Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [engineering]

The tag has no usage guidance.

0
votes
1answer
67 views

Level of maths of engineers in the Industrial Revolution

Did engineers like I.K. Brunel and his contemporaries employ calculus in their constructions? Or did they work just with 'rules of the thumb' and useful 'laws' like the square-cube...? What was the ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

On what basis did Kennedy think that humans could land on the moon so quickly?

In September 1962 a nice young man ordered the United States to commit to landing on the moon in eight years. Even though none of the technologies, methods, or materials for doing so existed at the ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Oldest example of (intentional) PID control

Background: PID (proportional-integral-derivative) control has been around for a long time. It was in textbooks in the early 1900's. The Routh-Hurwitz stability criterion is from 1895. link ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the origin of French/Burmester's curves?

French curves are a set of curvilinear rulers used in industrial design, before the advent of CAD, when everything still had to be drawn by hands. The most popular set of such rulers is made up of 3 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

When was double-paned glass first invented and used for insulation?

Double-paned glass windows have a hollow space between two panes of glass, usually just filled with air. This can make a much better insulator than normal glass, according to Engineering Toolbox. I ...
-2
votes
1answer
84 views

How did crude oil pipelines work before WW2?

Before World War Two, how did pipelines work for crude oil? What kind of metal or plastic were they made out of? What kind of sensors and monitoring did they need? Did they have "pigs" that travel up ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

How did the snifting valve in Newcomen's steam engine work?

Its function was to expel the air that came inside the cylinder along with the steam to prevent the engine to become "wind logged". Since the valve was non-return, how did Newcomen stopped steam from ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

How did Newcomen's Atmospheric Engine lift water above the 10.3m vacuum limit?

I've been reading about Newcomen's engine but i'm not clear on how he overcame the lift limit due to gravity on the water column overcoming the suction of the partial vacuum. Did the engine somehow ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Is the article reporting the first cell phone still around?

At around the 3 min mark in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6gNeKjC9Cc, Dr. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first cell phone says that he made the first phone call on 4/3/73 to impress ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Old square bracket notation for units

As discussed in this answer https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/77691/667 there are several common conventions for the notation $[q]$ of a physical quantity $q$. However, I often see people to put ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

When were self-locking doors invented and when did they become commonplace?

In the 1950s in The Netherlands, it was common for people to hang a little rope through the mailbox, so that children (which apparently did not have a copy of the key) could let themselves in at any ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Verification of Navier's theory of structures

Jacques Heyman in his article Truesdell and the History of the Theory of Structures, mentions the following: The first full-scale tests on building frames were made in the 1920s in London, and ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

Introduction of $\imath$ and $\jmath$ notations for the imaginary unit

The imaginary unit is generally denoted $i$ or $\imath$. I have learned that the term imaginary ("imaginaires") was coined by R. Descartes in 1637, and the "i" notation was introduced by L. Euler (cf. ...
3
votes
0answers
110 views

Did Leibniz design prototypes of a yaw system and a braking mechanism for windmills?

My question is concerned with two hardly mentioned yet extremly ingenius inventions of Leibniz. These two inventions represent unusal technological inventiveness and visionary insight (about wind ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

“Goofy ideas” of Harry Nyquist?

I was watching this lecture series by Dr. Richard Hamming on "Learning to Learn" and in this link, he describes Harry Nyquist as a great man who could do two things, you dont meet very often. He ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

What were the applications of ellipses before elliptical orbits were discovered?

I'm interested in the history of ellipses. When were they discovered, what uses (if any) did they have before the true shape of orbits were found (by Kepler I think)? There are some interesting ways ...
6
votes
1answer
572 views

How did Archimedes's water clock work?

I read that several principles of Al-Jazari's monumental water clocks were based upon earlier designs of water clocks by Archimedes, for example the use of valves, feedback system and flow control ...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

What were Archimedes's improvements to the screw pump?

In order to understand my motivation to answer this question, I'll remark that Vitruvius said that the screw was inclined by the small angle of a 3:4:5 triangle. So it means that perhaps there was ...
4
votes
1answer
251 views

Why was the V-2 not a solid rocket, and/or what is the scientific history of solid rockets?

Why was the V-2 rocket made with ethanol and liquid oxygen, which had a specific impulse of 215 seconds at sea level, when a solid rocket using APCP gets 237 seconds? In addition, a solid rocket ...
5
votes
1answer
499 views

Who invented the swan-necked flask?

In his experiments to disprove the theory of spontaneous generation, Louis Pasteur used a swan-necked flask. One source implies that Pasteur invented it himself, but I haven't been able to find ...
25
votes
0answers
1k views

Roman engineers

It is a common opinion that Romans did not contribute anything to exact sciences, but did contribute much to engineering. (How can it be otherwise, anyone who has been on the territory of the former ...