Robert Hooke wasn’t the only person experimenting on springs.
He wanted to be the first to find the law which governed their
behavior, but he didn’t want to tell everyone else what he
had discovered before he was ready to do so. His solution to
this quandary? He published an anagram:
then, when he finally went public, he rearranged these letters
to make the Latin phrase:
Ut tensio, sic vis
which means: “As the extension increases, so does the
force.” In this way, he was able to establish the priority of
his claim to the discovery. This relationship is what we know
today as Hooke’s law.
Smart move, Robert Hooke!