© 2014

The Problem of the Motion of Bodies

A Historical View of the Development of Classical Mechanics


Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 25)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 1-30
  3. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 31-81
  4. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 83-129
  5. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 131-221
  6. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 223-301
  7. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 303-364
  8. Danilo Capecchi
    Pages 365-458
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 459-554

About this book


This book focuses on the way in which the problem of the motion of bodies has been viewed and approached over the course of human history. It is not another traditional history of mechanics but rather aims to enable the reader to fully understand the deeper ideas that inspired men, first in attempting to understand the mechanisms of motion and then in formulating theories with predictive as well as explanatory value. Given this objective, certain parts of the history of mechanics are neglected, such as fluid mechanics, statics, and astronomy after Newton. On the other hand, due attention is paid, for example, to the history of thermodynamics, which has its own particular point of view on motion. Inspired in part by historical epistemology, the book examines the various views and theories of a given historical period (synchronic analysis) and then makes comparisons between different periods (diachronic analysis). In each period, one or two of the most meaningful contributions are selected for particular attention, instead of presenting a long inventory of scientific achievements.


Concept of Force Historical Epistemology History of Mechanics History of Science Motion of Bodies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di Architettura, Dipartimento di,Ingegneria Strutturale e GeotecnicaUniversità di Roma La SapienzaRomaItaly

About the authors

Danilo Capecchi is Professor of Mechanics of Solids and History of Science at the University of Rome La Sapienza. His research into the history of science focuses mainly on classical mechanics.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Problem of the Motion of Bodies
  • Book Subtitle A Historical View of the Development of Classical Mechanics
  • Authors Danilo Capecchi
  • Series Title History of Mechanism and Machine Science
  • Series Abbreviated Title History Mechanism, Machine
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-04839-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-34363-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-04840-6
  • Series ISSN 1875-3442
  • Series E-ISSN 1875-3426
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 554
  • Number of Illustrations 83 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
    Mechanical Engineering
    History and Philosophical Foundations of Physics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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“This is a very interesting volume for all scholars of mechanics interested in the roots of the basic question of their discipline … . the book is surely a very powerful tool for anyone interested in the basics of mechanics when seeking answers to questions on the subject.” (Giuseppe Claudio Rata, Mathematical Reviews, March, 2017)

“This work, part of the ‘History of Mechanism and Machine Science’ series, looks at the development of the physics of motion through six periods: classical-Hellenistic, Middle Ages, early Renaissance, the age of Galileo and Descartes, Newton’s (golden) age, and the 18th century. … a very interesting and illuminating read. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students and researchers/faculty.” (E. Kincanon, Choice, Vol. 52 (6), February, 2015)