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#64409 04/08/02 01:23 AM
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"If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought."
- Isaac Newton, physicist

The scientific community surely thinks he did the public a great deal of service. They named a unit of measurement after him.

The unit of force was one of the most frequently discussed in my high school physics classes, along with it's kin, friction and tension. In physics terms, force is definited as mass times acceleration and is basically described as when one object accelerates into another. Tension is when something pushes or pulls on another. When a person pulls a block with a rope, there is tension in the rope. Friction is when one object rubs against another creating heat, a type of energy. The more rough the sides of the objects are, the more friction and thus the more heat produced.

Forces are an integral part of everyday life. Do these words have any other specific connotations?


#64410 04/08/02 01:34 AM
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Well, there's the old conundrum of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object.


#64411 04/08/02 01:36 AM
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#64412 04/08/02 01:17 PM
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One of them is shown to have been wrongly labelled.

One of them, at least, is shown to have been wrongly labelled.


#64413 04/08/02 01:24 PM
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And thinking about forces and objects makes me think of the question thrown at the Jesuits in either Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or in Ulysses (and in other places, too, as people consider omnipotence:

If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, is it possible for Him to create something that He cannot lift?

Best regards,
SpinningWheelsWind


#64414 04/08/02 01:31 PM
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create something that He cannot lift?

Of course, the Zen Jesuits would have no problem with this question. Indeed, they would ask it they own se'fs.


#64415 04/08/02 01:37 PM
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It would be interesting to understand how the word 'force' came to be applied to what we now commonly understand the term to mean. I would risk a guess that there was a time during which the meaning of the word was used (in the scientific literature) in various ways - something akin to the term "closed system" that is used in subtely distinct ways even today.

People very often use the word force to mean something - anything - that compels something else into action - even when the origin of the force is understood (or at least implied) to be something mysterious and supernatural. This is sometimes done because it's easier to convey something as a metaphor than to create a new vocabulary. It also has the benefit of making even the most silly ideas seem scientific, modern, and facund with esoteric understanding and profound insight for one who is sufficiently openminded, intelligent, and spiritually advanced.

Often, the word 'energy' is used synonymously, or nearly so, in this context. In physics, as you well know, energy and force are distinct concepts.

k



#64416 04/08/02 01:38 PM
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At the head of the list of what mortals cannot do, is to say what God cannot do.


#64417 04/08/02 02:49 PM
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One of them is shown to have been wrongly labelled.

One of them, at least, is shown to have been wrongly labelled.

Nicking pits again, M. Faldage? The French have a word or two for that...
(Max, what was that again??)


#64418 04/08/02 03:00 PM
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I would be interested to hear some of our savants tell us why many intellectuals admire Leibnitz (I still prefer that spelling because it was what he used) more than Newton. (Superiority of Leibnitz' notation not to be included.)


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