Dialogues concerning Two New Sciences

By Galileo Galilei; Henry Crew et al. | Go to book overview
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151


SECOND DAY

SAGR. While Simplicio and I were awaiting your arrival we were trying to recall that last consideration which you advanced as a principle and basis for the results you intended to obtain; this consideration dealt with the resistance which all solids offer to fradture and depended upon a certain cement which held the parts glued together so that they would yield and separate only under considerable pull [potente attrazzaione]. Later we tried to find the explanation of this coherence, seeking it mainly in the vacuum; this was the occasion of our many digressions which occupied the entire day and led us far afield from the original question which, as I have already stated, was the consideration of the resistance [resistenza] that solids offer to fracture.

SALV. I remember it all very well. Resuming the thread of our discourse, whatever the nature of this resistance which solids offer to large traftive forces [violenta attrazzione] there can at least be no doubt of its existence; and though this resistance is very great in the case of a direct pull, it is found, as a rule, to be less in the case of bending forces [nel violentargli per traverso]. Thus, for example, a rod of steel or of glass will sustain a longitudinal pull of a thousand pounds while a weight of fifty pounds would be quite sufficient to break it if the rod were fastened at right angles into a vertical wall. It is this second type of resistance which we must consider, seeking to discover in what

[152] proportion

-109-

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