Constantijn Huygens, Jr.

Constantijn Huygens, Jr.

Constantijn Huygens, Jr.
Born 1628
The Hague, Netherlands
Died 1697
Residence Netherlands, France, England
Nationality Dutch
Fields Astronomy
Optics
Alma mater University of Leiden
Known for Aerial telescope

Constantijn Huygens Jr. (1628–1697) was a Dutch statesman also known for his work on scientific instruments (sometimes in conjunction with his younger brother Christiaan Huygens) and as a chronicler of his times. He was the first son of the poet and states-man Constantijn Huygens and Suzanna van Baerle.[1]

Contents

Biography

Constantijn Huygens Jr., along with his brother Christiaan, began his studies at Leiden university in May 1645 studying Law and also taking some liberal Arts courses.[2] These studies included the works of Classical authors on history, philosophy, and science, including mathematics. Constantijn, like his father, became secretary to the rulers of the Netherlands. In 1689 when William of Orange became William III of England, Constantijn Jr. was appointed as his secretary. Constantijn participated in William's war with France, leaving for the southern Netherlands each spring and returning to London each autumn.[3]

Telescopes and optics

When Christiaan Huygens became interested in telescopes around 1650 , Constantijn helped him with the construction of the lenses. With the first telescope they made Christiaan discovered a moon orbiting Saturn (Titan), in 1655.[4] Constantijn continued to make larger and longer focal length telescope objectives culminating in the very large tubeless aerial telescopes. Constantijn presented a 7.5 inch (190mm) diameter 123 ft (37.5 m) focal length aerial telescope objective to the Royal Society in 1690[5] that still bears his signature. The Royal Society also has two other very long focal length aerial telescope objectives acquired in 1725, both made by Constantijn.

Constantijn Huygens' diary

From 1673 to 1696 Constantijn Huygens Jr kept a private diary that has survived to this day (now kept at the National Library of the Netherlands). In his diary he recorded all aspects of early-modern court life in Holland and England as well as keeping notes on the two countries society, and culture, and general scientific advancement.[6] His diary also covers the sexual adventures of contemporaries and provides an insight on the history of human sexuality.[7]

Constantijn Huygens' paintings

On 23 april 1630, Constantijn Huygens Sr. bought the castle of Zuilichem nearby Zaltbommel. His son Constantijn Huygens Jr. painted and made some drawings from this castle in the periode of 1630 till 1660. These are to be seen at the museum called Maarten van Rossum at Zaltbommel Gelderland.

References


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