Talk:History of classical mechanics

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Newton and Leibniz developed calculus independently of each other. Newton was first, but kept his method a secret, so Leibniz developed it a bit late, not knowing about Newtons calculus. Newton was miffed about this.DanielDemaret 11:14, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Classical mechanics?[edit]

The title of this article doesn't match its content. Classical mechanics refers to those traditions in mechanics that begin with Newton's laws of motion. By that criterion everyone from Aristotle to Galileo should be removed. I see three possible solutions, listed in my order of preference:

  1. Change the title to History of mechanics, which would allow room for everyone from Aristotle to Galileo and from Einstein to the present.
  2. Put the early figures in a "precursors to classical mechanics" section.
  3. Remove the early people and limit it to Newton and his successors.

Does anyone have any preferences?

--SteveMcCluskey 02:26, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Steve, that's a good insight, although doesn't it depend on how you define "classical"? I see the term as being contrasted with "quantum", so I prefer solution #2. By that definition, the pre-Newton people did contribute some classical mechanics, e.g., the laws of static equilibrium for levers (Aristotle, Galileo and others), the theory of collisions (Descartes), and even Newton's first law (Galileo?). Interested in what others think, Willow 13:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

all the history before Newton should be listed as early ideas of motion or something to that effect.Tomasz Prochownik (talk) 07:43, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed that "classical" mechanics is Newtonian mechanics, but the "history of mechanics" is deeper and should be included in a renamed article. I believe all pre-Galileo material from the "History of Physics" page should be split between "Natural Philosophy" "Aristotelian Physics" "History of Geometry" "History of Mechanics" "History of Optics" and "History of Astronomy" as appropriate. Contrary to Jagged's philosophy, the histories of Ancient and Islamic contributions should not be replicated wherever they can be, but rather placed in the most appropriate articles. This is an ideal place for discussing the contents of mechanics, while History of Physics is a good place for discussing the status of mechanics and other general topics within the discipline of physics.

Also, to clarify, we need to get our ancient sciences straight. Aristotelian physics is not mechanics; it is philosophy and should not be here. Geometry-based mechanics, however, such as the work of Archimedes, was most definitely mechanics, and is entirely appropriate for this article. Will Thomas (talk) 22:19, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Expansion needed[edit]

This page needs expansion, or going into a more general mechanics' history page. A briefing on the possible points on this topic will be:

  1. Pre-Newton/Galileo.
  2. Classical of Newton and Galieo.
  3. Golden age of mechanicism, reformulations of classical mechanics: Lagrange, Euler, etc.
  4. End of Galilean paradigm -> Einstein.
  5. Einstein, relativity and so on.
  6. Small introduction to quantum mechanics, blablabla.

If I'll manage to have more time, I'll contribute here a few.--Patillotes (talk) 15:39, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Sources of Galileo's Concepts[edit]

The entire section on purportedly Islamic sources of some of Galileo's thinking should really be removed for severe inaccuracy. Galileo had no access to these Islamic writings. He could not read Arabic, and none of these works had been translated into Greek, Latin, or Italian. Moreover, we know that most of the sources of Galileo's research were the Florentine Academy and the School of Padua (brilliantly described by Paul O. Kristeller), the Greek and Latin translations of the ancient authors Aristotle, Archimedes, etc., and the entire Italian Renaissance school of mechanics: Cardano, Telesio, Pomponazzi, etc. Having just read the article on History of Medieval Science, I saw these "lists" of Islamic, Indian, and Chinese scientists and inventors, the writers continually making the point that these men supposedly "discovered" x, y, or z before some European. The question is also, "What did he do with the discovery?" but I guess that's for thE Talk Page there. (talk) 02:26, 8 January 2010 (UTC) Allen Roth

Contributions of Islamic scientists[edit]

A recent edit added the criticism that the article is missing information about the contributions of "Islamic polymaths" as in-line text to the article. I don't know enough about Islamic scientists to know if their contributions were sufficiently significant for it to be worth adding information about them to the article, but if they did, that information is certainly not there now. I have therefore moved the criticism into a {{Missing information}} template. Editors who have opinions on the matter can discuss it here.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 12:38, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I see there is some discussion above where it is argued that the article shouldn't include any pre-Newtonian contributions to mechanics because they weren't contributions to classical mechanics. If anyone considers that sufficient grounds for removing the template I would have no objection to their doing so.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 12:57, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
The viewpoint in Classical Mechanics#History and Timeline of classical mechanics seems to be that the contributions of Islamic scholars are relevant because they paved the way for Newtonian mechanics. Also, these are good starting points for addressing the {{Missing information}} template.. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:08, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand why there is a need to bring in "Islam" since there's nothing in the Quran that mentions the subject. Let's also remember that much of Greek science was translated into arabic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

This statement is easily misinterpreted. I think you mean that they should be referred to as "Arabic" rather than "Islamic". Is that correct? RockMagnetist (talk) 23:09, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I believe, if it is to be included at all, from a historical point of view as it relates to this article, "Arabic" is more correct, as "Islam", as a religious concept, didn't exist during the lifetimes of early Greek Philosophers that were mentioned at the beginning of the article. And IIF "Arabic's" got their learning from the earlier Greeks, then whoever put it up needs to find the references as to how the "Arabic's" improved it, other than inventing the "0" (zero) and the numbering system they also came up with, which is fine in a history of mathematics as such, but this article is more about the history of physics, which is much more than the math that is often used to support the concepts therein. (talk) 07:22, 25 February 2016 (UTC)DPHutchins