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 San-Jacobaea, sub signo beatae Mariae. M.D.CC.XXVIII. Cum approbatione et privilegio regis.

(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: Documents Available:

Return to the Euler Archive