- #1

Omega0

- 205

- 51

In my years at school I grew up with physics of ultimate simplifications. Everything was a point "particle", like the moon revolving around the earth. Like the apple falling from the tree. Naturally, this wasn't true for Thermodynamics but let us stay with "Newton and friends" for now. I have a bunch of further questions so this will be probably just the starter.

For me, it always felt bizarre in my school times that gigantic planets are just points in a theory. The sun although is a massive point. For me this was Newton, somehow, as it was teached. "Explaining" Kepler somehow.

Nowadays, I have a completely different picture. Let me please cite E. Poisson, Clifford M. Will, "Gravity", Cambridge University Press (2014):

"There are of course, many compelling reasons to begin a study of gravitation with a thorough review of the Newtonian theory... The reason that compels us most of all is that although there is a vast literature on Newtonian gravity - a literature that is accumulated over more than 300 years - much of it is framed in old mathematical language that renders it virtually impenetrable to present-day students. ... One of our main goals, therefore, is to submit the classical literature on Newtonian gravity to a Jacksonian treatment, to modernize it so as to make it accesible to present-days students."

I would say that Jackson may even be more steep in the development of a continous explanation of the relevant model but this doesn't matter. What matters to me is the development in physics generally. The 300 years of literature mean for example thermodynamics to be included.

My point is the following, in this little "survey": What is Newtonian Gravity in a sense of what he originally wrote? What essentially did he write? How was matter structured for him? Was Newtons Gravity an "atomic" thing? What is "Newtonian physics" if this is defined? Or did he write about continous matter distributions? Which he reduced to a point?

One of the (for me) bizarre things is the "Newtonian Fluid". Is this the prove that he although worked in continous matter? Where he didn't think about "particles"? So, what was then a planet for him? And - if he didn't believe in atoms, why should he has been working in Alchemy?

Etc.... thousands of questions waiting for you experts.

Thanks.