Christian Huyghens (1629-1695)

   Christian Huyghens was a Dutch mathematician and natural philosopher. He was born and died at The Hague, where the intervening time was also spent, except for a few years at school and in travel, and from 1665 to 1681 when he resided in Paris. His investigations of the mathematical theory of the compound pendulum, its application to clocks, and its use in determining the acceleration due to gravity, is alone sufficient to insure his fame. Furthermore his improvement of the telescope and discovery of the rings of Saturn, is a work in itself. Then to him, more than any other, is due the formulation of the wave theory of light, not generally adopted, however, till long after his time. His varied and practical labors have led to his being sometimes called the "Dutch Archimedes."