Water as Microscope of Nature

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester

P7 3b Windsor 12401 No one before Leonardo had attempted to describe in comparable detail the infinite movements of water, its interactions with the other elements, and the continuous changes that it produces on the Earth’s surface and inside it. He was convinced that the science of waters would enable him to reveal the organization and functioning of nature.

In the Codex Leicester, Leonardo provided three indices of the Treatise on Water that he never managed to complete. He set out to reveal the elementary structure of water, to describe the causes for the cataclysms that it produces, to investigate vortex movements, to design efficient solutions for preventing the destruction of river banks, and to emphasize the analogies between water and air, and between the movements of fishes and birds.