Pieter van Musschenbroek


Pieter van Musschenbroek

Infobox Scientist
box_width = 300px
name = Pieter van Musschenbroek


image_size = 300px
caption = Pieter (Petrus) van Musschenbroek (1692-1761)
birth_date = 14 March 1692
birth_place = Leiden, Netherlands
death_date = 19 September 1761
death_place = Leiden, Netherlands
residence = flag|Netherlands
citizenship =
nationality = flag|Netherlands|name=Dutch
ethnicity =
fields = Physicists
workplaces =
alma_mater = University of Leyden
doctoral_advisor = Willem 's Gravesande
academic_advisors =
doctoral_students =
notable_students = Andreas Cunaeus
known_for = Leyden jar
First capacitor.
author_abbrev_bot =
author_abbrev_zoo =
influences =
influenced =
awards =
religion =


footnotes =

Pieter (Petrus) van Musschenbroek (14 March 1692, Leiden - 19 September 1761, Leiden) was a Dutch scientist who is credited with the invention of the Leyden jar, the first capacitor.

Electrostatics

Musschenbroek studied medicine at the University of Leyden, and then became interested in electrostatics. At that time, transient electrical energy could be generated by friction machines but there was no way to store it. Musschenbroek and his student Andreas Cunaeus discovered that the energy could be stored in a glass jar filled with water into which a brass rod had been placed; and that the energy could be released only by completing an external circuit between the brass rod and another conductor, originally his hand, placed in contact with the outside of the jar. He communicated this discovery to René Réaumur in January 1746, and it was Abbe Nollet, the translator of Musschenbroek's letter from Latin, who named the invention the 'Leyden jar'.

Soon afterwards, it transpired that a German scientist, Ewald von Kleist, had independently constructed a similar device in late 1745, shortly before Musschenbroek, but von Kleist failed to publicize his invention in time.

Other physics

Musschenbroek's "Elementa Physica" (1726) played an important part in the transmission of Isaac Newton's ideas in physics to Europe.

Works

* "Elementa Physica" (1726) - account of Newtonian physics
* "Dissertationes physicae experimentalis et geometricae de magnete" (1729)
* "Tentamina experimentorum naturalium in Accademia del Cimento" (1731)
* "Institutiones physicae" (1734)
* "Aeris praestantia in humoribus corporis humani" (1739)
* "Institutiones logicae" (1764)

References

* [http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/~eugeniik/history/musschenbroek.htm Biography by Eugenii Katz]
* [http://www.acmi.net.au/AIC/VAN_MUSSCHENBROEK_BIO.html Biography at "Adventures in Cybersound"]
* [http://www.lorentz.leidenuniv.nl/history/fles/fles.html "Leiden jar", Leiden University]


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