Francis Hauksbee

In existographies, Francis Hauksbee (1660-1713), or “Hawksbee”, was an English scientist and instrument maker, noted for []

In Nov 1703, with the passing of Robert Hooke (1635-1703), Newton returned to the Royal Society, and appointed Hauksbee as the new Royal Society curator of experiments.

In 1705, Hauksbee, inspired by Jean Picard (Ѻ), who discovered that if he shook a mercury-containing barometer it would produce a glow (Ѻ), placed mercury inside of a Guericke generator, which he built, shown below, which he then evacuated, with a vacuum pump, to make a mild vacuum inside, then rubbed the glass ball to build up a charge, and observed that a glow was visible when he placed his hand on the outside of the globe. [1]

Hauksbee generator 1

In 1767, Jean Nollet, in his Leçons de Physique, illustrated the Hauksbee generator experiment as follows: (Ѻ)

Hauksbee generator 2f


1. Kirby, Richard. (1956). Engineering in History (co-authors: Sidney Withington, Arthur Darling, Frederick Kilgour) (pg. 329). Courier, 1990.

Further reading
● Hauksbee, Francis. (1709). Physico-mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects: Containing a Account on Several Surprising Phenomena Touching Light and Electricity, Producible on the Attraction of Bodies. Brugis.

External links
Francis Hauksbee – Wikipedia.

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