Water as Microscope of Nature

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester

P17 1a Windsor 12660v Leonardo observes waterfalls with great attention, reducing these complex phenomena to three successive phases: the water’s descent toward the bottom; its movement in the current’s direction; and the vortex movements that erode the river’s bank and bed. He also examines the air swept underwater by the waterfall, describing with spectacular drawings the “boilings” and “vortices” generated by the air’s efforts to rise back to the surface. He provides a superb representation of the impact of a sphere in water. As it hits the surface, it raises high splashes, whose height decreases as the sphere sinks.