Figure 1: Giovanni Domenico Cassini We’ve been taking a break from hard-hitting mechanical engineering and materials science blogs with some pieces on the Italian masters of science, mathematics and engineering in the 16-19th centuries. In previous blogs, I explored the lives and contributions of mathematician/physicist Evangelista Torricelli and physicist/engineer Giovanni Venturi. For this blog, I'm focusing on Giovanni Domenico Cassini (Figure 1), a structural engineer and astronomer extraordinaire in the late 17th century. Cassini started small, studying astrology (not astronomy!) early on in his career, but his fascination with the actual scientific properties of our celestial neighbors and his lifelong dedication to watching the night sky led him to a number of great discoveries. Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) Giovanni Domenico Cassini [...]
Figure 1: Giovanni Battista Venturi [i] Glew's News is doing a short series highlighting the lives and accomplishments of the Italian Masters of science, engineering, and mathematics. In the last blog, I wrote about Evangelista Torricelli, a mathematician and physicist from the 17th century. In this blog, I'm focusing on Giovanni Venturi (Figure 1), an accomplished physicist, hydrodynamicist and engineer. Giovanni Battista Venturi (1746-1822) Giovanni Venturi was born to a wealthy family in Reggio, Italy in 1746. A talented young student, by the age of 23 the local seminary had already ordained him as a priest and professor. His talents in mathematics didn’t long escape notice at the nearby University of Modena, which appointed him as a professor of geometry and [...]
Figure 1: Evangelista Torricelli Most people are familiar with the works of the “Italian Masters”… artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. But Italy has a storied history of masters of other fields, especially mathematics, science and engineering. In this blog series, we’ll take a look at a few of the influential renaissance men from The Boot who helped advance the fields of physics, chemistry, electricity, geometry, and more. These are the multi-talented renaissance men who tackled so many of the problems that now form the backbone of modern science, engineering, and technology. For this blog, I'll focus on Evangelista Torricelli (Figure 1), a 17th century mathematician, physicist. Torricelli was a contemporary of Galileo Galilei, and in fact carried on [...]
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