Even Newton had not been completely comfortable with a strictly mechanical view of the universe

Even Newton had not been completely comfortable with a strictly mechanical view of the universe

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Even Newton had not been completely comfortable with a strictly mechanical view of the  universe, because mechanics seemed unable to account for his law of universal  gravitation: how could this force act across space given the vacuum between atoms?  Even more serious challenges to the mechanical worldview arose with the formulation of  electromagnetic theory by Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Heinrich Hertz  over the course of the nineteenth century. The greatest contribution to this theory was  Maxwell's famous equations explaining the propagation of electromagnetic waves.  Maxwell equations unified electricity and magnetism to define the nature of light. Light  had previously been considered a wave that propagated through the ether, a mysterious  substance that pervaded the whole universe. The ether, like Newton's absolute space,  served as a reference frame against which motion could be measured. One of the most 
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2011 for the course BIO 1320 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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Even Newton had not been completely comfortable with a strictly mechanical view of the universe

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