Lecture06_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics Lecture6:

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Physics 19 Great Ideas of Physics Lecture 6: Conservation Laws and Energy
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Newton’s Legacy Newton’s solutions to the problems of motion and  gravity were so complete, and so mathematically  unassailable that it was impossible for any serious  scientist to disagree Objects on Earth and in the heavens obey the  same laws All the known phenomena of motion could be  explained by three laws of motion and one law of  gravity The universe behaves predictably, like a  mechanism or machine
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The “Age of Reason” Newton marked the dawn of “The Age of Reason”,  or “Enlightenment” Scientific societies form, for scientists to meet, exchange  ideas and present their work Political philosophy was affected: Greater democracy in England as civil wars end John Locke – “natural rights” (of man) to go with natural  laws (of nature) Jefferson – the Declaration of Independence Economics was affected Adam Smith (1776) – “The Wealth of Nations” explains  laws of economics 
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Is the Universe Pre-determined? But, paradoxically, Newton’s Laws also call the  idea of free will into question! If Newton’s Laws are the whole story, everything  that will ever happen is completely determined by  the way things are right now! And the way everything is today was completely  determined by the way things were 100 or 1000 years  ago! Relativity and quantum mechanics eventually  modify this picture
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What Is A Physical “Law”? We have already discussed: Hypotheses: Educated guess at some relationship  between concepts Theories: A framework or system which connects many  tested hypotheses and concepts together into a useful  tool A physical law can be thought of as a particular  type of theory that is so fundamental and so well  tested that we expect it will not be contradicted by  future evidence
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Limitations of Physical Law A law is only as good as the data used to  test it May not apply in situations we haven’t looked at Better data, or new conditions may point out  a hole in the law The law itself may have a limited  range of  validity One of the concepts it’s built on may altered or  discarded
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Are Newton’s Laws “Right”? Newton’s laws allow us to understand many very  different physical processes A very successful theory! Around 1900, new technology allowed scientists to  investigate new phenomena Radioactivity Objects moving close to the speed of light Interaction between light and matter The inner workings of the atom Newton’s laws give the wrong answer for all these  processes!
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Are Newton’s Laws “False”? It turns out Newton’s laws are based on 
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This note was uploaded on 11/26/2010 for the course PHYS Physics 19 taught by Professor Davidcasper during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.

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Lecture06_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics Lecture6:

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