By Edoardo Benvenuto
This e-book is likely one of the best i've got ever learn. to jot down a foreword for· it's an honor, tough to just accept. we all know that architects and grasp masons, lengthy prior to there have been mathematical theories, erected constructions of surprising originality, energy, and sweetness. lots of those nonetheless stand. have been it now not for our now acid surroundings, shall we anticipate them to face for hundreds of years extra. We respect early architects' noticeable 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 stimulated via the wondrous structures that males of the 16th, 17th, and eighteenth centuries observed day-by-day. Theorists understand that once, finally, theories began appearing, architects distrusted them, partially simply because they typically passed over information of value in real building, partially simply because not anyone yet a mathematician may possibly comprehend the purpose and func tion of a mathematical conception designed to symbolize a side 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 kinds, and its various difficulties of upkeep and service. In reference to experiences towards fix of the dome of St. Peter's through Poleni in 1743, on p.
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Additional info for An Introduction to the History of Structural Mechanics: Part II: Vaulted Structures and Elastic Systems
_ ..... ----- /1 I I ! 15. Couplet's hypothesis for the collapse mechanism of an arch. From the memoir of 1730. 6) J . , 1972) p. 173. r 344 10. First Theories about the Statics of Arches and Domes where (3 and ex denote angles Ac5k and XCJP respectively. 6), with ex set at 7f/2, it follows that (3 = 58°49'. 1 percent). Couplet strays into greater error in considering the incomplete circular arch; Lorenzo Mascheroni finally solved this problem. 6 Bouguer's First Static Theory of Domes Pierre Bouguer is best remembered for his treatise on naval architecture, in which he determined the center of gravity for a ship's cargo and examined how best to trim a vessel, where the masts should be placed, and the thrust of wind on sails.
What curve is the strongest? What is the best curve for a given practical application? The second, we can call "the problem of the wall": what are the best dimensions for a pair of abutments? We should not be surprised that it took scientists so long to come to the static principles of arches. As the popular saying has it, if it works, don't fix it. The splendid domes of St. Peter's Basilica and St. Paul's Cathedral, thousands of archways, vaulted roofs and ceilings, domes, cupolas-all were evidence that experience could manage very well without any help from theory.
In order that they may all remain in balance, even if their beds or surfaces by which they touch each other are infinitely smooth and they can slide against each other without any hindrance" (proposition 125). De la Hire begins by claiming that the problem of determining the dimension of abutments is "one of the most difficult in architecture," and goes on to criticize the existing practical rules as groundless and unsafe. This is odd, since proposition 125 never deals with the dimensions of abutments.