For the Week of 11/19/08 |

Assignment 12

Plate from
BoscovichÕs *Theoria Philosophiae
Naturalis* (1758), showing various versions of his force curve.

Post Newton

Read in WestfallÕs *Life of Isaac Newton*, pp. 191 to the
end. Try to get to about p. 272
for this week, and finish it up over break.

Read this article by Wilson
Scott: Scott,Wilson-Significance_of_Hardbodies-436MB.pdf.

Read this article by Hall/Boas: Hall-Boas_NewtonElectricSpirit-412KB.pdf

Read pp. 53-80 (and the rest if
you are interested) from L. P. WilliamÕs biography of Faraday: Williams-Faraday-ch2.PDF. You may want to consult with a few wiki
articles as you read this just to fill in any blanks you might have. This is an
excellent book and I highly recommend the whole thing to any of you with an
interest in early electrical theory.

A little background for this
reading: Roger Boscovich, a Serbo-Croatian Jesuit priest who lived in Italy and
France for most of his adult life, took up many of NewtonÕs Queries, especially
Q31 which we read last time. He
sort of combines Leibniz with Newton and comes up with a theory of cohesion and
heat vibrations and something that superficially appears to be electron orbital
levels and DeBroglie waves and Leonard-Jones potentials. But this is reading way more into him
than he could have ever dreamed, but at the same time you do have to wonder
what got these guys going on such crazy, but fertile, ideas. So far as I know, the church never got
in his way. He was the church.

__Read__ selections from this PDF, which
has a few passages from BoscovichÕs *Philosophi¾
Naturalis Theoria (Theory of Natural Philosophy)*, usually just called, *Theoria*.

The
first edition was printed in 1758 and the second (the one from which this
translation was done) from 1763.

Boscovich_SynopsisAndfewPages-2.7MB.pdf

__Read__ ÒPart IÓ (PDF pages 4-5),

ÒPart
IIIÓ (PDF pages 7-8),

PDF
pages 8-10, and

PDF
page 11.

Click
on the thumbnail below for a .jpg of Figure 1, the image discussed on PDF page
10:

–__Consider__ the graph
below and respond to the questions posed.

__Write__: At this point you all should know how to approach these
writing assignments. Souped up
materials are below. Cite sources.

A little __extra credit__:
Compare BoscovichÕs theory of point force with the Lennard-Jones force. Get philosophical. Try to tease out how the two are the
same or differentÉ not just the specific numbers, but in approach.

Short
Bibliography and souped up sources. (The previous Newtonian optional articles
are also appropriate for this week)

Adler, Carl G. "Why Is
Mechanics Based on Acceleration?" *Philosophy
of Science* 47, no. 1 (1980): 146-152. Adler-Why_Is_Mechanics_Based_on_Acceleration-168KB.pdf

-The unique role of the second
derivative of position with respect to time in classical mechanics is
investigated. It is indicated that mechanics might have been developed around
other order derivatives.

Boscovich, Ruggero Giuseppe. *A Theory of Natural Philosophy*.
Translated by J. M. Child. English ed. Cambridge, Mass.,: M. I. T. Press, 1966.
Here are two more sections: Boscovich_MindOfGod-1.5MB.pdf
and/or Boscovich_OnSpaceAndTime-1.1MB.pdf

Boscovich, Ruggero Giuseppe, and
Karl Scherffer. *Philosophi¾ Naturalis
Theoria Redacta Ad Unicam Legem Virium in Natura Existentium*. Prostat
Vienn¾ Austri¾: In officina Libraria Kaliwodiana, 1758. The image at the top of this site is
from this.

Disalle, Robert. "Newton's
Philosophical Analysis of Space and Time." In *The Cambridge Companion to Newton*, ed. I. Bernard Cohen and George
E. Smith, pp. 33-56. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. This article
has some thoughts on NewtonÕs famous ÒbucketÓ argument and absolute space. Disalle_CambridgeNewton_Space-time-2.8MB.pdf

Feingold, Mordechai. *The Newtonian Moment : Isaac Newton and the
Making of Modern Culture*. New York: New York Public Library, 2004. This is
a chapter about how women were involved with the Newtonian revolution. Feingold_NewtonianWomen-3.4MB.pdf

Hall, A. Rupert, and Marie Boas
Hall. "Newton's Theory of Matter." *Isis* 51, no. 2 (1960): 131-144. Hall-Boas_NewtonMatterTheory-1.8MB.pdf

Hall, A. Rupert, and A. D. C.
Simpson. "An Account of the Royal Society's Newton Telescope." *Notes and Records of the Royal Society of
London* 50, no. 1 (1996): 1-11.
Hall-Simpson-Account_of_RS_Newton_Telescope-596KB.pdf

Hall, Marie Boas, and A. Rupert
Hall. "Newton's Electric Spirit: Four Oddities." *Isis* 50, no. 4 (1959): 473-476. Hall-Boas_NewtonElectricSpirit-412KB.pdf

Hutchison, Keith. "Is
Classical Mechanics Really Time-Reversible and Deterministic?" *The British Journal for the Philosophy of
Science* 44, no. 2 (1993): 307-323. Hutchison-Is_Classical_Mechanics_Time-Reversible-1.8MB.pdf

Kargon, Robert. "Walter
Charleton, Robert Boyle, and the Acceptance of Epicurean Atomism." *Isis* 55, no. 2 (1964): pp. 184-192. Kargon_Charleton,Boyle,EpicureanAtomism-1.1MB.pdf

Agassi, Joseph. "Leibniz's
Place in the History of Physics." *Journal
of the History of Ideas* 30, no. 3 (1969): 331-344. Agassi-Leibniz_Place_History_Phsics-1.4MB.pdf

Newsome, Daniel.
"Desegregations of Mechanics: Identical and Coincidental Motions in
Quantum Mechanics." Bard College Senior Thesis for Physics Degree,
2001. NewsomeDesegMechs-6.4MB.pdf There is a section in this on
Boscovichian theory as it could be applied to quantum mechanics and an appendix
or two which discuss some issues of classical mechanics. Get rid of all those pompous quotations
at the beginnings of chapters, and it isnÕt too bad, just really dense.

Newsome, Daniel. "The
Reception of the Theory of Boscovich in the British Isles: 1760-1850." 44,
2003. Newsome-Boscovich_Reception-draft-1MB.pdf. This paper was never really fully
revised. There is some good stuff
on the Priestley-Boscovich argument on the materiality of the soul, but there
are some real clunkers in this one.

Sabra, A. I. *Theories of Light: From Descartes to Newton*.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981. Reprint, 1967 first ed. This is chapter 5 on FermatÕs Principle
of Least Time which I waved my hands at in the last class. Sabra_Ch5_FermatLeastTime_Theories_of_Light-3.2MB.pdf

Scott, Wilson L. "The
Significance Of "Hard Bodies" In the History of Scientific
Thought." *Isis* 50, no. 3 (1959):
199-210. Scott,Wilson-Significance_of_Hardbodies-436MB.pdf

Westfall, Richard S. *The Life of Isaac Newton*. New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Williams, L. Pearce. *Michael Faraday, a Biography*. New York,:
Basic Books, 1965. Williams-Faraday-ch2.PDF

Zinsser, Judith P.
"Translating Newton's 'Principia': The Marquise Du Chatelet's Revisions
and Additions for a French Audience." *Notes
and Records of the Royal Society of London* 55, no. 2 (2001): 227-245. Zinsser-Translating_Newtons_Principia_Chatelet-1MB.pdf

-In
the 1740s, the Marquise du Chatelet (VoltaireÕs lover) translated Newton's
Principia (1731, third edition) into French. Hers remains the standard
translation. In addition, she wrote an extensive commentary in which she gave
her own description of the System of the World, and analytical solutions to key
disputed aspects of Newton's theory of universal gravitation. She also included
summaries of two mathematical essays that clarified and confirmed Newton's
application of his theory to observed phenomena: Alexis-Claude Clairaut's on
the shape of the Earth and Daniel Bernoulli's on the effects of the Sun and
Moon on the tides.

Back to Syllabus [SciRev Fall
2008]

Me – scirevf08@mifami.org

Extra Credit: Come up with an
algebraic formula which qualitatively does what BoscovichÕs curve does and
explain it and make a graph of it.

E.g. y = f(r)

IÕm guessing it will be a
seventh degree equationÉ it will have an r^{7} in it.

Review Materials:

Here is a PDF with my
messy notes on the readings from this week and some other materials on
electricityÉ

Newton-Boscovich-Faraday-Review-1MB.pdf

Posted: 12/6/08 5:18
PM