This in an excerpt from this book
The discipline of science that shades the most light on the structure of the world and also the most advanced one is undoubtedly none other than Physics. Hence, it is much needed to have some basic ideas of not only what the up-to-date development of physics is but also how we came to think in that way and how the whole of modern physics is attached with its history.
In fact, the history of this science begins with Galileo, but in order to understand his work it will be well to see what was thought before his time. The ancient scholars whose ideas were mainly taken from that of Aristotle used to believe that different laws for terrestrial bodies and that of celestial bodies persisted side by side at the same time. They even believed the same holds true for living and dead matter as well. The four basic elements according to them were that of air, water, fire and earth – Among them the heaviest ones were the water and earth while air and fire were believed to be lighter.
Earth and water had a natural downward motion, fire and air upward motion. There was no idea of one set of laws for different types of things or everything that matters; there was no science of changes in the movements of bodies. Galileo and Descartes, in a bit lesser degree compared to Galileo — introduced the fundamental principles and concepts which formed the foundation stone for physics until as long as the present century we are in.
The ancient scholars worked hard to put forward the theory that there exists one set of laws which holds true for living as well as dead matter. Among them, Galileo conceptualized two fundamental principles which actually made the discipline of mathematical physics came into being: Law of parallelogram and that of inertia. This law of inertia is now known as Newton’s first law of motion which is good enough to precisely calculate the motion of different matter with respect to each other, hence using the laws of dynamics.
Technically, the principle of inertia puts forward the idea that causal laws of physics should be denoted in terms of acceleration, i.e. a change of velocity in amount or direction or both which was found in Newton’s law of gravitation. From the law of inertia, it is seen that the causal laws of dynamics should be differential equations of the second order, though this form of statement could not be made until Leibnitz and Newton had developed the infinitesimal calculus.
The work of majority of the students on the mathematical side of physics can be explained with Newton’s set of principles. The very basic equations of motions or the ideas of dynamics and that of inertia, momentum, mass and acceleration were applied by Newton to large bodies like the Earth and the Moon for explaining their structure and the universe’s motion.
Starting from the time when Newton brought in these concepts upto the nineteenth century there had been no further addition of any new principles. One of the first exception to this rule was in that was that of the novelty called Planck, who introduced the Quantum constant for the purpose of explaining the structure and behavior of atoms in 1900. Soon after that in 1905, there was another addition to those old Newtonian concepts through Einstein’s much followed and famous theory of relativity.
A decade after Einstein published his theory of relativity, which was mostly a geometrical one involving gravitation proving the expansion of our Universe. If you dig deeper, you can easily see that from the ancient times of Galileo to that of recent most Newton, all the disciplines of science were joined with each other. Anyone single handedly could so a fine research on physics, mathematics or in chemistry simultaneously and even in biology as well.
Towards the end of that time the sciences were beginning to separate and after that they continued to separate more and more. Just at this very moment we can see a great convergence of all sciences. Physics is increasingly penetrating deeper into all other disciplines of science and that was evident in the names of the new hybrid subjects.
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