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Design Paradigms by Henry Petroski

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5

Galileo’s Confirmation of a False Hypothesis

A Paradigm of Logical Error in Design

 

 

 

Among the most crucial assumptions in the solution of any engineering problem, whether it be a problem in engineering science or in engineering design, is the assumption of how any particular mode of failure will occur. Indeed, it is the analyst’s or designer’s preconceived ideas about failure that drive the analysis or design (which beyond conceptualization necessarily proceeds by some form of analysis), and virtually every theoretical calculation or experimental measurement on an analytical or scale model of a real or projected system is most significant in its relationship to how the system is imagined to fail in theory or practice.

As an illustration ...

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