In 1721, ‘s Gravesande became involved in a public controversy over whether the German inventor Johann Bessler, known as Councillor Orffyreus, had created a genuine perpetual motion machine. ‘s Gravesande at first argued for the feasibility of perpetual motion based on the conservation of the scalar quantity mv (mass multiplied by speed), which he erroneously believed was implied by Newtonian mechanics. However, in 1722 he published the results of a series of experiments in which brass balls were dropped from varying heights onto a soft clay surface. He found that a ball with twice the speed of another would leave an indentation four times as deep, from which he concluded that the correct expression for the “live force” of a body in motion (what is modernly called its “kinetic energy“) is proportional to mv2.
Jenkins, A. (2013). “The mechanical career of Councillor Orffyreus, confidence man”. American Journal of Physics: 421–427.
“En aquella época dominaba la idea de Descartes de que la luz estaba compuesta por pequeños corpúsculos. Los colores eran la mezcla de luz y oscuridad, en distintas proporciones. Antes que Newton, Descartes ya intentó descomponer la luz, pero sólo logró obtener los colores rojo y azul.