Discovering Da Vinci Daily: Day 08: Cannon Roars

Discovering Da Vinci Daily: Day 08: Cannon Roars

The nature of the effect of the roar of the cannon:

The rumbling of the cannon is caused by the impetuous fury of the flame beaten back by the resisting air, and that quantity of the powder causes this effect because it finds itself ignited within the body of the cannon; and not perceiving itself in a place that has capacity for it to increase, nature guides it to search with fury a place suitable for its increase, and breaking or driving before it the weaker obstacle it wins its way into the spacious air; and this not being capable of escaping with the speed with which it is attacked, because the fire is more volatile than the air, it follows that as the air is not equally volatile with the fire it cannot make way for it with that velocity and swiftness with which the fire assails it, and therefore it happens that there is resistance, and the resistance is the cause of a great roar and rumbling of the cannon.
But if the cannon were to be moved against the oncoming of an impetuous wind it would be the occasion of a greater roar made by reason of the greater resistance of the air against the flame, and so it would make a less rumbling when moved in the line of the wind because there would then be less resistance.

In marshy places or other wide tracts of air the cannon will make a louder report close at hand, and at a lesser distance it will be perceived that up on the mountains or in other places where the air is rarefied, if the air be thick or thin equally and without direct movement of winds, the roar will be equally perceptible round about its cause, and it would io on expanding from circle to circle just as the circles of water do when caused by a stone thrown into it; and in that place where similar instruments are being used the adjacent air will break or scatter all the things of weak power of resistance. All the large vessels with wide mouths will become broken, the windows of paper and such like things; the neighboring roofs will all be shaken on their supports; and this will take place though many windows and doors stand open, and walls which are thin and without buttresses will become dangerous.

This happens because the air swells and presses itself out and wishes to escape in all directions in which movement is possible. Doors windows trees and such things as these will all be moved, and if you set an arrow lightly fastened with a small stone it will be carried about a distance of six miles through the movement of the air.


He is examining not only cannons or sound but the actual creation of sound waves. Not only that but how different sound waves are affected by the air that they are traveling through.
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