Questions tagged [newton]

For questions about Isaac Newton (1643-1727), mathematician and physicist, and his works

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Did Isaac Newton boil his watch?

Through Google Gemini I was referred to a weird anecdote about Isaac Newton. The story goes more or less like this: Newton was absent-minded, he wanted to boil an egg, and ended up boiling his watch. ...
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About the acceptance of Newton's light experiment

I originally posted this question in History Stack Exchange, but I was recommended to post it here instead. My question starts with the following statement from a book I'm reading "Moreover, ...
madame p's user avatar
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F = ma -- How was did we come to understand that this compact form expressed what Newton said in words?

My understanding is, Newton in the 17th century did not use this formula but rather said, in words basically that if you apply a force it will cause a mass to accelerate in the direction of that force....
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What are the origins of calculating the area of a v/t graph to determine displacement?

I'm curious as to the origins of thinking of displacement as the area under a v/t curve. I assume that Newton (and/or Leibniz) was already familiar with the concept and knew that calculating the area ...
Physicator's user avatar
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How good was Newton at definite integration?

On Math Stack Exchange, I am impressed by users' skill at finding closed form expressions for definite integrals. For example: Example 1: $\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^...
Dan's user avatar
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What is the relationship between the Newtonian laws of motion and gravity and the Keplerian laws of planetary motion?

In the Wikipedia article for "Kepler's laws of planetary motion," the article suggests that "Isaac Newton showed in 1687 that relationships like Kepler's would apply in the Solar System ...
Colin Pace's user avatar
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Where does the famous equation $F = G\cfrac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$ come from?

The famous equation $F = G\cfrac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$ is not in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, as it has been pointed out by a commentator on another question about where the equation is in ...
Colin Pace's user avatar
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Could Newton have come up with General Relativity? [closed]

I was reading this question. There I read somewhere that he would have discovered modern physics if he had studied electromagnetism and nuclear physics. It was most likely in jest. But I ask How much ...
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Did Newton know about non-inertial frames?

When answering a Physics.SE question, I made a claim that Newton realized that $F=ma$ worked in some frames, which are called "inertial frames." Nowadays, we know that there are non-...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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Did Newton say: "If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent"?

I came across the above quote, and found it quite interesting. However, I struggled to find an actual source. Did Newton truly say this?
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Fatio de Dullier's Theory of Gravity -- Why ridiculed in 17th/18th century?

I read in Newton and the Counterfeiter about the young mathematician who was friends with Sir Isaac and competent enough to have detected an error in Principia. He offered a theory of gravity, I ...
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Did Newton's leap to understanding gravity involve cannonball thought experiments on a smooth Earth?

Could it be Newton had some ideas with respect to the cannonball thought experiments prior to the famous apple story? The thought experiment goes like you shoot an ordinary cannonball tangential to ...
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Who made the first (recorded) axiomatic model of nature?

Neil Degrasse Tyson has claimed that, via his Principia, Isaac Newton was the first person (on record) to make a "modern" theory of physics, in the sense that Newton made an axiomatic ...
Daddy Kropotkin's user avatar
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Reconstruction of Newton's axioms

Hilbert reconstructed Euclid's axioms. Is there an equivalent restructuring of Newton's axioms, or are they considered consistent?
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
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Where can I find the Royal Society report on the controversy over the invention of differential calculus?

Where can I find the report on the Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy mentioned in this article? In 1712 the Royal Society in England wrote a report purporting to settle the matter — except, the ...
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Was Isaac Newton left handed?

I started to see lists of left-handed scientists and Newton is included in all of them. I checked Westfall but could not find the answer. Are there any proofs that he was left handed? I've seen ...
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How the concept of Momentum was discovered?

As we already know that the concept of Momentum was discovered before Newton discovered his laws of motion, but my question is $\rightarrow$ How they discovered the relationship p=mv without knowing ...
Mathologist's user avatar
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When did derivative mean not only "slope of tangent" but also "instantaneous rate of change"?

When did derivative mean not only "slope of tangent" but also "instantaneous rate of change"? Fermat was interested in minima and maxima, and realized these occur when the tangent ...
SRobertJames's user avatar
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How was the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus discovered?

How was the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus discovered? The FTC is at once simple enough that Math.SE is full of questions asking "why is it such a big deal" and yet avoided discovery for ...
SRobertJames's user avatar
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How did Newton, Lagrange, Hamilton and others ideate their mechanical formulations?

What exactly did Lagrange do, historically? This is very relevant but the accepted answer just does similar speculations based on contextual details that I have done. It was mentioned that part of ...
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What physical problems required the invention of the derivative?

I know that Fermat had a method of adequality in order to solve certain optimization. One such problem was: "Suppose that you have a rectangle of material and need to cut corners into it such ...
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How did Isaac Newton write the integral symbol?

Isaac Newton is known as the discoverer of the FTC (Fundamental Theorem of Calculus), so maybe he wrote the integral symbol and derivative symbol. I know he wrote the derivative symbol as $\dot y$ but ...
MIKANkankitsu's user avatar
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What are the various manuscripts/transmissions of Newton's book "The Method of Fluxions"?

I am looking for which manuscripts and if available, through what chains of transmission copies of Newton's book "TheMethod of Fluxions" have reached us today So far I could not find ...
Hisham's user avatar
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Does Galilean/Newtonian mechanics reject both consequences of Aristotle's dynamical pseudo-law : $ V = F/m$, or only consequence (1)?

Note : my question is not as to whether consequence (2) is correctly derived from Arstotle's "law" ( I think it is the case) but as to whether this consequence is still true in Newtonian ...
Vince Vickler's user avatar
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1 answer
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Which physical quantities were used or introduced by Newton?

I have never read his original works, but I would say that he must have used length, volume, time, velocity, acceleration, momentum or force, and maybe (kinetic) energy. Which quantities appeared in ...
Leos Ondra's user avatar
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1 answer
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Inscriptions on Newton's tomb

Whiteside in "The Mathematical Principles underlying Newton's Principia Mathematica" wrote .. if we can give credence to an account in The Postboy of 12 April 1731, his tomb in Westminster ...
Tom Copeland's user avatar
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Before Einstein did people realize about a falling man not feeling weight?

I understand that Einstein was able to draw remarkable conclusions and was set on the path of General relativity when he realized that a falling observer not feeling his own weight. But is it believed ...
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Why was Principia Proposition 43, Theorem 22 not published?

Why was Proposition 43, Theorem 22, of Newton's Principia not printed? Weinberg, To Explain the World (2015) describes this proposition: In an unpublished “Proposition 43” that did not make it into ...
Geremia's user avatar
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Principia Mathematica and Law of Gravitation

Could anyone, please, point the exact place in "Principia Mathematica" where Newton explicitly stated the expression for the gravitational force between two particles? I mean the fact that ...
Андрей Кокорев's user avatar
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Third law of motion before Newton?

Are there any traces of the third law of motion before Newton's Principia? wiki says Newton arrived at his set of three laws incrementally. In a 1684 manuscript written to Huygens, he listed four ...
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What is the difference between Newton's definitions and axioms?

What is the difference between definition and axiom? For instance, Newton's Definition 1 reads: (Cohen p. 403) Quantity of matter is a measure of matter that arises from its density and volume ...
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Online resources for 19th century physics textbooks

I remember seeing Newton's force equation written in a 19th century textbook as $F=(M+m)/R^2$ (instead of $Mm$). I don't remember if they used $G$. Do you know a collection of 19th century physics ...
zeynel's user avatar
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Deflection of the pendulum arm in Cavendish experiment

I'm trying to find how Cavendish calculated the deflection of the arm due to the gravitational attractions of the weights. He gives for the deflection B=6.18 divisions. "Motion of the arm on ...
zeynel's user avatar
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Newton's Corollary #1 to the Laws of Motion (Principia)

I'm currently working through selected portions of Newton's Principia, but I'm already stuck in trying to understand his explanation for the first corollary (i.e., Corollary I) to the laws of motion. ...
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Is Newton's Gravitational Constant G a force?

The Constant of Gravitation $G$ was first defined by Boys in 1894: Employing the C.G.S system of measurement, the Newtonian Constant is equal to the force of attraction in dynes between two balls ...
zeynel's user avatar
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Question from Whiteside V. 1 - what did Newton mean by a:b :: c:d notation?

I'm reading volume 1 of Whiteside's 'Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton,' and on pp. 383-384, Newton reaches a conclusion on his "Example 1st" in the statement "55:-54 :: p:q..." -...
Tom Barson's user avatar
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Did Newton know the chain rule?

I heard someone say recently that Newton didn't know the chain rule. Is that true? I know Newton didn't share our current conception of functions, the real line, limits, etc., so if he did use ...
greatBigDot's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
249 views

Did the concept of mass exist before Newton?

I have been learning Newton's laws, and I am confused about the different formulations of the laws, the definitions of the quantities in the modern version, and the definitions of the quantities ...
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Are there any direct comments by Isaac Newton on Leibniz's living force / vis-viva?

The living force or the vis-viva is a quantity usually attributed to Leibniz (although there were a few other people who identified it as a conserved quantity in certain collisions earlier). Many ...
Maximal Ideal's user avatar
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1 answer
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Ideas about the speed of light between Galileo and Romer?

I know that the great Galileo made no real progress measuring the speed of light -- he disappointingly suggested that it might be infinite. I read that he concluded (based on his attempts to measure ...
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Identification of Rare Newton Statue

I'm not sure where else to post this. No matter how inventive my Google searches, I am unable to locate an active webpage containing this rare statue of Isaac Newton that I stored on my computer a ...
user7348's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to understand Poincaré's interpretation of Newton's anagram "aaaaabbbeeeeii"

In Science and Method, page 37, Poincaré (as translated by Francis Maitland) states, The story goes that Newton once communicated to Leibnitz an anagram somewhat like the following: aaaaabbbeeeeii, ...
Jonathan Trousdale's user avatar
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1 answer
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What led to the formula $W=\vec{F} \cdot \overrightarrow{d s}$? [closed]

For me the concept of energy in physics is the least intuitive one as in all the books on Physics that I have read so far. The concept of energy have been the least intuitive one as I cannot ...
user1086173's user avatar
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In which units did Sir Isaac Newton define force at that time as SI system didn't existed then? [duplicate]

Sir Isaac Newton led the foundation of his famous laws of motion during the 17th Century but at that time SI system hadn't existed. So in which units did he define force? Did he define it in some ...
Anshu Raj's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
286 views

In Newton's cannon image, where do the shapes drawn into the sphere come from?

I find quite interesting the choice for the shapes drawn into the sphere that resembles continents. Was this choice arbitrary or do we know if there is some justification behind it?
Jon's user avatar
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About Newton's apple

I read: Suddenly – boink! -an apple hits him on the head. “Aha!” he shouts, or perhaps, “Eureka!” In a flash he understands that the very same force that brought the apple crashing toward the ground ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
263 views

When did the word "Real number" begin to be used as an official terminology to refer to both rational and irrational numbers?

I am really curious about and struggling with finding when the word "Real number" began to be used as an official terminology to refer to both rational and irrational numbers. In Wiki, it ...
withgrace1040's user avatar
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0 answers
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Did Newton ever use filtered or prism-dispersed colored light to view "Newton's rings" or other thin-film interference effects?

First please enjoy this wonderful answer to How did Newton explain his interference rings without wave optics? which describes the story behind what we now call Newton's rings. Below I show an example ...
uhoh's user avatar
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History of interpolation methods - Newton

I'm interested in reading more about how Newton developed his method of interpolation and also the proofs he developed to this topic. I'm currently reading "Analysis by its history" which ...
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Was Kants theory of space and time inspired by that of colour?

Kants theory of space, time and causality is that they are the very forms of experience and ground all the other phenomena that we can experience. He called them the forms of sensibility. Kant studied ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar