The History of the Theory of Structures: Searching for Equilibrium, 2nd Edition
Ten years after the publication of the first English edition of The History of the Theory of Structures, Dr. Kurrer now gives us a much enlarged second edition with a new subtitle: Searching for Equilibrium. The author invites the reader to take part in a journey through time to explore the equilibrium of structures. That journey starts with the emergence of the statics and strength of materials of Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo, and reaches its first climax with Coulomb’s structural theories for beams, earth pressure and arches in the late 18th century. Over the next 100 years, Navier, Culmann, Maxwell, Rankine, Mohr, Castigliano and Müller-Breslau moulded theory of structures into a fundamental engineering science discipline that – in the form of modern structural mechanics – played a key role in creating the design languages of the steel, reinforced concrete, aircraft, automotive and shipbuilding industries in the 20th century. In his portrayal, the author places the emphasis on the formation and development of modern numerical engineering methods such as FEM and describes their integration into the discipline of computational mechanics.
Brief insights into customary methods of calculation backed up by historical facts help the reader to understand the history of structural mechanics and earth pressure theory from the point of view of modern engineering practice. This approach also makes a vital contribution to the teaching of engineers.
Dr. Kurrer manages to give us a real feel for the different approaches of the players involved through their engineering science profiles and personalities, thus creating awareness for the social context. The 260 brief biographies convey the subjective aspect of theory of structures and structural mechanics from the early years of the modern era to the present day. Civil and structural engineers and architects are well represented, but there are also biographies of mathematicians, physicists, mechanical engineers and aircraft and ship designers. The main works of these protagonists of theory of structures are reviewed and listed at the end of each biography. Besides the acknowledged figures in theory of structures such as Coulomb, Culmann, Maxwell, Mohr, Müller-Breslau, Navier, Rankine, Saint-Venant, Timoshenko and Westergaard, the reader is also introduced to G. Green, A. N. Krylov, G. Li, A. J. S. Pippard, W. Prager, H. A. Schade, A. W. Skempton, C. A. Truesdell, J. A. L. Waddell and H. Wagner. The pioneers of the modern movement in theory of structures, J. H. Argyris, R. W. Clough, T. v. Kármán, M. J. Turner and O. C. Zienkiewicz, are also given extensive biographical treatment. A huge bibliography of about 4,500 works rounds off the book.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Tasks And Aims Of A Historical Study Of The Theory Of Structures
Chapter 2 Learning From History: 12 Introductory Essays
Chapter 3 The First Fundamental Engineering Science Disciplines: Theory Of Structures And Applied Mechanics
Chapter 4 From Masonry Arch To Elastic Arch
Chapter 5 The History Of Earth Pressure Theory
Chapter 6 The Beginnings Of A Theory Of Structures
Chapter 7 The Discipline-Formation Period Of Theory Of Structures
Chapter 8 From Construction With Iron To Modern Structural Steelwork
Chapter 9 Member Analysis Conquers The Third Dimension: The Spatial Framework
Chapter 10 Reinforced Concrete’S Influence On Theory Of Structures
Chapter 11 The Consolidation Period Of Theory Of Structures
Chapter 12 The Development And Establishment Of Computational Statics
Chapter 13 Thirteen Scientific Controversies In Mechanics And Theory Of Structures
Chapter 14 Perspectives For A Historical Theory Of Structures
Chapter 15 Brief Biographies Of 260 Protagonists Of Theory Of Structures