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12

It was "solved" by Huygens in Horologium Oscillatorum (1673). The scare quotes are there because he never wrote down the equation, and even Newton's laws were not yet explicitly formulated. Huygens considered the motion of pendula, and for simple cases knew the "law of the conservation of living force" (mechanical energy), as Bernoullis later called it, see ...


3

To me the most striking example of an invention that could have been invented long before it did is the Antikythera mechanism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism), a calculating machine that predates those of Pascal and Napier by almost 2000 years, but which was lost and forgotten, until its discovery in 1901. If this invention had become ...


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