Belidor, Bernard Forest de

Belidor, Bernard Forest de
SUBJECT AREA: Weapons and armour
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b. 1698 Catalonia, Spain
d. 8 September 1761 Paris, France
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French engineer and founder of the science of modern ballistics.
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Belidor was the son of a French army officer, who died when he was six months old, and was thereafter brought up by a brother officer. He soon demonstrated a scientific bent, and gravitated to Paris, where he became involved in the determination of the Paris meridian. He was then appointed Professor at the artillery school at La Fère, where he began to pursue the science of ballistics in earnest. He was able to disprove the popular theory that range was directly proportional to the powder charge, and also argued that the explosive power of a charge was greatest at the end of the explosion; he advocated spherical chambers in order to take advantage of this. His ideas made him unpopular with the "establishment", especially the Master of the King's artillery, and he was forced to leave France for a time, becoming a consultant to authorities in Bohemia and Bavaria. However, he was reinstated, and in 1758 he was appointed Royal Inspector of Artillery, a post that he held until his death.
Belidor also made a name for himself in hydraulics and influenced design in this field for more than a century after his death. In addition, he was the first to make practical application of integral calculus.
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Bibliography
Belidor was the author of several books, of which the most significant were: 1739, La Science des ingénieurs, Paris (reprinted several times, the last edition being as late as 1830).
1731, Le Bombardier françois, Paris: L'lmprimerie royale.
1737, Architecture hydraulique, 2 vols, Paris.
Further Reading
R.S.Kirby and P.G.Laurson, 1932, The Early History of Modern Civil Engineering, New Haven: Yale University Press (describes his work in the field of hydraulics).
D.Chandler, 1976, The An of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough, London: Batsford (mentions the ballistics aspect).
CM

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Bernard Belidor — Bernard Forêst de Bélidor (* 1697 (oder 1698) in Katalonien; † 8. September 1761 in Paris) war ein französischer Architekt, Ingenieur und General. Er gilt als der Begründer des Minenkriegs. Lebenslauf Belidor wurde als Sohn eines französischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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