New Laws of Motion Challenge the Foundations of Modern Physics, According to Recently Published Paper

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In a paper published earlier this year in Progress in Physics, new laws of motion were presented. The new laws are derived from the concept of power and can serve as an alternative to the familiar Newton's laws of motion. The switch from force to power as the cause of motion challenges the foundations of Physics and it is very intriguing, according to experts in the field.

In the paper "Power as the Cause of Motion and a New Foundation of Classical Mechanics," published earlier this year in Progress in Physics, laws of motion based on the concept of power were presented. The new laws are an alternative to the familiar Newton's laws of motion that are based on the concept of force. The switch from force to power as the cause of motion challenges fundamental concepts of modern Physics and it is intriguing, according to experts in the field.

The author of the paper, Efthimios Harokopos, shows that from a principle he calls "the axiom of motion," two laws of motion can be derived, the law of inertia and the law of interaction. The axiom of motion is essentially the expression for the instantaneous power of a body in motion. This is in contrast to Newton's laws of motion, which all have the status of a priori principle and include the law of inertia, the second law and the law of action-reaction. The law of inertia derived by Harokopos allows curvilinear motion when there is no cause of motion. Thus, uniform circular motion, a special case of curvilinear motion, is an effect of inertia according to the laws based on power. In contrast, the familiar Newton's first law, known also as the law of inertia, allows just rectilinear motion and the state of rest when there is no cause of motion. It is shown in the paper by Harokopos that when power is postulated as the cause of motion, instead of force, Newton's law of inertia is a special case of a more general law of inertia that allows curvilinear motion. In the case of the law of interaction, which is the alternative to Newton's law of action-reaction, it is also shown in the paper that it is more general than Newton's third law.

One important conclusion stated in the paper by Harokopos is that when power is defined as the cause of motion, the laws of motion retain their form for all moving observers, inertial and non-inertial, a concept that was central in the formulation of Relativity theory by Albert Einstein. Addition of fictitious and coordinate dependent causes is not necessary in the case of non-inertial motion, something that is required when Newton's laws are applied in such reference frames. Specifically, the application of Newton's second law in non-inertial reference frames requires addition of fictitious forces, such as centrifugal or Coriolis. When power is defined as the cause of motion, no fictitious causes are required to explain the state of motion in non-inertial reference frames. The conclusion is that a switch from the familiar Newtonian force to power as the cause of motion eliminates a fundamental problem with the laws of motion that has raised plenty of controversy since their discovery by Newton.

Another important conclusion in the paper by Harokopos is that if we postulate that power is the cause of all motion, then motion due to gravity must have power as its cause. This gives rise to a more fundamental law of universal gravitation, which states that for all bodies in gravitational motion the time rate of change of kinetic energy is equal to the time rate of change of potential energy. From this law, one can derive the law of conservation of mechanical energy and Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. Harokopos argues that Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation just reveals the form of the potential function but should not be viewed as a fundamental law. According to the new foundation he proposes, gravitation is caused by energy transfer to all bodies in motion from an unobservable substance, which is a giant mechanism and acts on discrete instances in order to bring about the effects predicted by the law of universal gravitation.

The author of the paper "Power as the Cause of Motion and a New Foundation of Classical Mechanics" graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo with honors and then attended graduate school at Columbia University. His thesis was on motion control and during his professional career, he was part of a team granted an AT&T patent for a high-speed robotic workstation. The paper "Power as the Cause of Motion and a New Foundation of Classical Mechanics" is included in the 2005 annual issue of Progress in Physics and it is also listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals of Lund University http://www.doaj.org/abstract?id=119444&toc=y/. The author maintains a web site at http://www.digitalcosmology.com/
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