the labours of mens hands. They do indeed neglect no opportunity to bring all the rare things of Remote Countries within the compass of their knowledge and practice.
But they still acknowledg their most useful Informations to arise from common things, and from diversifying their most ordinary operations upon them. They do not wholly reject Experiments of meer light and theory; but they principally aim at such, whose Applications will improve and facilitate the present way of Manual Arts.
And it it also fit to be added, that they have one advantage peculiar to themselves, that very many of their number are men of Converse and Traffick; which is a good Omen, that their attempts will bring Philosophy from words to action, seeing the men of Business have had so great a share in their first foundation.
And of this kind I ought not to conceal one particular Generosity, which more nearly concerns my self. We have already seen many other great signs of Liberality and a large mind, from the same hand: For by his diligence about the Corporation for the Poor; by his honorable Subscriptions for the rebuilding of St. But to return to my Subject, from a digression, which, I hope, my Reader will pardon me, seeing the Example is so rare that I can make no more such digressions.
My Reader, I believe, will quickly ghess, that it is Dr. Wilkins that I mean. He is indeed a man born for the good of mankind, and for the honour of his Country. In the sweetness of whose behaviour, in the calmness of his mind, in the unbounded goodness of his heart, we have an evident Instance, what the true and the primitive unpassionate Religion was, before it was sowred by particular Factions.
In a word, his Zeal has been so constant and effectual in advancing all good and profitable Arts, that as one of the Antient Romans said of Scipio, That he thanked God that he was a Roman; because whereever Scipio had been born, there had been the seat of the Empire of the world: So may I thank God, that Dr. Wilkins was an Englishman, for whereever he had lived, there had been the chief Seat of generous Knowledge and true Philosophy. To the truth of this, there are so many worthy men living that will subscribe, that I am confident, what I have here said, will not be looked upon, by any ingenious Reader, as a Panegyrick, but only as a real testimony.
By the Advice of this Excellent man I first set upon this Enterprise, yet still came to it with much Reluctancy, because I was to follow the footsteps of so eminent a Person as Dr. Wren, who was the first that attempted any thing of this nature; whose original draughts do now make one of the Ornaments of that great Collection of Rarities in the Kings Closet. Wren did affright me; for of him I must, affirm, that, since the time of Archimedes, there scarce ever met in one man, in so great a perfection, such a Mechanical Hand, and so Philosophical a Mind.
But at last, being assured both by Dr. Wilkins, and Dr. And particularly by the Incitements of divers of those Noble and excellent Persons of it, which were my more especial Friends, who were not less urgent with me for the publishing, then for the prosecution of them. Henry Power had made several Microscopical Observations, which had I not afterwards, upon our interchangably viewing each others Papers, found that they were for the most part differing from mine, either in the Subject it self, or in the particulars taken notice of; and that his design was only to print Observations without Pictures, I had even then suppressed what I had so far proceeded in.
But being further excited by several of my Friends, in complyance with their opinions, that it would not be unacceptable to several inquisitive Men, and hoping also, that I should thereby discover something New to the World, I have at length cast in my Mite, into the vast Treasury of A Philosophical History.
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El best-seller «Micrographia» de Robert Hooke cumple 350 años