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Questions tagged [classical-mechanics]

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Who first derived $a =v^2/r$

This is a basic formula in mechanics, which determines the acceleration of a particle performing uniform circular motion. By who first derived it? In Newton's Principa, what one can find is that $$...
4
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2answers
73 views

Why couldn’t the Burgess B Clock built in 1974 be built in 1775 by Harrison?

In the Royal Observatory in London they have a mechanical clock called the Burgess B, based on a 200 year old design by Harrison. My question is: Why couldn’t the Burgess B Clock built in 1974 be ...
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2answers
70 views

When did spring-driven clocks start being used?

On a tour of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich I saw the following display on the history of mechanical clocks: They suggest that mechanical clocks and astronomy weren’t really combined in England ...
2
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1answer
71 views

References about the the development of the concept of mechanical work

I'm looking for references about how the concept of mechanical work ("$\boldsymbol{F}\cdot\mathrm{d}\boldsymbol{r}$") or the concept of mechanical power ("$\boldsymbol{F}\cdot\boldsymbol{v}$") came ...
3
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1answer
104 views

What is the origin of French/Burmester's curves?

French curves are a set of curvilinear rulers used in industrial design, before the advent of CAD, when everything still had to be drawn by hands. The most popular set of such rulers is made up of 3 ...
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2answers
92 views

Who assigned the name “work” to the quantity $\int F\,{\rm d}r$?

I am looking into the historical perspective of how the concept of work and energy came about: who coined the terms "mechanical work" and "energy", and how the concept evolved over time. I know that ...
8
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2answers
164 views

Could scientists of Newton's time have explored the limits of his laws of motion?

As noted on this Wikipedia page Newton's laws of motion and of gravity were "verified by experiment and observation for over 200 years" and found to be a "good approximation for macroscopic objects ...
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1answer
200 views

How did Newton write his equations?

Once, after a lecture, my professor of differential equations said, that Newton did not use derivatives in his work as we do today. He told us that Newton rather used some series expansions for his ...
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0answers
78 views

Who was the first to use the term field in physics?

Faraday, after drawing his lines of force in 19th century, is normally credited as the first to use the term field in physics. But... ... was not the term field used in the context of gravitational ...
3
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1answer
98 views

What is the origin of the term “involution” used in Hamiltonian mechanics

We say that two dynamical variables $f$ and $g$ are in involution if their Poisson bracket vanishes, i.e., $\{f,g\}=0$. Why is it called involution?
3
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2answers
107 views

Equation for the conservation of vis viva

How did Christiaan Huygens come across the fact that the quantity $mv^2$ is conserved during motion? I would like to know his thought process and how he derived or proved this result.
2
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1answer
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How could Huygens have solved the tautochrone problem before Newton's theory of gravity and equations of motion?

In this answer to a question of mine on the stackexchange physics site, I learned about the tautochrone problem. Apparently it was solved by Huygens in 1659, which is before Newton's work on mechanics....
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Which problems led Newton to three laws of motion?

How did Newton come up with the three laws of motion? Are these laws are true of newton, or they are of Galileo.
2
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1answer
82 views

Hellenistic mechanics

In Rene Dugas' History of Mechanics, the author starts off the book with this passage with details with regards to hellenistic mechanics. He comments, and I paraphrase " the author of the apocryphal ...
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0answers
72 views

History of mechanics

Could anyone please suggest me a good book which explains the history of mechanics clearly in a way that the modern reader can comprehend without knowing a breadth of historical facts? Also a book of ...
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52 views

Scalar mechanics

Can someone please suggest me some books which treat and teach Newtonian Mechanics ( Statics and Dynamics ) without the use of vectors? I was wondering how can we carry out the same treatments with a ...
4
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1answer
158 views

What was Liouville's contribution to Liouville's theorem?

Liouville's theorem asserts that the volume of phase space is incompressible. This was first shown by Gibbs 1903 but his name is mostly forgotten. The Wikipedia article says It is referred to as ...
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4answers
898 views

Why are canonical coordinates canonical?

Canonical coordinates are coordinates $q_i$ and $p_i$ in phase space that are used in the Hamiltonian formalism. The canonical coordinates satisfy the fundamental Poisson bracket relations: \...
7
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2answers
272 views

Day-to-day tasks of human computers, à la Hidden Figures movie

I was fascinated by the film Hidden Figures, and a related article from New Scientist magazine Gifted and black: The brilliant woman who got the US into space. I'm trying to understand more about ...
6
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2answers
911 views

How did Newton come up with his formula?

In high school students are taught the formula that describes the universal gravitational force $F=G\frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$. However it is not taught how and why Newton came up with it. Does Newton give ...
5
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1answer
145 views

Who discovered the normal mode decomposition of coupled oscillators?

Coupled oscillators can be broken down into a superposition of normal mode oscillations. Who was the first person to solve for this system in this way?
3
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1answer
170 views

Did Newton find geodesics on curved surfaces in Principia?

My question reffers to section X of book 1 of Isaac Newton's Principia, that deals with motion of particles on curved surfaces. I read that in proposition 56 Newton found the trajectory of a particle ...
4
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1answer
211 views

Who was first to integrate Newton's equations of motion to derive the conservation laws for mechanical energy and momentum?

I'm wondering who is the first person in the history who came up with an idea to integrate Newton's $F=ma$ to obtain the law of mechanical energy conservation? And When did it happen? Also I have the ...
6
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2answers
174 views

Did Newton find the trajectory of a body moving in uniform gravity under the quadratic resistance law (the ballistic problem)?

I'm very confused by contradicting accounts of a supposed solution by Newton to the problem of finding the trajectory of a projectile moving under uniform gravity against resistance that is ...
6
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2answers
168 views

Who was the first scientist to suggest that objects can keep moving without applied force?

In the old days Aristotels argued that object needs a force to keep going in 'space'. Some philosophers, Philoponus and Buridanus (?), later argued that there was a need for some kind of 'impetus'. ...
5
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1answer
737 views

Did Maxwell invent the Maxwell's wheel?

Tried to find it online, but nothing. Everyone refers to it and that it's named after the famous James Clerk Maxwell (of the Maxwell electromagnetic laws and some other things), but there is no direct ...
8
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5answers
281 views

Which book gives a thorough understanding on the scientific environment of antiquity?

I have started reading Rene Dugas' History of Mechanics book. I want to understand physics from the spectacle of seeing its intellectual evolution instead of directly jumping into its general theories/...
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3answers
441 views

How did Newton and Kepler (actually) do it?

Today if I want to calculate an elliptical orbit of some object due to the gravity of another, I use Runge-Kutta integration, and I can see the individual steps I use shown in that article. Back "in ...
3
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2answers
263 views

Was “Kepler's third law” deduced from the Galilean moons, or from planetary motion?

I have read that Galileo was able to start observing the four large satellites of Jupiter in 1610. Did he ever attempt to estimate the relative sizes of the four orbits, and their periods? I made a ...
8
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2answers
291 views

Did wave optics anticipate quantum mechanics?

I heard in wave optics and electromagnetism that Hamilton could have discovered the Schrödinger equation, or that he was the first man who used the expression $$ \Psi(x)= \exp(i S(x)/\hbar)\,. $$ I ...
6
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2answers
554 views

What is the history of the energy concept and its measurement?

Could someone please explain how the concept of energy was originally conceived and how it evolved over time to our current understanding of it? Also how did people come about various ways of ...
4
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1answer
63 views

First mention of modes of vibration in mechanics

I was wondering when eigenmodes (modes of vibration) were first mentioned in mechanics. Any reference would be appreciated. I expect them to date back to the second half of the 19th century because ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Wireless transmission and speed of light in Weber Electrodynamics

The telegraph model of Weber-Gauss, relying on Weber's electrodynamics, modeled instantaneous action at a distance of the electric scalar potential (Coulomb potential) manifesting as propagation of ...
10
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1answer
331 views

How did gyromagnetic ratio come up before quantum mechanics, and who introduced it?

I am really curious about who was the first one to define the gyromagnetic ratio $\gamma$ of a body, i.e. the ratio of its magnetic dipole momento to its angular momentum. It is a very important ...
3
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1answer
40 views

Clausius regarding energy

Clausius somewhere wrote (in German): ``The energy of the world is constant.'' This is a well known quotation. What is the source, publication, the rest of the paper? [Obviously he was summarizing ...
5
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2answers
446 views

Did Hooke's law come from experiments, or was it mathematically derived from Newtonian mechanics?

Was Hooke's law first coming from experiment or from math derivation of which Newtonian mechanical laws are the only prerequisite? Also can the law itself be reinvented in this way, or is it ...
5
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1answer
354 views

History of the study of indeterminism in classical mechanics

The classic Norton's dome problem, space invaders and other examples, show that Classical Mechanics, held as the paragon of determinism for ages having inspired Laplace's statements on determinism, is ...
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25 views

When does the first vibration meter/tester exist in the earth?

When does the first vibration meter/tester exist in the earth? It was too hard to find the answer in Google in few hours
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1answer
48 views

What is the decade of experimentation that start to verify the formulas from mechanics of vibration? [closed]

What is the decade of experimentation that start to verify the formulas from classical mechanics of vibration? People unable to "see" or "hear" the vibration of the objects in the late 19 century...
4
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1answer
103 views

Looking for a Book Which Discusses the Rigor in Newton's Principia Mathematica

About an year ago, I had seen an article somewhere on the internet which discussed Newton's Principia Mathematica and the rigor (or lack thereof) of the arguments presented. I have forgotten who the ...
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0answers
24 views

Looking for a Book Which Discusses the Standards of Rigor in Newton's Principia [duplicate]

About an year ago, I had seen an article somewhere on the internet which discussed Newton's Principia Mathematica and the rigor (or lack thereof) of the arguments presented. I have forgotten who the ...
3
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1answer
194 views

What did Lagrange do with his quantity (the Lagrangian in classical mechanics)?

When I was learning classical mechanics, I was quite baffled by the Hamilton's principle, since it involves a quantity named after Lagrange. So, it seems that the principle was not discovered by ...
3
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2answers
433 views

Who came up with the laws of conservation of momentum?

Who came up with the laws of conservation of momentum? I'm more specifically interested in the conservation of angular momentum.
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1k views

What were Newton's six laws of motion?

In The Norton History of the Mathematical sciences, Ivor Grattan-Guinness writes of Newton's Principia, Indeed, in working drafts for the book Newton considered up to six laws, and this trio are ...
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0answers
187 views

Reading material suggestion for history of Newton's laws of motion

I intend to review the different concepts related to laws of motion floating around the publication of Principia and hopefully would like to comment on these (It's an essay project). I've gathered ...
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4answers
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Why is calculus missing from Newton's Principia?

I'm not suggesting that Newton did not discover calculus - the question is written this way to express my surprise that the Principia does not use the methods of calculus (or 'fluxions'). He instead ...
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2answers
863 views

How did Newton establish the conservation laws in the Principia?

In the contemporary axiomatic description the conservation laws in mechanics are deduced from Noether's Theorem using the homogeneity and isotropy of space and time. How did Newton, if he did, ...
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2answers
244 views

On the development of Newtonian Mechanics

Having borrowed from the library an English translation of Newton's Principia (Motte's), I read the begining sections, Part 1 and the Systems of the world, and noticed that Newton did physics ...
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2answers
381 views

Was Galileo a plagiarizer?

Was Galileo a plagiarizer? If we where to apply to the works of Galileo the general standards of plagiarism that we conform to today at our local institutions, would he be considered a plagiarizer? ...
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169 views

Mathematical interpretation of Aristotelian mechanics

I am looking for books which include a mathematical interpretation of Aristotle's hypotheses about mechanics. I heard that there are a few books which interpret his mechanical ideas mathematically, ...