You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Euler's Expansion of Robins's Gunnery

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Benjamin Robins (1707-1751) was an English mathematician and military engineer specializing in ballistics and artillery. Robins was also a firm Newtonian, advocating and defending Isaac Newton’s theory of fluxions. In 1742, Robins published New Principles of Gunnery in which he introduced the ballistic pendulum.

Robins’ work was greatly admired by Leonhard Euler who added his own comments and translated it into German as Neue Grundsätze der Artillerie and presented it to the Berlin Academy in 1745. In turn, Euler’s version was translated back into English and further expanded by Hugh Brown who supplemented it with his findings and published this thrice-amended work as The True Principles of Gunnery in 1777.

Title page from The True Principles of Gunnery by Hugh Brown (based on work by Benjamin Robins and Leonhard Euler), 1777

The image above is presented courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Library.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Euler's Expansion of Robins's Gunnery," Convergence (September 2018)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED