By Stanley Goldberg
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Extra info for Albert Einstein and the creative act : the case of special relativity
He extended the meaning of "science" beyond the ideal case and made it apply as well to the exact extent to which the physical world fails to conform to the ideal. This was a new program for science, one without any serious precedent. It appears to me to be the ultimate foundation of the Principia's enduring influence. The concept of universal gravitation was a monumental generalization; on a public unschooled in science it could and did exert a dramatic impact. For the scientific community, the new ideal of science was more important.
Press, 1959-1977), 2, pp. 297-313. 7. , 2, pp. 340-367. 8. The best account of the visit is found in a memorandum about Newton by Abraham DeMoivre, which is in the Joseph Halle Schaffner Collection, University of Chicago Library. 9. Herivel, Background, pp. 257-74. 10. R. S. , 1971), pp. 424-56. 11. Principia, trans. Andrew Motte and Florian Cajori, (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press, (1934), p. 2. 12. Herivel, Background, pp. 306 and 316-317. Herivel has misplaced the correction as though it belonged with another manuscript.
Whereas De motu was a treatise on orbital dynamics, De motu corporum was a demonstration of the concept of universal gravitation. It subsumed the orbital dynamics, of course, and to it added several new elements. One of these was the demonstration that a homogeneous sphere attracts every body outside it with a force directly proportional to the mass of the sphere and inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the center of the sphere. 14 Only with this demon- 34 RICHARD S. WESTFALL stration did the correlation between the moon and the measured acceleration of gravity become valid, and the application of the word "gravity" (or "gravitas") to the centripetal accelerations demonstrated to exist in the heavens rested directly on the correlation.
Albert Einstein and the creative act : the case of special relativity by Stanley Goldberg