The Discovery of Dynamics: A Study from a Machian Point of View of the Discovery and the Structure…

Paperback | February 15, 2001

byJulian B. Barbour

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Ever since Newton created dynamics, there has been controversy about its foundations. Are space and time absolute? Do they form a rigid but invisible framework and container of the universe? Or are space, time, and motion relative? If so, does Newton's 'framework' arise through the influenceof the universe at large, as Ernst Mach suggested? Einstein's aim when creating his general theory of relativity was to demonstrate this and thereby implement 'Mach's Principle'. However, it is widely believed that he achieved only partial success. This question of whether motion is absolute orrelative has been a central issues in philosophy; the nature of time has perennial interest. Current attempts to create a quantum description of the whole universe keep these issues at the cutting edge of modern research. Written by the world's leading expert on Mach's Principle, The Discovery of Dynamics is a highly original account of the development of notions about space, time, and motion. Widely praised in its hardback version, it is one of the fullest and most readable accounts of the astronomical studies thatculminated in Kepler's laws of planetary motion and of the creation of dynamics by Galileo, Descartes, Huygens, and Newton. Originally published as Absolute or Relative Motion?, Vol. 1: The Discovery of Dynamics (Cambridge), The Discovery of Dynamics provides the technical background to Barbour'srecently published The End of Time, in which he argues that time disappears from the description of the quantum universe.

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Ever since Newton created dynamics, there has been controversy about its foundations. Are space and time absolute? Do they form a rigid but invisible framework and container of the universe? Or are space, time, and motion relative? If so, does Newton's 'framework' arise through the influenceof the universe at large, as Ernst Mach sugge...

Julian Barbour is an independent theoretical physicist.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:784 pages, 5.91 × 8.9 × 1.5 inPublished:February 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195132025

ISBN - 13:9780195132021

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Preliminaries2. Aristotle: first airing of the absolute/relative problem3. Hellenistic astronomy: the foundation are laid4. The Middle Ages: first stirrings of the scientific revolution5. Copernicus: the flimsy arch6. Kepler: the dominion of the sun7. Galileo: the geometrization of motion8. Descartes and the new world9. Huygens: relativety and centrifugal force10. Newton I: the discovery of dynamics11. Newton II: absolute or relative motion?12. Post-Newtonian conceptual clarification of Newtonian dynamicsAbbreviations for works quoted frequently in the ReferencesReferencesIndex