Questions tagged [newton]

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Newton's Christian beliefs and alchemy

I was thinking in the rise of the so called "scientific revolution" (I know this is a broad period of history and science actually developed gradually, but you get the idea) and the ...
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What was Newton's statement of the universal law of gravitation?

Newton explained the inverse square law in Principia. On looking through an English translation, though, I'm having difficulty pulling out a single quote that is Newton's clearest statement of the ...
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Is there an English translation of Newton’s De Analysi?

I’m looking for an English translation of Newton’s De analysi. (Alas, my Latin is weak.) I’m rather dismayed by the fact that I can’t appear to find one. How is it possible that one of the most ...
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Can anyone find Newton's calculation error in Principia, Book III, Proposition XIX?

Musing about the historical evolution of the notation for the gravitational constant ($f$, $G$, $\kappa$, $\kappa^2$), I found myself digging for the first time in my life into Newton's Principia, ...
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Is it true that Newton used the gedankenexperiment of a cannonball revolving around the earth to find the inverse square law of gravity?

I have often heared that Newton compared the centripetal acceleration of an (imaginary) cannonball revolving around the earth just above the surface with the centripetal acceleration of the moon and ...
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Mr. Newton at the Royal Mint

I would like to ask how Isaac Newton specifically applied mathematics to reducing forgeries and improving coinage while he was Master of the Royal Mint. Thank you.
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Did Sir Isaac Newton smoke? [closed]

It is just a random thought I had while smoking my cigarette. Did Newton smoke tobacco? Some sites claim that he "smoked immoderately", while others are of the opinion that he never touched ...
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What was Newton's road to his discovery of “Puiseux series” and “Newton polygon”?

In my opinion, one of Isaac Newton's greatest achievements in the "purer" aspects of mathematics was his discovery of Puiseux series; power series with fractional exponents. According to p.6 ...
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161 views

What did Newton's teacher contribute to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus?

Isaac Barrow was one of the professors who taught Isaac Newton at Cambridge. According to this page, he is said to have made contributions to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus that was devised by ...
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Newton's evaluation of 1 + 1/3 - 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 + 1/11

I had asked the following question on MSE here, and I was directed to this exchange. There is a nice solution in the comments there, but perhaps someone here can add some additional insight? How ...
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Why do we use Leibniz's “version” of calculus instead of Newton's?

I understand that they invented calculus independently at roughly the same time, but why do we use Leibniz's terminology/notation rather than Newton's? For example, why don't we use "fluxion"...
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Newton as the first one to establish numerical analysis as a new field of study

I was reading about the history of Newton's Method. Newton used a cubic equation, $x^3 - 2x - 5 = 0$, to show the efficacy of his method around 1670. I was wondering that why Newton would choose this ...
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195 views

What mathematics did Isaac Newton learn at school?

Since Sir Issac Newton invented a lot of modern mathematics, what mathematics did he already know? Since he was standing on the shoulders of giants which giants was he speaking of? I presume he knew ...
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Where can I find Lagrange’s original equilateral triangular solution for arbitrary masses?

This answer to What kind of triangle is formed by three unequal masses in a circular restricted three body orbit? explains that In the Newtonian limit, an equilateral 3-body solution exists for any ...
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How did Newton prove his third law of motion?

I guess it is an experimental law, so what was the experiment?
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What was Sir Issac Newton's thoughts on the origin of the Universe?

Newton founded the Law of Gravitation based on the observations of Kepler and Galilei. He later invented the mathematical framework which eventually helped him formulate his theory of gravitation. ...
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157 views

What made Newton realize that the law of gravitation was 'universal'? [duplicate]

Newton's law of gravitation operative near the earth is the same law causes the earth and the other planets to go around the sun and other heavenly phenomena. Was it a giant leap of faith by Newton or ...
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132 views

The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Please, advise a good review of Isaac Newton's work "The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" with a detailed analysis of his mathematical ideas. Smth about 20-25 pages. Thank you in ...
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Did Newton invent convex hulls?

The convex hull of a set of points appears recognizably in a 1676 letter from Newton to Henry Oldenburg describing Newton polygons. Is there an earlier precedent for convex hulls or is this their ...
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Glass ball drop experiment

Several years ago, I remember reading about an experiment, and I thought it was in Newton's Principia, so the experiment was conducted in that time frame. The experiment involved timing the fall of a ...
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Is there a record of how Newton built his telescope?

Did Newton write down his process of building a reflector telescope? Even with modern knowledge and technology, building one is no easy task so I'm curious of exactly what Newton did.
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Are these Newton's quotes apocryphal?

I have stumbled upon the following alleged Newton's quotes, but I could not find them in any of their works. No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess. No sciences are better attested ...
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274 views

What problem led to the discovery of Calculus?

As far as I remember, Calculus was invented/discovered/founded by Newton. What was he trying to achieve that made him find the limit of differences approaching zero? How far did he get into Calculus? ...
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What if Newton's bucket had been a sphere?

My question is about Newton's bucket experiment. If a sphere filled (say) one-third with water is rotated very very fast, will the water eventually spread out across and coat the entire interior ...
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Did Newton already have F= ma (or equivalent) before finding his gravity equations?

Newton's gravity equations are in an F = ma configuration. Multiply the acceleration formula by m, you get the force formula. So did he have F = ma (or some equivalent - I think the concept of ...
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How did Newton measure forces in his experiments to establish the laws of motion?

I wanted to know about the experiments that Newton performed which led to the formulation of laws of motion. In particular I am interested in the following: How did he measure the forces in order to ...
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What does it mean by “d-ism of Leibniz” and “dotage of Newton” in simple English?

I am reading this article by Donald E. Knuth and get stuck by this sentence: Our mathematical language continues to improve, just as “the d-ism of Leibniz overtook the dotage of Newton” in past ...
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What was Isaac Newton's contribution to optics?

What was Isaac Newton's contribution to optics? I know that he believed in the corpuscular theory of light. Did he know about the laws of reflection ad refraction?
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535 views

Refraction in Newton's Corpuscular Theory of Light [duplicate]

Newton's theory of light stated that a light travelled in a straight line as small particles. When these particles travelled in a medium, they experienced an attractive force with the particles of the ...
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Why is there little scholarship devoted to Book II of Newton's Principia?

Books I and III seem to receive the bulk of attention by Newton scholars, and historians more generally. However, I'm sure an in-depth study of Book II would shed light on Newton as a thinker -- for ...
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155 views

Is Newton going to be the new Aristotle? [closed]

As general relativity and quantum mechanics become more accessible, is Newton going to become the new Aristotle, as the example of being wrong and misleading humanity for centuries? (as opposed to the ...
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263 views

Historically, how did René Descartes's works affect the invention of calculus?

When the "Cartesian coordinate system" was discovered By René Descartes, Algebra and Geometry were connected. How exactly did that affect Newton and Leibniz in the invention of what we know ...
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131 views

How close was Hooke to developing a comprehensive system of gravity?

Was Hooke close to developing a physical system of gravity on the same level as Newton. looking at Luka Trkanjec's post on Quora, he insists that Newton was quite overrated in this regard, and that ...
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159 views

What was Newton's view of theory of matter?

Did Newton believe in infinitely small particle theory of matter? Because when he talks about axis of rotation, which is locus of the centers of the circles of the rotating body and particle on the ...
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Was Newton's successful calculation of precession of equinoxes a fluke?

I have looked at several sources, and Newton was right about the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but an ellipsoid caused the precession of equinoxes, as the Moon's gravitational ...
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536 views

Is there anything written by Newton's roommate Wilkins about him?

I've read that John Wilkins was Newton's room-mate and they lived together for 20 years. Is there anything about Newton written by Wilkins? By the way, there is nothing easily found on google.
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Was English mathematics behind Europe by many years because of Newton's notation?

Below are several quotes suggesting that Newton's notation had the effect of retarding English mathematics by 50 years, 100 years, or even centuries. Here is my simplistic two-sentence historical ...
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What were the first practical applications of Newton's mechanics on engine design?

I'm interested in when and how Isaac Newton's mechanics first came to be applied practically in engine design. Did for example Thomas Newcomen take advantage on Newtons discoveries when he invented ...
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Was Newton's method of finding derivatives of his fluents based on applying the chain rule?

Can Newton’s process for finding the derivative of y as a function of x resulting in $\frac{dy}{dx}$ be thought of as an application of the chain rule? My thinking is: If y is a (continuous?) ...
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Whose value of the distance to the Moon did Newton use?

I heard that Newton used the Moon acceleration to come up with his universal law of gravity, but in order to calculate its acceleration you need the distance to the Moon. Whose measurement of this ...
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394 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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Difficulty in Understanding Newton's Principia

I see in many essays about Newton's Principia how it was very difficult to read and follow, so I was wondering if any of you know of any quotes from mathematicians of the time to that effect.
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How did Newton & Raphson's version of the N-R method differ?

To quote Wikipedia, Raphson's most notable work... contains a method, now known as the Newton–Raphson method... Newton had developed a very similar formula in his Method of Fluxions, written in ...
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Allegations of Newton's untruthfulness

In 1696 Johann Bernoulli posed aproblem to Europe's mathematicians to find the path of shortest time for a mass to descend from a point A to a point B. Apart from Bernoulli only a hand full of other ...
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How did heliocentrism survive after Galileo's sentencing?

Did the church continue to prosecute scientists for heliocentrism? If not, why not? What changed? Why didn't the church go after Isaac Newton?
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Absolute space and time before Newton

Why is so much emphasis put on the concepts of absolute space and time as the grand foundations of Newtonian mechanics, and not as foundations also of previous theories, as for example Kepler's laws ...
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Best books/papers on Newton and his mathematical physics

In your opinion, what are some of the best books/papers on Newton and his work that accurately cover the connections between his geometric proofs in the Principia and his development of the calculus ...
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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.
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how did people build temples and buildings in the ancient times without knowing newton's law?

If nowaday an engineer needs to know high level of mathematics and physics to complete the constructions of bridges buildings and so on what happened in ancient rome, greek middle ages ? they had no ...
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Did Isaac Newton make astronomical observations?

What role did astronomy play for Isaac Newton? He was a good friend with Edmond Halley the astronomer. Kepler's laws were obviously the foundation for his physics. And he revolutionized optics too, ...