Lecture_01

Lecture_01 - PHYS 342 Fall semester 2010 Lecture 01:...

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PHYS 342 Fall semester 2010 Lecture 01: Historical Overview Ron Reifenberger irck anotechnology Center Birck Nanotechnology Center Purdue University Lecture 01 1
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Most of the Physics you have studied so far was developed between ~1600 and late 1800’s. This subject matter was essentially developed to correct Aristotle. Historical Perspective Mechanics Magnetism Optics Electricity Thermo ~ 1700 ~ 1600 Aristotle placed great emphasis on reason – just think about a problem logically and you can solve it! (refer to Euclid’s success in laying out geometry) This approach gives rise to a culture in which only a few know the accepted answers, while most do not. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-stm/ ~ 1800 2
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Aristotle’s dubious results regarding science: Universe bounded by outermost sphere of stars Earth is center of Universe Four elements: earth, air, water, fire A vacuum is impossible Between atoms is a vacuum, so matter cannot be atomistic because a vacuum cannot exist ime of its own nature is immutable Time of its own nature is immutable All objects move toward their natural place – the center of the earth for some objects, the heavenly spheres for other objects (Aristotelian theory of gravity!) Dense objects fall faster than light objects Etc. 3
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Because experiment has shown time and again that the rules of Nature have nothing to do with common sense! It took centuries to overcome these misconceptions! Why? Four Examples: h 1. Is earth moving? h 2. Electromagnetic forces h 3. Blackbody radiation h 4. Nature of Light 4
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In Galileo’s time (early 1600’s), people simply did not know the answer to the above question. Arguments against earth motion: There is NO speed sensation when standing on the surface of the earth. If the earth were moving (e.g. by the Earth’s rotation), anything that one
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Lecture_01 - PHYS 342 Fall semester 2010 Lecture 01:...

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