Newton Essay, Research Paper
Mediaeval understanding of ?science? had mostly based Aristotle; Aristotle?s ideas held for thousands of years until the scientific revolution begin breaking them off. It is Newton helped the transformation of natural philosophy into modern science.
Newton established the science of mechanics and laid the groundwork for classical physics with law of motion he discovered. These principles might seem obvious and simple to today?s physicists, but this was a new way of thinking in Newton?s time. Instead of seeing math, as no more than a device for calculation that had no essential connection to reality, Newton found a simple, precise mathematical law from which the observed measurements could be worked out in detail. He was able to rely on Kepler?s and Galileo?s work to develop the inverse law of gravity and the law of motion. Kepler?s laws of planetary motion told us that the planets move in certain regular orbits related to their distance from the sun. Newton took a step further, providing how the solar system can keep the planets in their orbits. He applied these to Kepler’s laws of orbital motion, in 1687 Principia, he formulated the law of universal gravitation: a force–gravity, affects all objects. The strength of this force varies in according to the mass and distance between the objects.
The idea of an invisible force that control over matter without having direct physical contact certainly change the aspect of the universe in natural philosophy.
Structure of the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic universe was dying. A planet is now just a physical place, a combination of physical particles obeying cold, objective laws of motion. It is no longer an alive entity striving to fulfill a purpose. Although a very different conceptual scheme than that of the Middle Ages, it is metaphysics nonetheless. In this light, we find Newton, in spite of his professed positivism, actively contributing to the metaphysical foundations of the science that bears his name and speculating again and again on the ultimate “why” questions relating humankind, God, and the universe.
Newton?s cosmology provided people with a universe that was comfortable and reliable that can be work and think. His laws could be shown to be true by reason and that the scientific approach could explain the phenomenal world. He had viewed the universe in two aspects: human beings lived in a world of rationality, self-ruled and morality, at the same time, the material universe that they observed can be explained in terms of cause and effect.
It is true that Newton, unlike many before, strongly emphasized the importance of just observing the world and finding the correct mathematical laws to relate our observations, avoiding speculations about what invisible realities might be causing these observations. But this is easy to do, if you already believe that the universe is a perfect machine whose surface features follow a precise mathematical plan.
The notions of an absolute space and time, of a mechanical universe of atomic particles in motion, of a preestablished parallelism between the minds of humans and the mathematical laws of the material universe, of a valid, but de-emphasized, mental realm for the secondary qualities of human nature — these were the basic and generally accepted elements of a new world view.
God is not portrayed as some silly separate humanlike fatherly figure that sits on a gold throne in some heavenly dimension. God is a mystical, but rational, force that is “in” and “is” the universe itself.
The completion of the Copernican revolution with Newton’s theory of universal gravitation not only made possible for other splendid discoveries, but also created a transformation gateway from the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic cosmology to modern cosmology based on Einstein?s theory of relativity.
The impact of Newton?s discoveries continues through out the 20th century. Newtonian theory was important in the development of our understanding of electricity and magnetism, and in the discoveries of electrodynamics and optics by Faraday and Maxwell. His law of motion guided science for centuries, until Einstein demonstrated special relativity, which Newton hadn?t considered.
Newton supplied the basic principles on which of the science has been built and brought modern science into existence. In some way, he taught us to apply reason and the scientific method to the manner like the physical universe operates.
Galileo?s discoveries about the planets, moons, and stars began a revolution in scientific thought, but they left many questions unanswered.