By Edoardo Benvenuto
This e-book is likely one of the most interesting i've got ever learn. to write down a foreword for· it really is an honor, tough to simply accept. we all know that architects and grasp masons, lengthy ahead of there have been mathematical theories, erected buildings of amazing originality, power, and sweetness. a lot of those nonetheless stand. have been it now not for our now acid surroundings, lets count on them to face for hundreds of years extra. We recognize early architects' obvious good fortune within the distribution and stability of thrusts, and we presume that grasp masons had principles, maybe 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 through the wondrous constructions that males of the 16th, 17th, and eighteenth centuries observed day-by-day. Theorists comprehend that after, finally, theories started to appear, architects distrusted them, partially simply because they generally passed over info of significance in real building, in part simply because no one yet a mathematician might comprehend the purpose and func tion of a mathematical thought designed to symbolize a facet of nature. This ebook is the 1st to teach how statics, energy of fabrics, and elasticity grew along present structure with its millenial traditions, its host of successes, its ever-renewing kinds, and its a number of difficulties of upkeep and service. In reference to stories towards fix of the dome of St. Peter's through 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
Giuseppe Orlandi and Pietro Di Martino (mathematicians "highly learned and famous for their work") contributed their opinions. In June, Poleni presented his proposal for restoration. Of all the plans submitted, his stood out for its decisive contribution to the techniques of research and restoration, and for its synthesis of all available knowledge, 6 Archivio Vaticano, Archivio della reverenda fabbrica di S. , Arm. III, n. 3, fasc. 6; see also R. Di Stefano, La cupola di S. Pietro (Naples, 1980), p.
6 More and more cracks appeared during succeeding years, but no one could find a decisive remedy. In 1735, "marble swallowtail pieces" were inserted into the cracks, but by 1742 "the discussions about the damage to the big dome of St. Peter's were growing more and more heated. ,,7 Towards the end of the year, Pope Benedict XIV entrusted three famous mathematicians with the task of finding out the truth. They were Frs. Ruggiero Guiseppe Boscovich, a Jesuit, and Thomas Ie Seur and Fran<;ois Jacquier, French "Minims" who had previously edited and provided an erudite commentary on Newton's Principia.
7 G. Poleni, Memorie istoriche della gran cupola del Tempio Vaticano (Padua, 1748), p. 121. 3. St. Peter's Dome and the Three Mathematicians 353 theoretical and practical, on the statics of vaults and the strength of materials. The marquis' suggestions were immediately accepted and the work was carried out under the supervision of the architect Luigi Vanvitelli, starting in July, 1743. 8 Before examining Poleni's results, we should look at the work of the three mathematicians, not for their explanation of the damage to St.