Dissertation on fire in which its nature and properties are explained
Euler argues that fire is the result of the bursting of tiny glassy balls of highly compressed air in the pores of bodies, so that "heat consists in a certain motion of the smallest particles of a body." Thus, all the phenomena associated with heat and fire can be deduced from the laws of mechanics without supposing any "occult qualities." He also says that light is the elastic vibration of the ether that is initiated by the explosions of little balls; hence, light is propagated by the same laws as sound. (Based on Clifford Truesdell's introduction to Opera Omnia Series II, Volume 12.)
Paris prize article
Original Source Citation
Pièce qui ont remporté le prix de l'académie royale des sciences, Volume 1738, pp. 2018-01-19.
Opera Omnia Citation
Series 3, Volume 10