The Floating of a Body on the Surface of a Liquid: A Synthesis
- Giancarlo Cavazzini
The current physical interpretation of the phenomenon of floating of a body on the surface of a liquid - the so-called ’Archimedes’ Principle’ - is not correct. It is based on a assumption which is false, because it leads to contradict observed facts. A different physical interpretation is the correct interpretation, which is equivalent to the current one from the quantitative viewpoint, but significantly different from the physical viewpoint.
When a volume of matter – a body - is immersed in a fluid, it 'loses' its own weight, i.e., it is no longer home to the downward-directed mechanical action of which the volume is home when it is immersed in a vacuum. Therefore, a material volume immersed in a fluid does not host two mechanical actions - the 'weight' of the volume itself, directed downwards, and the 'Archimedes' force', directed upwards – but a single mechanical action. The intensity of this action is proportional to the volume of the body and to the difference in density between the matter which constitutes the body and the matter which constitutes the fluid. The direction of this action is related to the sign of the difference between the two values of density, reversing as the sign changes from positive to negative and vice-versa.
Since the intensity of this mechanical action is proportional to the difference in density between the matter which constitutes the body and the matter which constitutes the fluid, there is no mechanical action – i.e., the mechanical action ceases – if there is equilibrium in density between the matter of the body and the matter of the fluid. This indicates that the main cause of this mechanical action is a physical disequilibrium between the matter which constitutes the body and the matter which constitutes the fluid, i.e., a physical disequilibrium/relationship between matter which is in contact.
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- William ChenEditorial Assistant