By Edoardo Benvenuto
This e-book is without doubt one of the most interesting i've got ever learn. to jot down a foreword for· it really is an honor, tough to just accept. we all know that architects and grasp masons, lengthy earlier than there have been mathematical theories, erected constructions of wonderful originality, energy, and sweetness. lots of those nonetheless stand. have been it now not for our now acid surroundings, lets anticipate them to face for hundreds of years extra. We respect early architects' obvious good fortune within the distribution and stability of thrusts, and we presume that grasp masons had principles, probably held mystery, that enabled them to show architects' daring designs into truth. we all know that rational theories of energy and elasticity, created centuries later, have been encouraged by way of the wondrous structures that males of the 16th, 17th, and eighteenth centuries observed day-by-day. Theorists recognize that once, finally, theories started to appear, architects distrusted them, partially simply because they typically ignored information of value in real building, partially simply because not anyone yet a mathematician might comprehend the purpose and func tion of a mathematical thought designed to symbolize a side of nature. This ebook is the 1st to teach how statics, power of fabrics, and elasticity grew along current 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 stories towards fix of the dome of St. Peter's by way of Poleni in 1743, on p.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to the History of Structural Mechanics: Part II: Vaulted Structures and Elastic Systems
We can do this for each ston-~ in the arch, because the relative proportions between the forces and the intercepted segments remain constant. The exception is the last voussoir, the one at the spring of the arch. In theory, its weight should be infinite since the straight lines K LP and C S (the direction of the last joint) are parallel. That is, "whatever the weight of this voussoir, the least force that will push it in the direction BQ . . " To the objection that this never really happens, de la Hire pointed out that his voussoirs are infinitely smooth; friction eliminates the paradox.
Pitot had discussed (wrongly) in 1726. We shall return to this question later, in discussing Leonardo Salimbeni's treatise. Couplet concludes, correctly if there are many voussoirs, that "the voussoirs that weigh on the centering are placed within 60 degrees [from the key], and those which do not weigh on it [are placed within] 30 degrees from the horizontaL"27 Couplet's second memoir faces the problem of the adherence between voussoirS. 28 The text is less specific, vaguer and more debatable: Some of his intuitions, in fact, proved to be correct.
Paul said, "consider everything, but hold fast to what is good"; for once, the ecclesiastical authorities followed this advice. Poleni's first reflections arrived in March 1643. The Pope praised them, and asked the author to come to Rome to continue his study of the problem. At the Pope's request, the Bolognese professor Gabriello Manfredi and the Neapolitans Bartolomeo Intieri, D. Giuseppe Orlandi and Pietro Di Martino (mathematicians "highly learned and famous for their work") contributed their opinions.