Enlightenment in Holland

I live on Huygensstraat in Den Haag. I’m so excited because I happen to think Constantin and his son Christiaan Huygens are facinating. They actually lived in Den Haag, but there’s no indication that they lived on this street.

Christiaan Huygens (1629 – 1695) was an astronomer, physicist and mathematician. He is also credited, in 1670, with developing the wave theory of light, in contrast to Newton’s particle theory that was held until then. He  was able to describe the bending of light as a result of wave motion and his theories still hold true in our current understanding of the wave-particle duality of light. He also did much writing on sound perception. He was also busy with some other stuff like: discovering the rings of Saturn, discovering the moon Titan, inventing the pendulum clock and other timekeeping devices, formulating the second law of motion now known as centripetal force, and is credited as the first inventor of the magic lantern.

HERE is a fantastic documentary by Carl Sagan about the Huygens and the enlightenment period in the Netherlands.