Brief History of Gravity by Bruce Elliot
It filled Galileo with mirth To watch his two rocks fall to
He gladly proclaimed,
"Their rates are the same, And quite independent of
Then Newton announced in due course His own law of gravity's
"It goes, I declare, As the inverted square
Of the distance from object to source."
But remarkably, Einstein's equation
Succeeds to describe gravitation
As spacetime that's curved,
And it's this that will serve
As the planets' unique motivation.
Yet the end of the story's not written;
By a new way of thinking we're smitten.
We twist and we turn,
Attempting to learn The Superstring Theory of Witten!
I am trying to
find a reference to a story said to be about Sir Issac Newton and an
orrery, which sci.astro readers may be able to help me with.
The story as I have heard it is as follows: The story is told of an
atheist scientist, a friend of Sir Isaac Newton, who knocked on the
door and came in after he had just finished making his solar system
machine (ie one of the machines like the one in the science museum
where you crank the handle and the planets and moons move round). The
man saw the machine and said `how wonderful' and went over to it and
started cranking the handle and the planets went round. As he was
doing this he asked ` who made this?'. Sir Isaac stopped writing and
said `nobody did'. Then he carried on writing. The man said `You
didn't hear me. Who made the machine?' . Newton replied `I told you.
Nobody did.' He stopped cranking and turned to Isaac `Now listen
Isaac, this marvellous machine must have been made by somebody - don't
keep saying that nobody made it.' At which point Isaac Newton stopped
writing and got up. He looked at him and said `Now isn't it amazing. I
tell you that nobody made a simple toy like that and you don't believe
me. Yet you gaze out into the solar system - the intricate marvelous
machine that is around you - and you dare say to me that noone made
that. I don't believe it'. As far as the record goes the atheist went
away and he was no longer an atheist. He was suddenly converted to the
idea that God was behind the laws that were found in creation.
mathematician John Wallis (1616-1703) was a friend of Isaac Newton.
According to his diary, Newton once bragged to Wallis about his little
dog Diamond. "My dog Diamond knows some mathematics. Today he
proved two theorems before lunch." "Your dog must be a
genius," said Wallis. "Oh I wouldn't go that far,"
replied Newton. "The first theorem had an error and the second had
a pathological exception.
Newton discover group theory?
In this branch of mathematics it is
very difficult to be sure of water-
Sir Isaac Newton had a theory of how to get the best outcomes in a
courtroom. He suggested to lawyers that they should drag their arguments
into the late afternoon hours. The English judges of his day would never
abandon their 4 o'clock tea time, and therefore would always bring down
their hammer and enter a hasty, positive decision so they could retire
to their chambers for a cup of Earl Grey. This tactic used by the
British lawyers is still recalled as Newton's Law of Gavel Tea.
Why did the
chicken cross the road?
Karl Marx: To escape the bourgeois middle-class struggle.
Sir Issac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in
motion tend to cross the road.
Socrates: To pick up some hemlock at the corner druggist.