Lazare Carnot’s mechanics of collision

  • Danilo Capecchi
Part of the Science Networks. Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 42)


This chapter is devoted to Lazare Carnot’s mechanics of impact and to a formulation of a WVL generalized to dynamics. In the first part the mechanics of impact of hard bodies is presented. Through an appropriate definition of virtual velocity and motion (the geometric motion) Carnot succeeds in formulating a generalization of VWL that allows one to evaluate the velocities of a system of hard bodies each of which the initial velocity is known. In the second part his extension to gradually variable forces is presented with the introduction of virtual or real work, named moment of activity, as the fundamental magnitudes of applied mechanics.


Fundamental Equation Passive Force Unilateral Constraint Physical Magnitude Virtual Velocity 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danilo Capecchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Università La SapienzaRomeItaly

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