Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Physics: 1620

Nor shall we thus be led to the doctrine of atoms, which implies the hypothesis of a vacuum and that of the unchangeableness of matter (both false assumptions); we shall be led only to real particles, such as really exist.
--From The New Organum--

 Now I want to go back in time and chase Francis Bacon around with a vacuum cleaner.


chickenlittle said...

By convention sweet is sweet, bitter is bitter, hot is hot, cold is cold, color is color; but in truth there are only atoms and the void..

Democritus (400 B.C.)

dr kill said...

I understand that current academic thinking demands that historical dates be indicated with either a B.B. (Before Barack) or A.B. (After Barak).

Please adjust your historical accounts accordingly.

Jason (the commenter) said...

After reading what chickenlittle had to say, I realize I now want to go back in time, pick up Democritus, and then we'll both go and chase Francis Bacon around with a vacuum cleaner.

chickenlittle said...

for heat and cold are Nature's two hands, whereby she chiefly worketh; Bacon (1627) link.

Bacon seems to grasp thermodynamics, and with both hands, so to speak.

Jason (the commenter) said...

From what I was reading he seemed to think that heat was motion. He talks about iron generating heat when dissolved in certain chemicals because the iron is being torn apart quickly. He also says that gold doesn't generate heat when dissolved because it is gently broken down.

I spent last night going through almost a hundred pages of weird theories like that. I'm not blogging it because most of it is either boringly ridiculous or just boring.

I do understand why induction isn't used in science though. You get lists and lists and lists!

One interesting thing: Bacon noticed the similarities in the coastlines of South America and Africa. He didn't go anywhere with it, but he noticed it.

chickenlittle said...

Jason- there's a wonderful book called The World of Physical Chemistry which does a great job at explaining the history of heat and thermodynamic theories.

Yikes, I just checked Amazon- the book retails for $150! I got a copy about 10 years ago for a fraction of that.