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Why?
Forum List  Follow Ups  Post Message  Back to Thread Topics  In Response To Posted by Daniel Johnson on October 18, 2002 03:22:51 UTC 
Why do the simple equations of physics, the "maps" of physical law drawn in the language of mathematics, work so well? In fact, in most cases, the maps have been proven faulty. Gravity is proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance. This is still a profoundly beautiful relationship that works well enough that it lets us reach the moon, or to predict where the moon will be at any moment for millennia. For two centuries Newton's gravity seemed perfect. But it was a faulty map. It is demonstrably wrong, certafably wrong, it is false. Yet its simplicity makes it beautifl and I love itsuch simple elegance, so very nearly right. It is close enough to tell us where the Moon was each night of Newton's life. It was close enough for sailors to know their longitude at sea when their lives depended on it, before accurate clocks existed.


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