Christiaan Huygens is not a name that many people know. When it comes to naming famous scientists and inventors it is not one that is regularly featured. But he is in fact the inventor of some of the most useful and important things that we still use in the modern world.
He was born and raised in the Netherlands and as a child he was tutored at home and was clearly very good at mathematics. He went on to university to study mathematics as well as law. He published many mathematical papers before he decided to work on lens grinding – making lenses for telescopes.
He went to from this to discover the first of Saturn’s moons using one of his own lenses! The following year he then discovered the shape of the rings of Saturn. His work didn’t stop there- driven by the need for an accurate way to keep time when working with astronomical problems, he invented the first ever pendulum clock.
His inventions didn’t even stop there – he went on then to design gunpowder and pistons, which he used to supply the water to the gardens of the palace in Versailles. This was the very first internal combustion piston engine ever made.
Today, the creations and inventions of Christiaan Huygens are still of huge importance all over the world and have led to all manner of inventions from the steam engine to HVOF coating processes for the pistons themselves. In the world of science, this remarkable man has certainly given a lot to the world.