1. Standard memberadam warlock
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    31 Mar '14 18:21
    I wanted not to talk about Cosmos anymore. I really did. I just wanted to bury it and pretend that I like the show. Which in a certain way I can say tat I do. But the episode about Newton, Hooke and gravity really threw me off.

    You see I feel that NdGT is a great guy. Actually I know that he is a great guy. I also know that as Physicist is done some important work. Lasty as an educator of Science is also good.

    The thing is that history of science being presented in Cosmos is just awful and at the end of the day it is a disservice of astronomical magnitude. I really don't believe that one should attract people to science based on teaching wrong facts about its history. And Cosmos does that a lot. They did it with Sagan and they're doing it with Tyson.

    (As a side note let me just tell you that I know for a fact that a lot of people decided to study science after watching Cosmos and/or reading its printed version. Also let me tell you that I know one or two scientists that are really good and that are scientists because of Cosmos)

    I mean, how in the world on Cosmos' third episode among a lot of factual inaccuracies (professional historians of science are actually calling it other things) they can say that Principia contains Newton's calculus. How?! HOW?!

    Can somebody just tell me how?
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    31 Mar '14 18:45
    I have not watched Cosmos.
    But what really gets to me on tv is when I hear people over generalizing about past scientific knowledge: 'we used to think' especially when it comes to issues like whether the earth is round or the centre of the universe. Its as if they think the history of mankind and science was one single thread somewhere in Europe.
    The same happens when it comes to cultural topics. I often here phrases about how it 'used to be' when what they are really referring to is life amongst the upper classes in England (presumably because that is what is written about in old books they have read).
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    31 Mar '14 19:08
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    I wanted not to talk about Cosmos anymore. I really did. I just wanted to bury it and pretend that I like the show. Which in a certain way I can say tat I do. But the episode about Newton, Hooke and gravity really threw me off.

    You see I feel that NdGT is a great guy. Actually I know that he is a great guy. I also know that as Physicist is done some ...[text shortened]... n say that Principia contains Newton's calculus. How?! HOW?!

    Can somebody just tell me how?
    Hes certainly a master of emphatic gestures, as a public speaker NdGT is awesome.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '14 00:072 edits
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    I wanted not to talk about Cosmos anymore. I really did. I just wanted to bury it and pretend that I like the show. Which in a certain way I can say tat I do. But the episode about Newton, Hooke and gravity really threw me off.

    You see I feel that NdGT is a great guy. Actually I know that he is a great guy. I also know that as Physicist is done some ...[text shortened]... n say that Principia contains Newton's calculus. How?! HOW?!

    Can somebody just tell me how?
    Are you saying Principia DOESN'T contain Newton's calculus? I thought it was a compendium of his math work and I would have thought it HAD to include his own calculus since it was only him and Leb who had ANY calculus ATT.

    Am I wrong to say that? I thought Principia was problem after problem worked out using his calculus. The laws of motion, universal gravitation, and work on Kepler. I wouldn't think all that would be possible WITHOUT Newt's calculus.

    Are you talking about the method used, his infinitesimal geometric method of calculus not being 'real' calculus in this work?
  5. Standard memberadam warlock
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    01 Apr '14 10:141 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Are you saying Principia DOESN'T contain Newton's calculus? I thought it was a compendium of his math work and I would have thought it HAD to include his own calculus since it was only him and Leb who had ANY calculus ATT.

    Am I wrong to say that? I thought Principia was problem after problem worked out using his calculus. The laws of motion, universal g ...[text shortened]... hod used, his infinitesimal geometric method of calculus not being 'real' calculus in this work?
    Yes Principia has no trace of fluxions in it.

    Also it is wrong to sat that only Newton and Leibniz had calculus at that point in time. A lot of other people in Europe had bits and pieces of calculus (though one could certainly argue that Newton was the master of it).
    And historically speaking in the Islamic Golden Age of Science there was a lot of calculus.
    Going even farther back in time we have Archimedes and his Method (historically speaking this is the farthest back and deepest use of calculus I know of).

    Returning to Principia what Newton used to show and derive his phenomenal results wasn't calculus. It was as form of Geometry one might say but in no way his geometric ways used anything that was infinitesimal.

    As a side note: the word infinitesimal means a quantity that is vanishingly small but isn't 0 (hence an infinitesimal is a static concept). This concept of infinitesimal doesn't belong to Newton but to Leibniz (actually it doesn't belong to Leibniz). Newton's concept is of a fluxion. Let me quote the man himself on what is a fluxion:

    Those who have taken the measure of curvilinear figures have usually viewed them as made up of infinitely many infinitely-small parts. I, in fact, shall consider them as generated by growing, arguing that they are greater, equal or less according as they grow more swiftly, equally swiftly or more slowly from their beginning. And this swiftness of growth I shall call the fluxion of a quantity


    Hence you see him repudiating the concept of infinitesimal and putting forth what in his view is the correct way to act.

    Bear in mind that scientists (and popularizers of science too) talk a lot of crap when talking about history of science and you shouldn't believe a word of what they say when the topiic is history. If you want to know a little bit about fluxions and their relation to calculus take a look at this: http://home.hio.no/~bjorsme/hovedoppg.HTM
  6. Standard memberadam warlock
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    01 Apr '14 10:17
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have not watched Cosmos.
    But what really gets to me on tv is when I hear people over generalizing about past scientific knowledge: 'we used to think' especially when it comes to issues like whether the earth is round or the centre of the universe. Its as if they think the history of mankind and science was one single thread somewhere in Europe.
    The s ...[text shortened]... asses in England (presumably because that is what is written about in old books they have read).
    Yes, important contributions coming from other places other than Europe is ignored in popular accounts of science even though the people they are chanting hossanas about pretty much acknowledge the debt that they had with other cultures.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '14 13:111 edit
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Yes Principia has no trace of fluxions in it.

    Also it is wrong to sat that only Newton and Leibniz had calculus at that point in time. A lot of other people in Europe had bits and pieces of calculus (though one could certainly argue that Newton was the master of it).
    And historically speaking in the Islamic Golden Age of Science there was a lot of c ...[text shortened]... ns and their relation to calculus take a look at this: http://home.hio.no/~bjorsme/hovedoppg.HTM
    Who else besides Leb and Newt had any notion of calculus. I knew about Archy, saw the work on his vanishing lines and such, can you imagine how civilization would have changed if he had been the one to master calculus instead of Newt or Leb?

    Thanks for the link about fluxions, I printed out the whole thing, 55 pages! Will be perusing when I get time.

    I thought fluxions and the integration symbol of Leb was pretty much the same thing.
  8. Standard memberadam warlock
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    01 Apr '14 16:231 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Who else besides Leb and Newt had any notion of calculus. I knew about Archy, saw the work on his vanishing lines and such, can you imagine how civilization would have changed if he had been the one to master calculus instead of Newt or Leb?

    Thanks for the link about fluxions, I printed out the whole thing, 55 pages! Will be perusing when I get time.

    I thought fluxions and the integration symbol of Leb was pretty much the same thing.
    Who else besides Leb and Newt had any notion of calculus

    Since you use the word "any" before Calculus here's a highly incomplete list:
    Alhazen
    Madhava
    Parameshvara
    Neelakanta Somayaji
    Jyeshtadeva
    Achyuta Pisharati
    Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri
    Achyuta Panikkar
    Isaac Barrow
    Descartes
    Fermat
    Pascal
    John Wallis
    Cavalieri
    Kepler
    Gregory
    Torricelli

    can you imagine how civilization would have changed if he had been the one to master calculus instead of Newt or Leb?

    Well Archimedes mastered Calculus with a lot more depth than most people on the previous list and in some ways his method of using calculus was more rigorous than what we see with Newton or Leibniz (sorry for being totally anachronistic). Apparently his results with his Method weren't disseminated (bear in mind that I'm talking out of my a$$) but if they were I'm very certain that science would develop faster, and consequently applications of science that are direct descendants of calculus would also appear sooner.

    I thought fluxions and the integration symbol of Leb was pretty much the same thing.

    Depends on your definition of same thing. If you mean to say that are possible of achieving the same results then they are the same thing. If on the other hand you're also taking into account the philosophical outlook and the metaphysical landscape then they aren't the same thing. Newton certainly didn't think that they were the same thing.
  9. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '14 16:261 edit
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Who else besides Leb and Newt had any notion of calculus

    Since you use the word "any" before Calculus here's a highly incomplete list:
    Alhazen
    Madhava
    Parameshvara
    Neelakanta Somayaji
    Jyeshtadeva
    Achyuta Pisharati
    Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri
    Achyuta Panikkar
    Isaac Barrow
    Descartes
    Fermat
    Pascal
    John Wallis
    Cavalieri
    Kep ...[text shortened]... he same thing. Newton certainly didn't think that they were the same thing.


    I guess I will understand the difference a bit better when I read the link I printed out. Thanks for that!

    BTW, are you ateixeira?
  10. Standard memberadam warlock
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    01 Apr '14 16:45
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I guess I will understand the difference a bit better when I read the link I printed out. Thanks for that!

    BTW, are you ateixeira?
    Take a look at this link first: http://scientopia.org/blogs/guestblog/2011/03/05/ich-bin-ein-gastblogger-ii-the-wrong-question/

    Much more digestible than the first one.

    Yes, I'm ateixeira.
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '14 17:13
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Take a look at this link first: http://scientopia.org/blogs/guestblog/2011/03/05/ich-bin-ein-gastblogger-ii-the-wrong-question/

    Much more digestible than the first one.

    Yes, I'm ateixeira.
    You mentioned in your blog you were still a student. Well done at any rate! So are you still pursuing your Phd? My son in law, Gandhi, is a statistical physicist, teaches physics in Brazil at the Federal University there, my daughter Heather, his wife also teaches music there. They have 2 kids now. They live in Natal if you ever heard of that place, up north in Brazil.
  12. Standard memberadam warlock
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    01 Apr '14 17:18
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    You mentioned in your blog you were still a student. Well done at any rate! So are you still pursuing your Phd? My son in law, Gandhi, is a statistical physicist, teaches physics in Brazil at the Federal University there, my daughter Heather, his wife also teaches music there. They have 2 kids now. They live in Natal if you ever heard of that place, up north in Brazil.
    Still a student and I hope to be a student all my life. At this moment I'm actually pursuing my PhD.At the moment I wrote that I had to stop it in order to concentrate on other things (that's why I had to stop writing for The Quantum Gang) but now I'm back and back with a vengeance.

    Yes I've heard about Natal and I also remember you mentioning that you had a physicist son in law. The best sons in law in the Universe if you ask me.
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    01 Apr '14 17:211 edit
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Still a student and I hope to be a student all my life. At this moment I'm actually pursuing my PhD.At the moment I wrote that I had to stop it in order to concentrate on other things (that's why I had to stop writing for The Quantum Gang) but now I'm back and back with a vengeance.

    Yes I've heard about Natal and I also remember you mentioning that you had a physicist son in law. The best sons in law in the Universe if you ask me.
    They are the jewels of our family for sure. What division of physics are you working on for your Phd?
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '14 19:08
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    They are the jewels of our family for sure. What division of physics are you working on for your Phd?
    Thanks for that! So Newton did Principia the way he did, not using calculus perhaps even though he could have, to avoid controversy over the use of calculus?
  15. Standard memberadam warlock
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    02 Apr '14 05:16
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Thanks for that! So Newton did Principia the way he did, not using calculus perhaps even though he could have, to avoid controversy over the use of calculus?
    People thought at first that Newton first wrote the Principia using fluxions and fluents and rewrote it using geometry because people of his time wouldn't get Principia on that new and strange language. The main reason that lead people into thinking that way was that Newton was the one that said so.

    The thing is that Newton scholars went back and forth on all of known papers and couldn't find no evidence, direct or indirect, that Newton ever wrote Principia using anything but geometry (there are even some propositions on Principia that can't be written using fluxions and fluents). Yes we all know that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence but that makes us to stop and question the veracity of Newton's assertion.

    Nowadays people think that Newton didn't write the Principia using fluxion, and fluents not because he wanted to avoid controversy, not because people of his day and age wouldn't understand it, but because even though his method allowed him to get correct results he didn't know if he was getting them the correct way.
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