Hooke's law is a principle of physics that states that the force needed to extend or compress a spring by some distance x scales linearly with respect to that distance. That is: , where k is a constant factor characteristic of the spring: its stiffness, and x is small compared to the total possible deformation of the spring. The law is named after 17th-century British physicist Robert Hooke. He first stated the law in 1676 as a Latin anagram. He published the solution of his anagram in 1678 as: ut tensio, sic vis. Hooke states in the 1678 work that he was aware of the law already in 1660.