English Title

Attempt at explanation of the phenomena of air


Leonhard Euler

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Content Summary

Euler elaborates on his theory of the atmosphere, which he first explained in E2. According to this theory, each globule of air has a virtual vacuum at its center, surrounded by a rotating subtle matter that is itself enclosed in an aqueous crust. In the case of very rarefied air, this theory agrees with Boyle's law. On the other hand, in dealing with less rarefied air, Euler runs across a large discrepancy between what his theory predicts and what Boyle's experiments showed. However, instead of discarding his theory, Euler says that Boyle's experiments were not accurate enough. Euler also presents some geometrical constructions of his equations. In addition, he deduces that the height of a barometer rises as the humidity of the air decreases, and that the height of a barometer falls as the humidity of the air increases. He also says that the height of a barometer depends on the state of the whole atmosphere. Euler also derives a pressure-density relation for humid air. (Based on Eric Aiton's introduction to Opera Omnia Series II, Volume 31.)

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Journal article

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Original Source Citation

Commentarii academiae scientiarum Petropolitanae, Volume 2, pp. 347-368.

Opera Omnia Citation

Series 2, Volume 31, pp.1-18.

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