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Philosophy - History of Science | The Genesis of Fluid Mechanics 1640-1780

The Genesis of Fluid Mechanics 1640-1780

Calero, Julián Simón

Translated by Watson, V.H.A.

Original Spanish edition published by Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED, 1996

2008, XIV, 518 p.

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  • The genesis of Fluid Mechanics from two lines: resistance and discharge
  • The grand theorization process
  • Relevance of the applications to the development of the discipline

Fluid Mechanics, as a scientific discipline in a modern sense, was established between the last third of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th one. This book analyses its genesis, following its evolution along two basic lines of research, which have been named the "problem of resistance" and the "problem of discharge". This approach highlights the existence of a remarkable experimental aspect in the aforementioned research lines, together with their link with problems of a practical nature, such as ballistics, hydraulics, fluid-using machines or naval theory. On the other hand, although previous studies usually present fluid mechanics from the point of view of mathematics, this is complemented here by an engineering viewpoint; gathering attempts made in the beginnings of fluid mechanics to see if the theory was capable of productive application in practical terms. This is nothing unusual in a time where the quality of knowledge and skill is measured largely by its usefulness.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » History - Resistance/discharge - Theorization - dynamics - education - fluid dynamics - fluid mechanics - hydraulics

Related subjects » Classical Continuum Physics - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - History of Science - Mechanics

Table of contents 

The Problem of Resistance.- The Forerunners of Impact Theory: Huygens and Mariotte.- Impact Theory: Formulation and Formalisation.- The Evolution of the Problem of Resistance.- Experiments on Resistance.- Fluid-driven Machines and Naval Theories.- The Problem of Discharge.- Discharge from Vessels and Tanks.- The Hydrodynamica and the Hydraulica.- Theoretical Constructions (I): Clairaut and d'Alembert.- Theoretical Constructions (II): Euler.- Application of Fluid Mechanics to Pumps and Turbines.

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