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Author Bloor, David, author.

Title The enigma of the aerofoil : rival theories in aerodynamics, 1909-1930 / David Bloor
Published Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2011


Description 1 online resource (562 pages) : illustrations
Contents Intro -- Contents -- List of illustrations -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction : The question to be answered -- 1. Mathematicians versus practical men : The founding of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics -- 2. The air as an ideal fluid : Classical hydrodynamics and the foundations of aerodynamics -- 3. Early British work on lift and drag : Rayleigh flow versus the aerodynamics of intuition -- 4. Lanchester's Cyclic Theory of Lift and its early reception -- 5. Two traditions : Mathematical physics and technical mechanics -- 6. 'Technische Mechanik' in action : Kutta's arc and the Joukowsky wing -- 7. The finite wing : Ludwig Prandtl and the Göttingen school -- 8. "We have nothing to learn from the Hun" : Realization dawns -- 9. The laws of Prandtl and the laws of nature -- 10. Pessimism, positivism, and relativism : Aerodynamic knowledge in context -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
Summary Why do aircraft fly? How do their wings support them? In the early years of aviation, there was an intense dispute between British and German experts over the question of why and how an aircraft wing provides lift. The British, under the leadership of the great Cambridge mathematical physicist Lord Rayleigh, produced highly elaborate investigations of the nature of discontinuous flow, while the Germans, following Ludwig Prandtl in Göttingen, relied on the tradition called "technical mechanics" to explain the flow of air around a wing. Much of the basis of modern aerodynamics emerged from this remarkable episode, yet it has never been subject to a detailed historical and sociological analysis. In 'The Enigma of the Aerofoil', David Bloor probes a neglected aspect of this important period in the history of aviation. Bloor draws upon papers by the participants - their restricted technical reports, meeting minutes, and personal correspondence, much of which has never before been published - and reveals the impact that the divergent mathematical traditions of Cambridge and Göttingen had on this great debate. Bloor also addresses why the British, even after discovering the failings of their own theory, remained resistant to the German circulation theory for more than a decade. The result is essential reading for anyone studying the history, philosophy, or sociology of science or technology - and for all those intrigued by flight
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 497-533) and index
Notes English
Print version record
Subject Prandtl, Ludwig, 1875-1953.
SUBJECT Prandtl, Ludwig, 1875-1953 fast
Subject Aerodynamics -- History
TRANSPORTATION -- Aviation -- General.
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2011013059
ISBN 9780226060934