Comments about the book "The Evolution of Scientific thought from Newton to Einstein" by A. d'Abro


I admire the book: "The Evolution of Scientific thought from Newton to Einstein" mainly because it gives a balanced account of mechanics i.e the branch of physical science that deals with energy and forces and their relation to the equilibrium, deformation or motion of solid,liquid and gaseous bodies (Webster 1967). My advice is to read the book.
The book has a highly philosophical content. Its starting point are definitions and basic concepts and slowly wanders into more complicated issues.
When you want to study or write about physics, you can start by reading all the principle scientist in the field and write chapters what each has to say about the different aspects of the total subject.
A different aproach is to read as much as possible of all the scientists involved, but write your story independent of these scientists. Specific the book should represent the the overall opinion of the present scientific community, with a birds eye view.
The reason why I mention this is because physics can be divided into two groups: Single object based physics and Multiple based objects. (There is a small in between group) Special Relativity is part of Single object based physics. General Relativity to Multiple object based. Newton's Law belongs to both with the emphasis on Multiple object based.
One important difference between the two concepts is the definition of the concept mass or matter. In Single based the concept mass is defined (measured) by means of a balance. In Multiple based mass is calculated by means of observations of the behaviour (positions in due time) of the objects studied and by applying either Newton's Law or GR.
Maybe here it is important to mention that specific in Single based physics, which involves all sorts of processes, the amount of mass in not considered constant, but can vary in time. In many Multiple based processes this is also the case, but for simplicity it can be considered that the masses of the objects studied are constant. See specific page 100

A important starting point of physics should be observations and experiments, with their limitations.
At the same time:
From a conceptual point of view it is very important to study physics, to unravel the laws of nature, completely independent from any observers point of view.
However this leaves out the most important question: What are the Laws of nature, What is its purpose?
Is the equation:
ds^2 = g11 * du^2
discussed at page page 86 , part of the laws of nature?
A simple "Yes" is too simple. To answer that question you have to understand all what is (mathematical and physical) involved in detail and that is not simple.

From a personal note: writing this bookreview is also not simple. At this moment it is not complete and many chapters discussed require more study and the text should be updated. That is what it is.

Created: 25 March 2019

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