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Petrus van Musschenbroek (1692-1761)

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Luis A. Godoy (1) and Isaac Elishakoff (2)
(1) Institute of Advanced Studies in Engineering and Technology, Science Research Council of Argentina 
and National University of Cordoba, 
Cordoba, Argentina; and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
(2) Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, 
Boca Raton, Florida, USA
“The Experimental Contribution of Petrus Van Musschenbroek to the Discovery of a Buckling Formula in the Early 18th Century”, International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics, Vol. 20, No. 5, Article ID 2050063, 2020

ABSTRACT: This paper concentrates on the work by Petrus van Musschenbroek published in 1729, constituting apparently the first study in the literature on column buckling. To understand the significance of Musschenbroek's contribution, we provide the combined personal, historic and scientific contexts in which he carried out his studies; he was the first researcher to deal with the failure of compressed elements as a new phenomenon. Most unfortunately, his name is not currently known except for a small circle of historians of science, whereas engineering students at present are told that buckling should be associated with the name of Leonhard Euler. We fully share the idea of Benvenuto stating that “Musschenbroek's experimental law is of considerable historical interest”. The contributions in his 1729 book are shown not only to include his experimental work but Musschenbroek also devised a design procedure for column buckling.
The 1729 book by Musschenbroek is entitled: “Physicae experimental et geometricae dissertations”. This 1729 book contains a section in Chapter 9 on Strength of Solids under the title, “Introductio ad cohaerentiam corporum firmorum". The studies on resistance of columns under compression are included in this chapter.

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