Today we look at some of the wonderful inventions and discoveries of Leonardo da Vinci! We cover his work on anatomy, geology, his design of a robotic knight, his design for a practical parachute and more.
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Hi everyone! This is episode thirteen of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast. I am Ashna, your host and guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Thanks for tuning in!
Today we are going to go over some of the inventions and discoveries of possibly the greatest Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci!
We cannot hope to cover all his inventions and discoveries. We will simply go over some of the ones we find the most interesting.
As this is simply an overview of some of his inventions and discoveries, we will almost certainly return to the topic of Leonardo da Vinci and cover his history, some of his influences and what influence he had on those that came after him. However, we will see a little bit of the influence he had on others in this episode.
Credit to the website Leonardo da Vinci Inventions which was used to check and reference much of the information in this podcast. You can check the site out here.
But, without further ado, let us see how many we can cover, in alphabetical order.
Leonardo was extremely interested in the human body and dissected many, many bodies. More than 30 according to his own claims.
Leonardo, being the great artist he was, drew many very detailed and remarkably accurate sketches of various parts of the human body. |
In 1510-1511 alone he compiled a series of 18 largely double-sided sheets containing over 240 drawings and 13,000 words of notes.
This is known as the Anatomical Manuscript A and is housed in the Royal Collection.
He made many major discoveries as a result of all this work.
For instance, he produced the first accurate depiction of the human spine. As well as the first accurate description of cirrhosis of the liver.
The heart surgeon Francis Wells, working at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, has examined many of Leonardo’s sketches. He has commented that they were far better than anything he had seen in modern textbooks of anatomy.
In his words: “They were beautiful, accurate, absorbing – and there was a liveliness to them that you just don’t find in any modern anatomical drawings.”
He is not the only medical expert to express such opinions. Several other experts have expressed the view that his works are better than most or all other modern works they have seen.
In his time and well after, it was believed that the heart had a two-chambered structure. However, Leonardo discovered that it had four.
As well as this, he discovered that the atria or filling chambers contract together while the pumping chambers or ventricles relax and vice versa.