by Evan Wambugu
Science as a dynamic research field has been rife of supremacism.But to stick to the script,the competition will never affect their status(ie Isaac’s and Einstein’s) and real value to the world.
Newton had the more direct engineering applications.Every machine in the Industrial Revolution owes it’s origin to Newtonian Laws.Before then engineering was a haphazard enterprise,rules of thumb and guesswork dominated.
Einstein’s advances to gravitation are intellectual sky scrapers but of much lesser practical interest.His contributions to quantum mechanics are absolutely invaluable.His work in stimulated emission led to the laser and a change to the whole world.
Isaac Newton has influenced us more because he invented calculus [though that is a subject of debate.Some argue that it was Leibnitz].
Einstein founded some his work on basis of Newtonian work.There is no way Einstein could have figured out that his field equation was equal to the Newtonian in weal field limit without reference to Newtonian Physics.
Before Isaac Newton,laws of nature were absurd.He published a single book containing all laws of motion.principles of energy and work,gravitational laws and Kepler’s Laws.He made up for the loss that were caused by over 2000 years of arisotlean pseudoscience.He defeated the army of scientific ignorance,single handedly.
It is him who pulled us out of scientific mud.
Albert on the other hand,was a rebel by cause.He published three great papers on brownian motion,photoelectric effect and special relativity which shattered the idea of absolute time that had been given by Sir Isaac.
Both of these physicists changed our view of Physics in a radical way.They both introduced paradigm shifts in our view of how the world works.
Enistein usually played the cello to unwind which was essential for thinking.Newton had to take a break in his studies.He went to the country side to chill and think properly about his work.Einstein’s thinking was truly bizarre no doubt.He asked the right questions which is more important than finding the right answers.
Einstein showed that Newton’s Law of gravity was incomplete.Newton’s Laws suffice to explain phenomena such as orbits of planets,trajectory of bulltes,how fast objects will fall to the earth et al.Albert’s General Relativity goes beyond that to explain gravity in terms of curvature of space time.Newton never thought of a connection between space and time.
Isaac Newton,i could blatantly say is “The Father of Ancient Physics” while Albert Einstein is the “Father of Modern Physics”.Albert Einstein is known for general relativity,special relativity,photoelectric effect,brownian motion,mass-energy equivalence,Einstein field equations,unified field theory and Bose-Einstein Statistics which are all under Physics.Isaac Newton was known for Calculus,Laws of Motion,Universal Gravitation,Optics,and General Contribution to the Power Series.
The material presented in class today is more abstract thanks to Einstein’s contributions.Newton’s Theories are less polished because they use advanced mathematics.
Einstein’s genius was not as great as his will power to perservere with his work.He once had an honest admission of his own shortcoming when he said “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics,for i can aassure you that mine are far greater.”
Isaac Newton was one of the preeminent mathematicians of his generation.He was a giant and his tools are too heavy for anyone else to lift. Mathematician P.S.Laplace said this of Isaac “There is only one universe and it has only one set of laws,and there will only ever be one man who discovered those laws.”
Newton’s contributions was the centerpiece of all western intellectualism for centuries way after his death.Newton used a method that basically identical to calculus and differential equations to solve problems related to planetary motions in order to prove that a force that varied as the inverse square of the distance would imply Kepler’s Laws.He presented it in terms of classic synthetic geometry,with proofs that are at a level of complexity and power unmatched before.Newton certainly had a greater genius.
Science is a mountain to which some people bring grains of salt,some people bring massive rocks.You can’t know which is better.The discussion of who was greater or better has no point.It is an insult to the memory of these two great scientists.
They are remembered for their work in theoretical physics although they were both grade A experimentalists.Classical Theoretical Physics uses scientific methods that will always be difficult to analyze.It’s convenient but non-essential for the production of technology.
Newton accurately predicted the speed of sound in air,and with decent accuracy predicted the size of oblate bulge around the equator of the earth.Albert predicted the visibility of an astronomical object that shouldm’t have been visible during an eclipse,due to gravitational lensing.
Newton’s Calculus is probably the greatest contribution to science by any one single man.However both their theoretical contributions are nearly equal.
But the greatest victory for Einstein was explaining General Relativity that punched a hole in Newton’s Logic of Gravitation.