By Edoardo Benvenuto
This ebook is among the most interesting i've got ever learn. to put in writing a foreword for it's an honor, tough to simply accept. we all know that architects and grasp masons, lengthy earlier than there have been mathematical theories, erected constructions of impressive originality, energy, and sweetness. a lot of those nonetheless stand. have been it now not for our now acid surroundings, lets count on them to face for hundreds of years extra. We recognize early architects' seen good fortune within the distribution and stability of thrusts, and we presume that grasp masons had ideas, maybe held mystery, that enabled them to show architects' daring designs into truth. we all know that rational theories of power and elasticity, created centuries later, have been prompted by means of the wondrous constructions that males of the 16th, 17th, and eighteenth centuries observed day-by-day. Theorists recognize that after, ultimately, theories started to appear, architects distrusted them, in part simply because they generally omitted information of significance in real development, in part simply because not anyone yet a mathematician may comprehend the purpose and func tion of a mathematical conception designed to symbolize a facet of nature. This publication is the 1st to teach how statics, power of fabrics, and elasticity grew along latest structure with its millenial traditions, its host of successes, its ever-renewing types, and its a variety of difficulties of upkeep and service. In reference to reviews towards fix of the dome of St. Peter's by way of Poleni in 1743, on p.
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Extra info for An Introduction to the History of Structural Mechanics: Part I: Statics and Resistance of Solids
50 47 D. , Die Werke von Daniel Bernoulli, Vol. 3, Birkhauser-Verlag, Basel-BostonStuttgart, 1987. 48 J. Hermann, "De mensura virium corporum," Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae, Vol. 1 (1726); J. Biilffinger, "De viribus corpori moto insitis et illarum mensura," Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae, Vol. 1 (1726). 49 V. } physica compositionis ac resolutionis virium (Bologna, 1744). 50 In P. Varignon, Nouvelle mecanique (Paris, 1725), Vol. 2, p.
From the seventeenth century on, mechanics went through a long, difficult struggle to shake itself free from those ponderous axioms, that rigidity, that net of metaphysical argument, which the commentators on Aristotle's works had laid upon it. But the commentators had at least created a common way of thinking and of looking at facts. For this reason, and because of the great influence of Aristotelian Weltanschauung on scientific thought for more than a thousand years, we should at least review its characteristic traits.
As a methodological decision, it whisks away every circumstance affecting a local motion in order to concentrate on two intervals, one in space, one in time. In this extreme abstraction, velocity becomes the only available term to represent motion. The duality power/act can be solved only in terms of velocity. Power (dynamis) relates only to the possible velocity, and act (energeia) measures only the velocity reached by a moving 28 1. Methodological Preliminaries body. This derives not from experimental observation, but from the structure of the linguistic and conceptual model which Aristotle constructed for the purpose of making motion intelligible.