By René Dugas
"A striking paintings with a purpose to stay a record of the 1st rank for the historian of mechanics." — Louis de Broglie
In this masterful synthesis and summation of the technology of mechanics, Rene Dugas, a number one student and educator on the famed Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, offers with the evolution of the rules of normal mechanics chronologically from their earliest roots in antiquity throughout the center a long time to the innovative advancements in relativistic mechanics, wave and quantum mechanics of the early twentieth century.
The current quantity is split into 5 components: the 1st treats of the pioneers within the examine of mechanics, from its beginnings as much as and together with the 16th century; the second one part discusses the formation of classical mechanics, together with the enormously inventive and influential paintings of Galileo, Huygens and Newton. The 3rd half is dedicated to the eighteenth century, within which the association of mechanics reveals its climax within the achievements of Euler, d'Alembert and Lagrange. The fourth half is dedicated to classical mechanics after Lagrange. partially 5, the writer undertakes the relativistic revolutions in quantum and wave mechanics.
Writing with nice readability and sweep of imaginative and prescient, M. Dugas follows heavily the guidelines of the nice innovators and the texts in their writings. the result's an incredibly actual and target account, in particular thorough in its money owed of mechanics in antiquity and the center a while, and the $64000 contributions of Jordanus of Nemore, Jean Buridan, Albert of Saxony, Nicole Oresme, Leonardo da Vinci, and lots of different key figures.
Erudite, accomplished, replete with penetrating insights, A History of Mechanics is an surprisingly skillful and wide-ranging research that belongs within the library of an individual attracted to the historical past of science.
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Extra info for A History of Mechanics
However inadequate they may seem now, these intuitive theories have their origin in the most everyday observations, precisely because they take the passive resistances to motion into account. To an unsophisticated observer, a horse pulling a cart seems to behave according to the law of powers, in the sense that it develops an effort which increases regularly with the speed. In order to break away from Aristotle’s ideas and to construct the now classical mechanics, it is necessary to disregard the various ways in which motion may be damped, and to introduce these explicitly at a later stage as frictional forces and as resistances of the medium.
3. THE FRAGMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO EUCLID IN ARABIC WRITINGS. Greek antiquity does not attribute any work on mechanics to Euclid. However his name occurs frequently in this connection in the writings of arabic authors. Euclid’s book on the balance, an arabic manuscript of 970 A. D. which has been brought to light by Dr. Woepke,13 seems to have remained unknown to the western Middle Ages. This relic of greek science may be contemporaneous with Euclid and may thus antedate Archimedes. It contains a geometrical proof of the law of levers which is independent of Aristotle’s dynamics and which makes explicit appeal to the hypothesis that the effect of a weight P placed at the end of an arm of a lever is expressed by the product PL.
Archimedes then extended this proposition to the case of magnitudes A and B which were incommensurable. This demonstration depended on the method of exhaustion. We have reproduced this proof of Proposition VI in its entirety in order to illustrate the nature of Archimedes’ logical apparatus. This should not be allowed, however, to create too great an illusion of power. 8 Further, he made use of the principle of superposition of equilibrium states, without emphasising that this was an experimental postulate.