Halley and Post-Restoration Science

Not just 'the Comet man' - Halley's achievements as a polymath testify to the breadth and vigour of English scientific enquiry and experiment in the years after 1660.

Among men of science in the post-Restoration period, it would be difficult to find one more talented than Edmond Halley. For diversity of scientific interests he was the equal of Robert Hooke. For practical inventiveness he could rival Wilkins, Petty or Wren. His grasp of the theory of gravitation and his ability in calculating the motions of the heavenly bodies was second only to that of Isaac Newton, whilst in his understanding of the wider implications of gravitational theory and in the boldness of his adventurous spirit, Halley surpassed them all. His eventful career stirs the imagination and yet his genius and contributions to science are not well known and he is remembered today only for the comet which bears his name.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.