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## Summary:

- I was reading a Wikipedia article and got confused about a point. I'm not sure if it's true only in the context of civil engineering and science, or all kinds of engineering and science.

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi,

I was reading about Euler-Bernoulli beam theory on Wikipedia and couldn't understand few points under the history section.

How were they making bridges and buildings back then if they were not 'trusting' science? Isn't engineering an application of science where different branches of science combine in a very detailed way to produce a trust worthy practical outcome? How were they defining 'engineering' back then? Did they think that engineering is an outcome of practical experiments? You do one experiment, then modify it to make it better and so on. Could you please guide me with it? Thank you.

I was reading about Euler-Bernoulli beam theory on Wikipedia and couldn't understand few points under the history section.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler–Bernoulli_beam_theoryEuler–Bernoulli beam theory

It was first enunciated circa 1750,[2] but was not applied on a large scale until the development of the Eiffel Tower and the Ferris wheel in the late 19th century. Following these successful demonstrations, it quickly became a cornerstone of engineering and an enabler of the Second Industrial Revolution.

History

Prevailing consensus is that Galileo Galilei made the first attempts at developing a theory of beams, but recent studies argue that Leonardo da Vinci was the first to make the crucial observations. Da Vinci lacked Hooke's law and calculus to complete the theory, whereas Galileo was held back by an incorrect assumption he made.[3]

The Bernoulli beam is named after Jacob Bernoulli, who made the significant discoveries. Leonhard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli were the first to put together a useful theory circa 1750.[4] At the time, science and engineering were generally seen as very distinct fields, and there was considerable doubt that a mathematical product of academia could be trusted for practical safety applications. Bridges and buildings continued to be designed by precedent until the late 19th century, when the Eiffel Tower and Ferris wheel demonstrated the validity of the theory on large scales.

How were they making bridges and buildings back then if they were not 'trusting' science? Isn't engineering an application of science where different branches of science combine in a very detailed way to produce a trust worthy practical outcome? How were they defining 'engineering' back then? Did they think that engineering is an outcome of practical experiments? You do one experiment, then modify it to make it better and so on. Could you please guide me with it? Thank you.