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Modern Mysteries

Da Vinci's scribbles reveal hidden knowledge

By T.K. Randall
July 23, 2016 · Comment icon 5 comments

Da Vinci had a firm grasp of the laws of friction. Image Credit: Svenska Familj-Journalen
Sketches demonstrating the laws of friction have been identified within the margins of Da Vinci's notes.
Widely celebrated for his scientific and artistic achievements, Leonardo da Vinci's genius was so vast that even today we are still learning new things about his remarkable accomplishments.

The latest example of this comes in the form of a series of rough notes found in the margins of one of his notebooks - writings that had, until now, been dismissed as random scribblings.
Upon further analysis of these notes, Professor Ian Hutchings from the University of Cambridge realized that, far from being incoherent gibberish, these 'scribbles' were in fact something highly significant - the first known written demonstration of the laws of friction.

"The sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493," said Hutchings. "He knew that the force of friction acting between two sliding surfaces is proportional to the load pressing the surfaces together and that friction is independent of the apparent area of contact between the two surfaces."

"These are the ‘laws of friction' that we nowadays usually credit to a French scientist, Guillaume Amontons, working two hundred years later."

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ozfactor 8 years ago
nice article and a good read . I wonder how this diagram of friction was missed for so long, if you don't know what to look for you will over look it ? 
Comment icon #2 Posted by South Alabam 8 years ago
A brilliant mind. Once a mind is opened up to understanding, there is no bounds to what it can learn.
Comment icon #3 Posted by F3SS 8 years ago
I've always been fascinated with DaVinci. In fact I'd say he is definitely in all of history the most interesting man in the world and maybe the smartest who ever lived and was also an unprecedented visionary and futurist. It seems there is nothing he did not have an understanding of or an interest in. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Oniomancer 8 years ago
As if anything this man did was irrelevant. Who will even know the names of the ones who made this assessment in a hundred years?
Comment icon #5 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
This man is a genius!

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