Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 096.djvu/33

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on the Force of Percussion.

from the centre; and since the space through which the body would move to lose its whole velocity would be reciprocally as the retarding force, the angular motion of the lever and space through which the spring must bend, would be the same, at whatever point of the lever the body acted. And conversely, the reaction of the spring upon any other body B, would in all positions communicate to it the same velocity.

It may be remarked, however, that the times in which these total effects are produced may be varied at pleasure in proportion to the distances at which the bodies are placed from the centre of motion; and it should not pass unobserved that, although the intensity of any vis motrix is increased by being placed at what is called a mechanical advantage, yet on the contrary, any quantity of mechanic force is not liable to either increase or diminution by any such variation in the mode of its application.

Since we can by means of any mechanic force consisting, of a vis motrix exerted through a given space, give motion to a body for the purpose of employing its impetus for the production of any sudden effect, or can, on the contrary, occasion a moving body to ascend, and thus resolve its impetus into a moving force ready to exert itself through a determinate space of descent, and capable of producing precisely the same quantity of mechanic effect as before, the force depending on impetus may justly be said to be of the same kind as any other mechanic force, and they may be strictly compared as to quantity.

In this manner we may even compare the force of a body in motion to the same kind of force contained in a given quantity of gunpowder, and may say that we have the same