Pieter van Musschenbroek (1692-1761), Dutch natural philosopher, born on 14 March 1692 at Leiden, where his father Johann Joosten van Musschenbroek (1660-1707) was a maker of physical apparatus. He studied at the University of Leiden, where he was a pupil and friend of W. J. s’G. Gravesande. Graduating in 1715 with a dissertation, De aeris praesentia in humoribus animalium, Musschenbroek was appointed professor at Duisburg in 1719. In 1723 he was promoted to the chair of natural philosophy and mathematics at Utrecht. In 1731 he declined an invitation to Copenhagen, and was prompted in consequence to the chair of astronomy at Utrecht in 1732. The attempt of George II of England to attract him to the newly established University of Göttingen was also unsuccessful. At length, however, the claims of his native city overcame his resolution to remain at Utrecht, and he accepted the mathematical chair at Leiden in 1739, where, declining all offers from abroad, he remained till his death on 9 September 1751.

From the eleventh edition of The Encyclopedia, 1911. Public domain. Some spellings have been changed to reflect the times (and link better) and some editing has been done, for the sake of clarity.