Daniel Bernoulli Inventions and Accomplishments


Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physician who also had a love for mathematics. Unless you’ve studied mathematics or engineering extensively, there is a good chance that you haven’t ever heard of him. He came from a family that had a particular love of mathematics, having been born in the Netherlands before moving to Basel, Switzerland. His name is commemorated with the Bernoulli principle, which is an example of the conservation of energy. This principle is used in many engineering constructions today, including airplane wings and carburetors.

Here is a look at some of the other work that Daniel Bernoulli contributed to the world during his lifetime.

1. Blood Pressure Measurements

After developing his first mathematical principles, Bernoulli realized that the flow of fluids would also be adaptable to the idea of energy conservation. To investigate his theory, Bernoulli punctured the wall of a pipe and stuck in a small straw. He realized that the height the fluid rose within the straw was reflective of how much pressure was being generated. Being a physician as well, Bernoulli realized this would also work to measure the blood pressure of patients if a small tube was stuck in an artery. This was the preferred method of checking blood pressure for almost 200 years and this method is still used today to measure aircraft speeds.

2. Risk Measurements

Economic theory is all about measuring risks and rewards. Sometimes you want to avert risk and sometimes the right risks can pay off with a premium amount. In 1738, Bernoulli wrote a piece where the St. Petersburg paradox, an idea that relates probability and decision theory, as a means of being able to measure risk within an economic environment. He also attempted to analyze statistics involving censored data to measure the efficacy of vaccines within the general population.

3. Kinetic Theory of Gases

Although Bernoulli isn’t credited with the actual theory, he is the one who led the basis for the theory to be created and the results of the ongoing study of this theory is seen as the foundation to confirm the existence of atoms and molecules. It basically states that gas pressure is due to the impacts of these atoms and molecules against the wall of a container where gas has been trapped. Because the atoms and molecules move in different directions, different pressures can be achieved even with the same gas.

4. Euler-Bernoulli Beam Equation

Theories about beams and their elasticity had been being developed for some time before Bernoulli began working on it. This equation shores up the elasticity of a beam, or how flexible it can be, yet still be considered a rigid beam. By knowing this information, it is possible to understand the tolerances of the beam, how much weight it is able to bear, and how functional the beam can be over an extended period of time. This equation is critical to the development of proper aerodynamics and you can see this equation applied every day on vehicles, airplanes, and anything else that moves with some version of improved velocity.

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