The history of damping measurement, analysis, and enhancement is examined mainly from an engineering viewpoint but with some reference to the contributions of materials science. The contributions from 1784 to 1920 were mostly by physicists and mathematicians. From 1920 to 1940 most of the pertinent work was done by application-oriented engineers. While materials scientists have used damping measurements as a microstructural research tool for almost 200 years, only recently have the basic principles of materials science been used to optimize the damping of engineering structures.
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