Architecture hydraulique, edited by C.-L. Navier. 4 vols.

Publisher Information: Paris: Firmin Didot, 1810-1819.

Belidor, Bernard Forest de (1697?-1761). Architecture hydraulique, ou l'art de conduire, d'Èlever, et de menager les eaux pour les differents besoins de la vie. Edited by Claude-Louis Navier (1785-1836). 4 vols., 4to. Frontispiece portrait of Belidor in Vol. I, 230 engraved folding plates. Paris: F. Didot, 1810-19 (last three volumes in the set dated 1810). 289 x 211 mm. Tree sheep ca. 1819, gilt spines, rubbed, spine of Vol. III repaired. Some scattered foxing, light browning, otherwise fine.

First Navier Edition, and best edition, of Belidor's Architecture hydraulique, first published in 1737-39. Belidor, a military engineer, worked under Cassini and La Hire during their survey of the meridian from Paris to the English Channel (1718), and taught mathematics at the artillery school at La FËre, where he authored several textbooks. Seeking to introduce mathematics into practical engineering, Belidor wrote La science des ingenieurs (1729) and Architecture hydraulique; it was with these two works that Belidor "entered into the science of mechanics proper with a summons to builders to base design and practice on its principles" (DSB). Both of these works served as engineering textbooks for nearly a century.

In the 1810s Belidor's two works were issued in revised and expanded editions by Claude-Louis Navier, a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees, who had been recruited by the latter institution to edit the works of his great-uncle, the great French engineer Emiland Gauthey. By 1813 Navier had completed this task, and had also issued a revised and expanded edition of Belidor's La science des ingenieurs. [Navier's] taste for scholarship and his background of higher analysis at the Ecole Polytechnique and of practical engineering learned from his granduncle gave him the ideal preparation to make significant contributions to engineering science. During the period 1807-1820 he made mathematical analysis a fundamental tool of the civil engineer and codified the nascent concept of mechanical work for the science of machines.

Navier's success as editor of Belidor's Science des ingenieurs and of Gauthey's works led their publisher, Firmin Didot, to invite him to prepare a revised edition of Belidor's Architecture hydraulique. Navier sought to correct the errors found in this work and to give it a mathematical sophistication that would make it useful to the graduates of the Ecole Polytechnique. One item needed particular attention--the study of machines, for which Navier sought a quantitative criterion that would facilitate the selection of the best machines and motors. Research on this topic, conducted during 1814-1818, led him to the concept of quantity of action, which Coriolis shortly afterward transformed into that of mechanical work.

"In Navier's writings the march of the argument leads to the concept of work, whereas in those of J.-V. Poncelet and of Coriolis it flows from this concept. It took an embryonic form in the writings of Lazare Carnot, found its birth in those of A.-T. Petit, Poncelet, and Navier, and achieved the status of a general principle of applied mechanics in those of Coriolis. In Navier's revision of Architecture hydraulique, the engineer found this concept so defined as to give a measure of the usefulness of motors and a criterion that permitted rational design of motors and machines"(DSB).

Navier's contributions to the Architecture hydraulique are confined to the first volume, which contains notes and commentary equal or surpassing the original text in length. The remaining volumes consist of reissues, with new titles dated 1810, of the edition published in 1780. The plates in all the volumes were re-engraved by Martin.

Navier is best remembered to day as one of the authors of the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid dynamics, which can be used to model both non-turbulent and turbulent flow. These equations are of fundamental importance in the science of aerodynamics.

Book Id: 38462

Price: $5,000.00

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