Monday, July 22, 2019
Serving Newton Essay Example for Free
Serving Newton Essay At the start of the years University Physics 1 degree course, the Physics Professor looked at the motley crew filling the lecture theatre. He knew some students were destined to survive, while others would drop-out. In a rather callous way, the professor wrote-off the previous twelve years of the students scientific education before introducing the course. Writing on the board just four symbols, he continued saying The single most important equation in the Universe is, F = m a . The experience could be likened to watching the rector at church, singing the praises of the most exalted one. From this equation he said, everything else, all other forces are derived, forces including motion, gravity, electrostatics and magnetism. This can be experimentally proven over-and-over again as a Law of Nature, as a Universal truth. But this was no rector, this was the bishop, the professor himself outlining Newtons laws of motion, showing the magic relationships that exist in the sciences. The Universe seemed to make sense at that moment, but then his reverent attitude turned. He introduced into this overview scheme of things, three body gravitational systems. At this point, he stated that Newtons laws failed, for this is where Einsteins approximations come into their own, for only they can accurately predict and solve the forces that exist between three or more bodies in the Universe. Something appeared to be very incorrect; for this did not ring true. It seemed impossible that a law of Nature, a known Universal Truth, could be wrong? The professor was expressing the common cosmological opinion that Newtons laws of gravity are deeply troubled, if not wrong, yet he found it amusing that cosmologists could not suggest any mechanism to explain gravity or to improve gravitational theory. To conclude his introduction to Physics 1, the professor said, Terrestrially, the laws of Physics work, but when one talks about matters cosmological, Newtons laws fail miserably, giving-way to Einsteins relativity. This statement appeared to be more contradiction than Science. The Earth exists as a tiny speck of dark matter, orbiting with the Moon around a rather common star. As the Earth is part of the Solar System, located in The Galaxy, situated in the Universe, what then, makes the Earth so different to any other cosmological body? How can Newtons laws only apply here? Surely, if Newtons laws fail miserably in the rest of the cosmos, they must fail here? For any law to be a Natural law, then the law must apply universally, throughout the entire cosmos, where-ever there is matter. How can Newtons laws be called Natural laws when they fail? Only one theory can be true, or the accepted theories must be wrong. If both are incorrect then some other law must universally apply. It is important to contemplate some historical facts about Newtons laws of motion. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1747) was a man and as such made mistakes, not just in life, but also in his mathematics, language and science. At the start of his academic career, the Great Plague (1666) closed the Universities, so he left Cambridge to work on his own in the country. Newton taught himself mathematics from just four books and within a year, was making valuable contributions to mathematics and science. When it came to logarithms and The Calculus, Newton had to invent them, developing his own ideas and concepts, or he had to encompass, correct and modify the works of others. Words like mass and energy were not contemplated in this period. There was no one available to teach Newton how to use these methods and equally, there was no-one who could correct or confirm his work. Newton sourced much theory from the works of others and when they seemed true, accepted such mistakes as well. He modified their concepts and ideas into his own constructs. His laws of motion corrected the discoveries of Galileus Galileus (the English xenoym is Galileo Galilei), using deduction and fluxions (The Calculus). Galileus did not include the objects initial motion u. t when he wrote the distance equation s = 1/2 at 2. Newtons correction made sense, where a minor change , s = ut + 1/2 at 2 , bestowed credit on him. Prior to Galileus discovery, the belief was that when a cannon fired a shot, the shell was given impetus by the detonation of the gunpowder. The shell would use up all this impetus as it rose, then fall to the ground when the impetus ran out.