Practical Understanding Vs. Intellectual Understanding

Practical understanding of let’s say Newton’s Physics is of the type which is offered by the text books. Students understand the statements of laws along with mathematical depiction thereof and become able to solve numerical or exercise questions. After completing the study in this way, they may become good engineers or professors of physics.

But those who become scientists, they seek understanding of a different kind that may be regarded as intellectual understanding. They not only pursue to understand book contents within the context of daily real life observations, more importantly they also try to investigate the history and logic behind theories of science that they read in text books. Rather than trying to solve text books exercise questions, their efforts are usually focused at finding how the theory in question was actually derived or discovered by the original scientist. The practical understanding makes one able to apply theory in practice whereas the intellectual understanding would make one able to not only improve or refine the existing theories but to propose or formulate new theories as well.

Father of Physics: Aristotle

Father of Physics is Aristotle. He made physics a separate discipline. Modern Physics developed only out of critical inquiry of the Aristotelian ideas.

It is pointless to say that Aristotle was wrong and Galileo was right. Galileo received all his raw materials for the critical inquiry from Aristotle. Aristotle’s ideas were wrong. But in case there were no ideas on Physics at all then there would have been no Galileo or Newton as well.

“Newton was careless”; An Expert had to say

There are lot of fishy things going on in Modern Physics. Textbooks on Physics as well as all the official sources of Physics inform us that second law of Newton is F=ma (or modern form of F=dp/dt).

Anything questioning this stance is straight regarded as crack-pottery. But I dared to question this. I have had intense debates with experts on this topic many times.

Here I choose to not go into the details. Topic is lengthy and I should write a book on this subject. Here I am only telling that recently I had debate with a PhD Physics person. When I sufficiently showed to him that in fact Newton did not say F=ma and that what actually he was saying can be described as F=mv.

That PhD Physics person then had to say following:

The fact is, Newton was not quite as careful and precise with words and definitions in 1687 as modern science and mathematics (and yes, textbooks) demand.

09-07-2019 – By a person “PhD in Theoretical Physics”.

The brief background is that I confronted him that Newton did not say F=ma; instead he said F=mv.

Now he tried hard to prove that Newton in fact said F=ma.

But I sufficiently proved my stance that in fact Newton was saying F=mv instead of F=ma.

At this point … not only he … the experts in general tend to unduly favor textbooks stance. They do usually come to the point that … so what if Newton carelessly stated his law in a way that cannot be mathematically described as F=ma. But Textbooks reached to the better truth of F=ma which has passed ‘all the tests’.

My demand from them is that then please stop calling second law of motion as ‘Newton’s Second Law of Motion’.

If task is to present correct information in textbooks, then please inform the students that originally Newton presented F=mv. But textbooks reached to the better position of F=ma.

Above is their accepted truth that they do not openly present.

What they do not accept so far is that Newton was right in saying that F=mv and textbooks are wrong in the formulation of F=ma.

Yes … in my opinion … Newton was right. F=ma is a wrong formulation.

My demand from Science authorities is that please rename this law as “Euler’s Law of F=ma”.

I share following quote from Stanford Encyclopedia’s entry about Newton. The quote is saying that F=ma formulation is not traceable from within Principia. This quote also tells the name of person (Euler) who made this formulation F=ma as part of academic culture. This quote is also saying that textbook “Newtonian Physics” is actually “Euler’s Physics”.

Therefore my demand is … Instead of calling it (second law) Newton’s Law … Please call it Euler’s Law.

Isaac Newton (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Euler was the central figure in turning the three laws of motion put forward by Newton in the Principia into Newtonian mechanics. These three laws, as Newton formulated them, apply to “point-masses,” a term Euler had put forward in his Mechanica of 1736. Most of the effort of eighteenth century mechanics was devoted to solving problems of the motion of rigid bodies, elastic strings and bodies, and fluids, all of which require principles beyond Newton’s three laws. From the 1740s on this led to alternative approaches to formulating a general mechanics, employing such different principles as the conservation of vis viva, the principle of least action, and d’Alembert’s principle. The “Newtonian” formulation of a general mechanics sprang from Euler’s proposal in 1750 that Newton’s second law, in an F=ma formulation that appears nowhere in the Principia, could be applied locally within bodies and fluids to yield differential equations for the motions of bodies, elastic and rigid, and fluids. During the 1750s Euler developed his equations for the motion of fluids, and in the 1760s, his equations of rigid-body motion. What we call Newtonian mechanics was accordingly something for which Euler was more responsible than Newton.

Stanford Encyclopedia is acknowledging that F=ma formulation appears nowhere in Principia.

Anyways, when experts do say that Newton was careless as he should have said F=ma which he failed and they say this thing only after finding that there is no way to escape, then my genuine demand is that please rename this law as Euler Law and stop calling it Newton’s law.

If they do not rename this law and keep calling Newton careless when they themselves fail to defend the stance that Newton has anything to do with F=ma thing … then their act of calling Newton as careless is kind of “Cat out of Bag Situation”.