By David H. Allen

This publication provides a nontechnical view of the heritage of mechanics from the large Bang to give day. the subject material is roofed (with abundant photographic aid) in a fashion that's guaranteed to trap the curiosity of the realized and the curious alike.

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**Extra resources for How Mechanics Shaped the Modern World**

**Example text**

Note relative dimensions of people in the background Obelisks 27 Fig. 24 Granite head of statue of Amenhotep III (1370 BCE) discovered at the Temple of Mut in Karnak by Giovanni Belzoni and Henry Beechey in 1817, now in the British Museum lost, but you can bet there weren’t many. ). Aside from the unfinished obelisk (see below), the tallest obelisk in the world (32 m) is at the Lateran Basilica in Rome. The most interesting to me are the two (22 m) that were originally at the Temple of Luxor in Egypt.

Thus, if we assume for the moment that the pyramid is solid (no hollow chambers inside), the number of stones, NS, in the Great Pyramid is approximately given by NS ¼ VP 2; 645; 000 m3 ¼ 2; 300; 000 stones ¼ VS 1:15 m3 =stone We also know that the approximate density, qS, of the stones is 2; 500 kg m3 : Therefore, each stone weighs about 2,900 kg. Now, let’s calculate the average height that a stone must be raised in the Great Pyramid. In order to do this, we need to calculate the height, h; at which exactly half of the volume of the pyramid is above this plane, and half is below this plane, as shown in Fig.

As described in Chap. 1, there is a story that Thales visited Egypt once in his lifetime, and that the pharaoh asked him to measure the height of the ancient pyramid of Cheops. Thales did so by placing a gnomon in the ground and comparing the length of the shadow it cast to the length of the shadow cast by the great pyramid. This story demonstrates the ingenuity of Thales. Thales also is thought to have believed that the Earth is spherical, and he is known to have predicted a solar eclipse. There is little additional direct evidence of his accomplishments, but the universal reference to him by all those who followed is ample reason for his inclusion herein (Fig.