Water as Microscope of Nature

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester

codex leicester 11A 26v  particolareThe Codex Leicester contains the first-ever detailed description of the movement of waves and the effects of their impact on seashores and riverbanks. Leonardo interprets wave movements in terms of weight, impetus, and percussion. He analyzes the impact of a wave on the shore in exceptional detail, showing that the backward ridges of its crest collide with the next wave. The first wave then splits into two parts: one is projected upward and then folds back on itself, while the other falls to the bottom, dragging out to sea the lower part of the wave with which it collided.