Superphysics Superphysics


by Isaac Newton Icon
4 minutes  • 840 words
Table of contents

I classify time, space, place, and motion as:

  • absolute and relative
  • true and apparent
  • mathematical and common.

1. Time

Absolute, true, and mathematical time flow equably without regard to anything external. It is also called duration.

Relative, apparent, and common time, is a sensible and external measure of duration by the means of motion, which is commonly used. Examples are= an hour, a day, a month, a year.

2. Space

Absolute space has no regard to anything external. It remains always similar and immovable.

Relative space is some movable dimension or measure of the absolute spaces which our senses determine by its position to bodies and which is vulgarly taken for immovable space. Examples are= subterraneous, an aereal, or celestial space, all relative to the Earth.

Absolute and relative space are the same in figure and magnitude. But they do not remain always numerically the same.

For example, if the earth’s atmosphere-space is increased vertically then the relative atmosphere-space will increase, but the absolute space will be the same.

3. Place

Place is a part of space which a body takes up. It is either absolute or relative depending on the space.

The places of equal solids are always equal, but their areas are often unequal.

Positions have no quantity and are properties of place.

The place of the whole motion is the sum of all the places of its parts. This is why place is internal and in the whole body.

4. Motion

Absolute motion is the translation of a body from one absolute place to another.

Relative motion is the translation of a body from one relative place to another.

The relative place of a moving ship is the current place of that ship which it has.

  • Its place of relative rest is that current place being continued

Real, absolute rest is the body being in the same part of that immovable space.

If the earth does not move, then the ship, and its contents will also be moving as the ship is moving.

But since the earth moves, then the contents of the ship will move partly from the absolute motion of the earth, and partly from the relative motion of the ship.

The Earth moves to the East at a velocity of 10,010 parts. The ship goes west, with a velocity of 10 parts. A sailor walks in the ship towards the east with 1 part velocity

  • He will truly move East in the absolute space of the Earth with a velocity of 10001 parts
  • He will relatively move towards the west, with a velocity of 9 parts

Absolute time, in astronomy, is distinguished from relative, by the correction of the vulgar time. The natural days are absolutely unequal even if they are considered as equal.

There is no such thing as an absolute time. Nevertheless, absolute time does not change.

The timespans of things remain the same whether they be fast, slow, or not moving [to an observer].

The order of the parts of time is immutable, so also is the order of the parts of space.

  • If relative time is moved, then absolute time is

Times and spaces are the places of themselves and of all other things.

  • Time has an order of succession just as space has an order to situation.
  • This order makes them places

It is absurd that the primary places of things would be moveable. Thus, the universe is an absolute place and the translations out of those absolute places are the only absolute motions.

The parts of space cannot be seen. And so we define places based on the things that we see to be not moving. From there, we estimate all motions. We consider bodies as being transferred from one place to another.

And so, instead of absolute places and motions, we use relative ones.

But philosophically, we should abstract from our senses and consider things as they are without our senses. This is because nothing is really at rest.

We may distinguish rest and motion, absolute and relative, by their properties, cause, and effects.

Resting bodies really at rest do rest relative to one another.

Therefore, there might be a region where a body is absolutely at rest. But it is impossible to know from our position in the universe.

All the parts of revolving bodies endeavour to recede from the axis of motion. The impetus of bodies moving forward, arises from the joint impetus of all the parts.

Therefore, if surrounding bodies are moved, those that are relatively at rest within them, will partake of their motion. Thus, the true and absolute motion of a body cannot be determined by the translation of it from those which only seem to rest.

The external bodies should not only to appear at rest, but to be really at rest. For otherwise, all included bodies, beside their translation from near the surrounding ones, partake likewise of their true motions and though that translation were not made they would not be really at rest, but only seem to be so

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