Peter Enders

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Peter Enders

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2010 C. Roy Keys Inc. http://redshift.vif.com

Comment on Mathematical

versus physical meaning

ofclassical mechanics

quantities by M. Zabierowski

(Apeiron 17, 173, 2010)

Peter Enders

Senzig, Ahornallee 11

15712 Koenigs Wusterhausen, Germany

enders@dekasges.de

The unjustified criticism of my paper Precursors of force

felds in Newtons Principia (Apeiron 17, 22, 2010) is

refuted.

Keywords: Newtons Principia, force fields, unity of

classical physics

Introduction

In his paper [1], M. Zabierowski makes several unjustified statements

about my paper [2], in particular, about the manner of dealing with

the words in Newtons Principia [3]. I will show that his criticism is

not justified and, perhaps, results from a misunderstanding of the goal

of my paper.

Apeiron, Vol. 17, No. 3, July 2010 209

2010 C. Roy Keys Inc. http://redshift.vif.com

Rejection of the criticism in detail

1. P. Enders ... shows that the anticipation of Faradays and

Maxwells conception of the field one can find in Newtons

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

Correct is not the anticipation, but an anticipation or one

anticipation, for Lichtenbergs figures are another anticipation.

2. He quotes the foundations of classical mechanics in Newtons

original version and next translates words into words used today...

I agree that I should have quoted the modern translation by Cohen

and coworkers [4] rather than the 1729 translation by Motte [3], the

deficiencies of which are discussed in detail in Ref. [4], p. xi ff. For

the paragraphs quoted in my paper, however, these deficiencies play

no role as the following comparison of both texts shows.

Definition I:

Motte 1729: The quantity of matter is the measure of the same,

arising from its density and bulk conjunctly.

Cohen 1999: Quantity of matter is a measure of matter that arises

from its density and volume jointly.

Definition II:

Motte 1729: The quantity of motion is the measure of the same,

arising from the velocity and quantity of matter conjunctly.

Cohen 1999: Quantity of motion is a measure of motion that

arises from the velocity and quantity of matter jointly.

Definition VI:

Motte 1729: The absolute quantity of a centripetal force is the

measure of the same proportional to the efficacy of the cause that

propagates it from the centre, through the spaces round about.

Cohen 1999: The absolute quantity of centripetal force is the

measure of this force that is greater or less in proportion to the

Apeiron, Vol. 17, No. 3, July 2010 210

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efficacy of the cause propagating it from a center through the

surrounding regions.

Definition VII:

Motte 1729: The accelerative quantity of a centripetal force is the

measure of the same, proportional to the velocity which it generates in

a given time.

Cohen 1999: The accelerative quantity of centripetal force is the

measure of this force that is proportional to the velocity which it

generates in a given time.

Definition VIII:

Motte 1729: The motive quantity of a centripetal force is the

measure of the same, proportional to the motion which it generates in

a given time.

Cohen 1999: The motive quantity of centripetal force is the

measure of this force that is proportional to the motion which it

generates in a given time.

Therefore, the conclusions I would have drawn from Cohens

1999 translation are the same as I have drawn from Mottes 1729

translation.

3. Enders claims that Newtons definitions serve to supply the

empirical (measured) notions with their mathematical interpretation.

Im not claiming that explicitly. I consider the purpose of the

Definitions to provide notions for the subsequent qualitative and

quantitative (physical) description of nature. Actually, this claim by

Zabierowski is unhistoric: So, one can say, that the foretelling of the

wave-corpuscula dualism appeared firstly in Newtons theory.

4. Enders writes that Newton did not give the mechanism for the

propagation for the force (field).

This formulation is incorrect as it suggests that I have criticized

Newton for that. My full sentence reads Notice, that the notion of

Apeiron, Vol. 17, No. 3, July 2010 211

2010 C. Roy Keys Inc. http://redshift.vif.com

field strength does not solve Newtons problem of lacking a physical

mechanism for the propagation of the force (field).

5. Ref. 3. Our analysis concerns the today form of Newtonian

principles. Therefore it is not here necessary to mention that in 1736

L. Euler firstly published Newtons equations in explicit form.

If Zabierowskis concern is the today form of Newtonian

principles, why he has discussed my paper, which explores

Newtons original writing?

6. The inseparability of mathematical intuition and phenomenal

abstraction in the language of Newtons Principles of dynamics

allows to answer the question raised in Enders article.

Im not aware of having risen a question. Anyway, Zabierowski

should study Eulers work on the foundations of mechanics. This

would prevent him to make premature claims about what is

necessary, or the only way. Eulers principles of mechanics are

much more general than Newtons one, because only the state

conservation is axiomatically fixed, but not the change of state.

Unfortunately, Zabierowski discards the central notion of state. I

guess that the rational content of his thoughts would significantly

benefit from including it.

7. According to our interpretation we can assume that this is the

reason why Newton wrote on centripetal forces as follows: For I

here design only to give a mathematical notion of those forces,

without considering their physical causes and seats... This statement

is fully explained only in our presented approach, whereas the

Enders comments are of purely lingual nature and do not touch the

essence of Newtons physics.

First, Zabierowski has not really explained, why Newton has

stressed that his theory of forces is a purely mathematical one. He has

claimed that wave motion is the only possible form of propagation.

Apeiron, Vol. 17, No. 3, July 2010 212

2010 C. Roy Keys Inc. http://redshift.vif.com

But wave motion does not say anything about the physical causes

and seats of forces.

Second, the goal of my paper was not to explore the essence of

Newtons physics. I was just going to demonstrate in detail, that

Newtons Principia contains thoughts about the force of gravity

which facilitate the unified derivation of Newtons and Coulombs

force laws given in [5].

8. He presents extensive quotations from Newtons Principia

and makes translation of original Newtons words (of XVIIth) into

modern language in physics.

See Point 2 above for the reasoning that this criticism is

unsubstantiated.

9. The example is Enders suggestion that the above quoted

Newtons statement entitles to conclude that: It thus is incorrect to

connect the physical meaning of action-at-distance with Newton

[7].

This is just wrong. Correct is the following. After a quotation from

the Principia, I have written: This is one of the several places in the

Principia..., where Newton urges the reader to consider his

description of forces to be purely mathematical. It thus is incorrect to

connect the physical meaning of action-at-distance with Newton.

10. Such one-statement declaration could not replace the complex

chain of deduction in physics.

Of course not. My sentence is a notice within the paper. It is

thus incorrect to treat it like a central conclusion.

Summary

In summary, M. Zabierowski has written a methodological paper

about the nowadays understanding of Newtons three Laws of

motion. In contrast, I had written a paper about the germs of force

Apeiron, Vol. 17, No. 3, July 2010 213

2010 C. Roy Keys Inc. http://redshift.vif.com

fields in the original Definitions in the Principia. In view of

this fact, viz., that these two papers have little in common, it may

even not be surprising, that Zabierowskis criticism of my paper is

unsubstantiated. His incorrect quotations from my paper indicate

that he has largely misunderstood it.

References

[1] M. Zabierowski, Mathematical versus physical meaning of classical

mechanics quantities, Apeiron 17 (2010) 173-182

[2] P. Enders, Precursors of force fields in Newtons Principia, Apeiron 17

(2010) 22-27

[3] I. Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, London 1729;

http://gravitee.tripod.com/definitions.htm

[4] I. Newton, The Principia. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

A New Translation by I. Bernhard Cohen and Anne Whitman assisted by

Julia Buden, Preceded by A Guide to Newtons Principia by I. Bernhard

Cohen, Berkeley etc.: Univ. Calif. Press 1999

[5] P. Enders, Towards the Unity of Classical Physics, Apeiron 16 (2009) 22-

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