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Andre K. T. Assis
Relational Mechanics

Date: 2009-10-24 Time: 07:00 - 09:00 US/Pacific (1 decade 4 years ago)
America/Los Angeles: 2009-10-24 07:00 (DST)
America/New York: 2009-10-24 10:00 (DST)
America/Sao Paulo: 2009-10-24 11:00
Europe/London: 2009-10-24 14:00
Asia/Colombo: 2009-10-24 19:30
Australia/Sydney: 2009-10-25 01:00 (DST)

Where: Online Video Conference
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Newton's concepts of absolute space and time are discussed. It is then presented his universal law of gravitation, the free fall of an apple and his bucket experiment. We have a bucket partially filled with water hanging by a rope. When the bucket and the water are at rest the surface of the water is flat. When the bucket and the water rotate together the surface of the water becomes concave (the water rises towards the sides of the bucket). It is discussed the origins of this behavior (the concave shape is due to the rotation of the water relative to what?). The criticisms of Berkeley, Leibniz and Mach against Newtonian mechanics are discussed. An emphasis is given in Mach's ideas according to which the inertia of any body is due to its gravitational interaction with the distant universe. It is shown that Eintein's theories of relativity do not implement Mach's principle. Finally it is presented Relational Mechanics, a theory which implements quantitatively Mach's ideas about the origin of inertia utilizing a Weber's law for gravitation. We discuss Galileo's free fall experiment and Newton's bucket experiment from the point of view of Relational Mechanics.


  • A. K. T. Assis, Weber's Electrodynamics (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1994).
  • A. K. T. Assis, Relational Mechanics (Apeiron, Montreal, 1999).