Ghosts of Departed Quantities

Calculus was developed by many workers, and their incremental progress was independently systematized by Newton and Leibnitz in the late 1600s. At that time the concept of limit had not been devised yet, and even the concept of a function was still in development, and there was not yet a precise definition of a function. … Read more

The Field Concept in Physics

Let’s continue the story in the previous post about Newtonian mechanics. In Newton’s theory of gravity, two objects that have mass attract each other with a gravitational force simply by virtue of their mass. The strength of the force is proportional to the product of the two masses, and inversely proportional to the square of … Read more