Jakob Hermann published his analysis of the propagating pressure wave in his Phoronomia1 of 1716. In the same year he published his analysis of the vibrating string in the Acta Eruditorum.2 In both of these works he seeks and finds simple harmonic motions associated with the respective problems; in both cases his analysis is wrong. This demonstrates quite well how great confusion about dynamics in many degrees of freedom was compatible with a sophisticated understanding of dynamics in a single degree of freedom. We will present these works in sections 5.1 and 5.2 respectively, following which we’ll make some general remarks and discuss Hermann’s treatment of simple harmonic motion in section 5.3.
KeywordsSophisticated Understanding Simple Harmonic Motion Great Confusion Respective Problem Taut String
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