Newton vs. Einstein

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by GRO$$, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. GRO$$ Registered Senior Member

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    Did Einstein fully disprove Newtonian physics? In school, we are taught Newtonian physics using Newton's laws of gravity, acceleration, etc.

    Are these applicable in astrophysics, or did Einstein fully disprove them to be false on a larger scale?

    If so, why does the educational system continue to preach them?

    My Biology teacher recently told me that matter cannot be created or destroyed and is sperate from energy. When I asked about E = MCC, she said something along the lines of, "Only Einstein understood that.". Later, she could not answer a student who asked what a lightyear was... thank god she teaches bio... Point being, my opinion of the current educational system is quite low... which is why I'm asking this in the 1st place... when I learn Newtonian physics, should I memorize them for life and defend them to the death, or just go for the A in the class?
     
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  3. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member

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    GRO$$

    Einstein did not disprove Newton. The Newtonian equations are still embodied in Relativity as the special case of low velocity/low mass. All Einstein done was model the case of where Newton is not applicable.

    So why is Newton still taught. The problem is that it takes 4-5 of maths/physics background to fully understand Einsteins theory. The Maths is expressed in Tensors, a more general case fo vectors and matrices. Also, how can you understand WHAT gravity is without first fully understanding Newtons gravity and kinematics alongside electromagnetics.

    Don't be hard on your Biologogy teacher. They, unfortunately, are simply expressing a common misunderstanding of all sciences, that Einsteins stuff was only understood by the man. Your teacher learnt Biology and probably spent years learning it. This is a common problem with all science teachers. E.G. Don't ask a physicist to explain how mitochondrial DNA is inherited or the pathway for radicals to be absorbed. (Though I'll grant the average physicist probably knows what you are talking about and can find out)
     
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  5. itchy Registered Senior Member

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    Einstein didn't disprove Newton's laws. He just showed that they were not complete and needed to be adjusted in some extreme cases. For instance if you have objects moving close to the speed of light, or if you have objects in strong gravitational fields.

    When this is not the case Einstein's relativity theory can be approximated with Newton's laws. So Newton's laws can give a very good approximation to the planetary motions in our solar system for example, but they cannot explain the slow decay in the orbits caused by gravitational radiation, here we need to use relativity theory.
     
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  7. itchy Registered Senior Member

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    Good one thed. You beat me to it. HEH

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  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Special relativity is taught in many first year university courses. It's not mathematically difficult, but requires a conceptual leap in thinking.

    Special relativity includes the results of Newtonian physics in the low speed (v << c) limit.
     
  9. S. Dalal Mathamatics is my life Registered Senior Member

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    Andrey, who the hell is your Bio teacher, lol, I told you that u shouldn't have moved out our class. lol. Anyway, from what I understand of Physics is that Classical Physics is not applied in other divisions of Physics, such as Quantum, Astro, Atomic etc... In the early 17th century, Newton developed a special theory of Relitivity. All Einstine did was disprove that theory. Andrey you have a good point. In our school we are only taught Classical physics, this is a mistake due to the fact that most Physics does NOT revolve arround Classical physics, I think that a new type of curiculum should be implemented in teaching other branches of Physics, Although in AP physics we will learn Atomic physics, that should be fun, huh Andrey. Any way I guess we'll just have to wait till Senior year, to Learn "real" physics. I'm only kidding.
     
  10. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    In the early 17th century, Newton developed a special theory of Relitivity. All Einstine did was disprove that theory.

    Your teachers are either total and complete idiots or you simply are not learning anything.
     
  11. GRO$$ Registered Senior Member

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    our teachers are very strange.

    I am new to the east coast (moved here about a year ago) of the US and find that here, its not what your students learn, not how well you teach or how much you know, but how good you look, how good your students look, and how everything LOOKS... it really annoys me, but thats a totally defferent subject...

    I think I would agree with thed... good point.

    I know im being hard on my bio teacher... shes really not nice sometimes tho...

    she wouldnt recoment me for honors classes next year either (said I'm not responsible enough)...

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    I dont do her HW, but totally ace her tests (out of 5 chapter tests this year 3 were 100% or more, others in 90's)... But I appealed her and got into honors chem anyway

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    Bah, getting off the point again, shes a good teacher i guess, i know people that like her, but i just dont learn well the way she teaches: i get home knowing nothing, and read everything she taught from textbook in 1/3 the time everyone learned stuff in class

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  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    <i>...out of 5 chapter tests this year 3 were 100% or more</i>

    How can you score <b>more</b> than 100%?

    The mind boggles.
     
  13. GRO$$ Registered Senior Member

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    i can bend laws of math

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    hehe

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    i got a 2 point boost for an extra credit assignment...

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    102%

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    so, as i see it, newtonian physics are not completely true, but still usefull as far as real life normal-sized scenarios. Also, you need to understand newtonian physics before you can understand Einstein's thories.... anything else?

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  14. c'est moi all is energy and entropy Registered Senior Member

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    I'm laughing my socks off!

    (Q), we are facing a dilemma here:

    Banshee does not think, Banshee sees...

    orrrr

    In the early 17th century, Newton developed a special theory of Relitivity (sometimes also called Principia). All Einstine (nobody remembers the guy) did was disprove that theory.
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Newton did not develop a theory of relativity, although he explicitly made a number of assumptions about space and time which are sometimes given the label <i>Galilean</i> relativity, after Galileo, who had previously considered such questions.
     

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