E4  Meditationes super problemate nautico, quod illustrissima regia Parisiensis Academia scientarum proposuit
(Thoughts on a nautical problem, proposed by the illustrious Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris)
Originally published with the full title: Meditationes super problemate nautico, de implantatione malorum, quae proxime acessere
ad praemium anno 1727. à regia scientiarum academia promulgatum. Parisiis, apud Claudium
Jombert, bibliopolam, via SanJacobaea, sub signo beatae Mariae. M.D.CC.XXVIII. Cum
approbatione et privilegio regis.
Summary:
(based on C. Truesdell's An idiot's fugitive essays on science: methods, criticisms, training,
circumstances)
Euler uses mechanics expressed mathematically to design ships. He adopts Newton's Law of Resistance
(which says that the pressure exerted by a fluid acting against a plane surface is proportional to the
square of the speed, neglecting back pressure) by interpreting it as a statement about differential elements
of surface. He calls this assumption "the common hypothesis" and uses it to calculate the total resistance
by integration. In this way, he arrives at definite answers, often in elegant, explicit forms, that
allow for both quantitative and qualitative conclusions that he develops and interprets clearly.
Motto: “Omnes enim trahimur, et ducimur ad cognitionis et
scientiae cupiditatem, in quâ excellere pulchrum putamus. M.T. Cicero de Officiis.”
Publication:

Originally published in Piece qui a remporte le prix de l'academie royale des sciences 1727, 1728, pp. 148

Opera Omnia: Series 2, Volume 20, pp. 1  35

Republished in Recueil des pièces qui ont remporté lex prix de l’académie royale des sciences 2,
1732, 48 pages + 2 diagrams [E4a]
Documents Available:
Return to the Euler Archive