Henry Power

Experimental philosophy (Power, 1664)

In existographies, Henry Power (1623-1668) (CR:7) was and English physician, physicist, experimenter, and "microscopist" (Inwood, 2002), noted for []
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Overview
In 1653, Power did experimental work, with English scientist Richard Towneley, in formulating the gas law relation of pressure varying inversely with volume, a law that would famously become known as Boyle’s law. Power was the family physician to the Towneley family and personal friend of Richard Towneley. Power published the results of their gas law experiments in the 1663 book Experimental Philosophy, prefaced 1661. [1]

Weight | Height
In c.1655, Power, supposedly, had found or reported that objects weighed less at great depths, in the earth, than on the earth’s surface.

In Aug-Sep 1665, Robert Hooke and John Wilkins, at the Banstead Downs chalk wells, which are 315 feet deep, located about two miles from Durdans, weighed objects on the surface of the earth and the bottom of the wells, to test Power’s reports, but their measurements failed to confirm Power’s findings. [2]

Influences
Power was the son of an old friend of Thomas Browne (1605-1682), who with re regularly corresponded with; some have characterized Power as a "disciple" of Browne. [5]

Other
In 1964, Charles Webster completed his MS thesis, entitled “The Scientific Work of Henry Power, M.D.”, on Power. [6]

Education
Power completed his BA (1641), MA (1648), and MD (1655) at Cambridge.

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Power:

“In the superior part of the [Torricelli] tube, there is no absolute vacuity.”
— Henry Power (1663), Experimental Philosophy (pg. 132-40; 101-103) [4]

“It hath often seemed to me beyond an ordinary probability, and something more than fancy, however paradoxical the conjecture may seem, to think that the least bodies we are able to see with our naked eyes, are but middle proportionals (as it were) betwixt the greatest and smallest bodies in nature, which two extremes lye equally beyond the reach of human sensation: for as on the one side they are but narrow souls, and not worthy the name of philosophers, that think any ‘body’ can be too great or too vast in its dimensions; so likewise are they as inapprehensive, and of the same litter as the former, that on the other side think the particles of matter may be too little, and that nature is stinted at an ‘atom’, and must have a non-ultra of her subdivisions. Such, I am sure, our modern engine (the micro-scope) will ocularly evince and unlearn them their opinions again: for herein you may see what a subtill divider of matter nature is.”
— Henry Power (1664), Publication [3]

“Me thinks, I see how all the old rubbish must be thrown away, and the rotten buildings be overthrown. These are the days that must lay a new foundation of a more magnificent philosophy, never to be overthrown.”
— Henry Power (c.1665), Publication [4]

References
1. Power, Henry. (1663). Experimental Philosophy, in Three Books: Containing New Experiments, Microscopical, Mercurial, Magnetical. With some Deductions, and Probable Hypotheses, Raised from Them, in Avouchment and Illustration of the Now Famous Atomical Hypothesis (Boyle, 15+ pgs). London: Martin & Allestry.
2. Inwood, Stephen. (2003). The Man Who Knew Too Much: the Strange and Inventive Life of Robert Hooke 1653-1703 (pg. 80). Pan MacMillan.
3. (a) Power, Henry. (1663). Experimental Philosophy, in Three Books: Containing New Experiments, Microscopical, Mercurial, Magnetical. With some Deductions, and Probable Hypotheses, Raised from Them, in Avouchment and Illustration of the Now Famous Atomical Hypothesis (pg. #). London: Martin & Allestry.
(b) Lovejoy, Arthur. (1933). The Great Chain of Being: a Study of the History of an Idea (pg. 237). Harvard University Press, 1936.
4. Shapin, Steven. (2008). The Scientific Revolution (Power, pg. 66; no vacuity, pg. 120. University of Chicago Press.
5. Cowles, Thomas. (1933/34). “Dr. Henry Power, Disciple of Sir Thomas Browne” (abs), Isis, 20:344-66.
6. Webster, Charles. (1964). “The Scientific Work of Henry Power, M.D.”, MSc dissertation, London University Library.

Further reading
● Clay, J.W. (1917). “Dr. Henry Power of New Hall, F.R.S.” (Ѻ), Halifax Antiquarian Society, Papers Reports, 1-31.

External links
Henry Power – Wikipedia.

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