Pieter Van Musschenbroek

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Musschenbroek, Pieter Van


Born Mar. 14, 1692, in Leiden; died there Sept. 19, 1761. Dutch physicist.

Musschenbroek studied philosophy, mathematics, and medicine at the University of Leiden. He was a professor first at the university in Duisburg from 1719 to 1723 and then at the University of Utrecht. Musschenbroek made a significant contribution to the development of methods of experimental physics. In 1745 his experiments with electricity led him—independently of the German physicist E. G. von Kleist—to the invention of the Leyden jar. Musschenbroek’s course in physics and several of his other books were translated into other languages. He was a member of the London Royal Society, a corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1754).


Elementa physices. . . . Leiden, 1734.
Introductio ad philosophiam naturalem, vols. 1–2. Leiden, 1762.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In 1745, Ewald von Kliest and Pieter van Musschenbroek independently invented a device that could store a static electrical charge.
Hauksbee's glass sphere (see 1706), first produced forty years earlier, was surpassed as an electricity-storing device by the work of a Dutch physicist, Pieter van Musschenbroek (1692-1761).