‘Uranus and Neptune’: who says scientists don’t go wrong / Prof. Jayant V. Narlikar / Saptrang / Sakal / Marathi / Pune / 06 April 2014/. Reading this article reminds me of a very exceptional introspection of Newton because just as senior scientists have to consider findings of junior scientists in time seniors have to reconsider their theories also – as and when needed. Such an introspection was done by Newton, let me narrate it for readers.
It is well-known that Newton had put forth his laws of motion in his youth. These are taught all over the world in schools and colleges, even our SSC students do know them well. His laws are quite different from those of Aristotle’s, described about 2300 years ago. However when Newton was about 62, he had expressed the need of reconsidering some ideas of Aristotle. This piece of history is usually not found in prescribed SSC /HSC textbooks of science / physics. However, it was described by Prof. Anthony French – a well-known author of physics books (now 93) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA, in a letter to the editor of American J. of Physics, January 1984. He had raised the question in the title itself: Did Newton forget his own laws of motion?
On the basis of my own research in *physics education* - spanning about 40 years - I think that Newton did not forget his laws BUT must of thought of some better ideas. In short, this anecdote does show Newton’s exceptional way of introspection – and we salute him for it. Contact me for more discussion, My Ghar: 020-65100495 Mobile: 09922467861, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org