Prof. Dr. A.L.M. et Med. Petrus van Musschenbroek
Born 14 March 1692 Leiden, Died 19 September 1761 Leiden

Petrus van Musschenbroek passed the Latin school in 1708, speaking Greek, Latin, French, English, high German, Italian and Spanish. He became Dr. in Medicine in 1718. Subsequently he went to London where he followed lectures of Desagulier and Isaac Newton. He finalized his study in Philosophy in 1719. From 1719 tot 1723 he was professor in Mathematics and Philosophy in Duisberg (Germany) where he worked with Fahrenheit. In 1721 he was also appointed as professor in Medicine. In 1723 he was appointed as professor in Utrecht. Astrology was added to his tasks as professor in 1732. In 1739 he returned as professor to Leiden where he succeeded Willem Jacob 's Gravesande. He was a member of Societies in Science in London, Montpellier, Berlin, Stockholm, and correspondent of the Royal Academy of Science in Paris. In 1754 he was appointed as honorary professor at the Imperial Academy of Science in St Petersburg. Although he is often mentioned as the inventor of the Leyden Jar (capacitor), his role in history has been above all the way he spread the empirical (Newtonian) views in physics in Europe through his books. His book Elementa Physica (1726) was reprinted many times and translated in Swedish, Spanish, Italian, German and English. Other works are: Dissertationes physicae experimentalis et geometricae de magnete· (1729); Tentamina experimentorum naturalium in Accademia del Cimento (1731); Institutiones physicae (1734 and later); The aeris praestantia in humoribus corporis humani (1739); Institutiones logicae (1764). He died in 1769 in Leyden and was buried in the grave of his second wife Helena Alstorphius.

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