This book is one of the finest I have ever read. To write a foreword for· it is an honor, difficult to accept. Everyone knows that architects and master masons, long before there were mathematical theories, erected structures of astonishing originality, strength, and beauty. Many of these still stand. Were it not for our now acid atmosphere, we could expect them to stand for centuries more. We admire early architects' visible success in the distribution and balance of thrusts, and we presume that master masons had rules, perhaps held secret, that enabled them to turn architects' bold designs into reality. Everyone knows that rational theories of strength and elasticity, created centuries later, were influenced by the wondrous buildings that men of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries saw daily. Theorists know that when, at last, theories began to appear, architects distrusted them, partly because they often disregarded details of importance in actual construction, partly because nobody but a mathematician could understand the aim and func tion of a mathematical theory designed to represent an aspect of nature. This book is the first to show how statics, strength of materials, and elasticity grew alongside existing architecture with its millenial traditions, its host of successes, its ever-renewing styles, and its numerous problems of maintenance and repair. In connection with studies toward repair of the dome of St. Peter's by Poleni in 1743, on p.
of Part II.- III Arches, Domes and Vaults.- 9 Knowledge and Prejudice before the Eighteenth Century.- 9.1 "A Strength Caused by Two Weaknesses".- 9.2 Viviani's "On the Formation and Size" of Vaults.- 9.3 Fr. Derand's Rule.- 9.4 The First "Scientific" Treatment of the Statics of Arches.- 10 First Theories about the Statics of Arches and Domes.- 10.1 Philippe de la Hire.- 10.2 Arches and Catenaries: David Gregory and Jakob Bernoulli.- 10.3 Philippe de la Hire's Memoir of 1712.- 10.4 Belidor's Variant.- 10.5 Couplet's Two Memoirs.- 10.6 Bouguer's First Static Theory of Domes.- 11 Architectonic Debates.- 11.1 The Italians: An Introduction.- 11.2 The Case of S. Maria del Fiore in Florence.- 11.3 St. Peter's Dome and the Three Mathematicians.- 11.4 Giovanni Poleni's "Historical Memoirs".- 11.5 Poleni's Theoretical and Experimental Work.- 11.6 Boscovich and the Cathedral of Milan.- 12 Later Research.- 12.1 The "Best Figure of Vaults": Abbé Bossut.- 12.2 Coulomb's Theory of Frictionless Vaults.- 12.3 Coulomb's Theory: Friction and Cohesion.- 12.4 Italian Studies on Vaults in the Late Eighteenth Century.- 12.5 Lorgna's Essays.- 12.6 Fontana's Treatise.- 12.7 Mascheroni's "New Researches": The Limit Analysis of Arches.- 12.8 Mascheroni and Domes of Finite Thickness.- 12.9 Salimbeni's Treatise.- 12.10 The Nineteenth Century: Further Developments.- IV The Theory of Elastic Systems.- 13 The Eighteenth-century Debate on the Supports Problem.- 13.1 Introduction.- 13.2 The Birth of the Question.- 13.3 Discussion in Eighteenth-century Italy.- 13.4 Volume 8 of the Memoriedella Società Italiana.- 14 The Path Towards Energetical Principles.- 14.1 The Debate Continues.- 14.2 The Nineteenth Century: An Introduction.- 14.3 The Philosopher Who Understood Everything.- 14.4 From Cournot to Dorna.- 14.5 Clapeyron and the Case of the Continuous Beam.- 14.6 Menabrea's Elasticity Principle.- 15 The Discovery of General Methods for the Calculation of Elastic Systems.- 15.1 Clebsch's Treatise and the "Method of Deformations".- 15.2 Maxwell's Fundamental Memoir on Frames.- 15.3 Maxwell and the "Method of Forces".- 15.4 The Goal Attained.- 16 From the Theory of Elastic Systems to Structural Engineering.- 16.1 Alberto Castigliano.- 16.2 Some Aspects of Castigliano's Work.- 16.3 Francesco Crotti's Clarification.- 16.4 Mohr's "Beiträge": Statically Determinate Trusses.- 16.5 Mohr's Solution for Statically Indeterminate Trusses.- 16.6 German Disputes about Castligliano's and Mohr's Methods.- Author Index.
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