Scientists have identified a page of scribbles in a tiny notebook dating back to 1493 as the place where Leonardo Da Vinci first recorded the laws of friction. The detailed study of notes and sketches by him also shows that he went on to apply this knowledge repeatedly to mechanical problems for more than 20 years.
The research led by Ian Hutchings Prof in UK is the first detailed chronological study of Da Vinci's work on friction and has also shown how he continued to apply his knowledge of the subject to wider work on machines. Da Vinci conducted the first systematic study of friction which was the predessor of modern science of tribology.The book which dates from 1493 is now exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Musuem contains the statement scribbled in his mirror writing from right to left. The study showed the script and diagrams in red are of great interest to the history of tribology. The rough geometrical figures underneath the red notes show rows of blocks being pulled by a weight hanging over a pulley. According to Prof Hutchings the sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493. The research traces a clear path of development in Da Vinci's studies of friction and shows that he realised that friction while useful and even essential also played a key role in limiting the efficiency of machines.