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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
THOUGH the general plan and arrangement of this edition of the Treatise on Statics are the same as in the former, in the details there will be found, it is hoped, some important improvements.
The fundamental proposition of the science, the Parallelogram of Forces,-I have proved after Duchayla's method, by reason of its simplicity; but I think it necessary here to inform the reader that, as that method is inapplicable when the forces act upon a single particle of matter (as a particle of a fluid medium on the hypothesis of finite intervals), on account of its assuming the transmissibility of the forces to other points than that on which they act, I have, in an Appendix, given the proof which in the first edition was given in the text. The same objection, (and for the same reason) lies against the proof of the parallelogram of forces from the properties of the lever. This method, though allowable in the infancy of the science, can never be exclusively adopted in a treatise which professes to take a more philosophical view of the subject; for, were the transmissibility of force not true in fact, the law of the composition of forces acting on a point would still be true; it is evident, therefore, that to make the truth of the former an essential step in the proof of the latter, is erroneous in principle.
In the former edition, forces were considered as
The fifth Chapter contains a new (and it is hoped
In the last Chapter, I have endeavoured to set
ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
March 12, 1842.