Tag Archives: Isaac Newton

The Problem of Time

What is time? This is the central mystery of physics. One might think that physics would give a clear answer. Not so. Although most physics is about change, it has lost touch with time. Indeed physics now cloaks time in myths. Let’s see what we can find behind them. British physicist Edward Anderson says: ‘The […]

At the Same Time . . .

Sir Isaac Newton was a serious two timer long before that term took on its modern meaning. In 1687 he spoke of two kinds of time: Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without relation to anything external, and by another name is called duration; [and] relative, apparent […]

Does Physics Matter?

In previous posts I’ve quoted leading physicists as saying fundamental physics is in trouble. But why should you care how well (or how badly) physics goes? Here’s short answer #1: It supports a lot of paychecks. How this works may not be obvious so let me illustrate. In the late 1600s Isaac Newton kicked off […]

Einstein and the Death of Physics

  Motion is smooth, as any eye can see. In 1738, Scottish philosopher David Hume could―with little chance of challenge―say: ‘The infinite divisibility of space implies that of time, as is evident from the nature of motion.’ But physics now knows that, at scales far smaller than an atom, space isn’t smooth and motion must […]