E7 -- Tentamen explicationis phaenomenorum aeris
(Attempt at explanation of the phenomena of the air)
(based on Eric J. Aiton's introduction (written in English) to Opera Omnia Series 2, Volume 31)
In this paper, Euler elaborates on his theory of the atmosphere that he first explains in
E2. According to this theory,
each globule of air has a virtual vacuum at its center, surrounded by a rotating subtle matter
that is itself enclosed in an aqueous crust. Note that in the case of very rarefied air, this
theory agrees with Boyle's Law. On the other
hand, in dealing with less rarefied air, Euler runs across a huge discrepancy between what his
theory predicts and what Boyle's experiments showed; instead of discarding his theory, however,
Euler says that Boyle's experiments were not accurate enough. Euler also presents some geometrical
constructions of his equations. In addition, he deduces that as the humidity of the air decreases, the height of a barometer
rises, and as the humidity of the air increases, the height of a barometer falls. He also says that the height
of a barometer depends on the state of the whole atmosphere. Euler also derives a pressure-density relation for humid air.
Originally published in Commentarii academiae scientiarum Petropolitanae 2, 1729, pp. 347-368
Opera Omnia: Series 2, Volume 31, pp. 1 - 17
- Reprinted in Comment. acad. sc. Petrop. 2, ed. nova, Bononiae 1741, pp. 303-322 + 1 diagram
- Original publication: E007
(in the Commentarii),
- Ian Bruce has made both a
translation and transcription of E7 available at his page Mathematical Works of the 17th Century.
- The Euler Archive attempts to monitor current scholarship for articles and books that may be of interest to Euler Scholars. Selected references we have found that discuss or cite E7 include:
- Middleton Wek., “Hermann, Jacob and the Kinetic-Theory.” British Journal for the History of Science, 2 (3), pp. 247-250 (1965).
- Truesdell C., “Early Kinetic Theories of Gases.” Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 15 (1), pp. 1-66 (1975).
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