The Four Post-modern Criticisms of Newton’s Laws of Motion

Subtitle: The Breakaway

N. B: Newton’s quotes in this article were extracted from the Scholium of the Principia. 

Introduction

As far as the truth goes, Newton’s three laws of motion are the cornerstones of physical science. I say this because in post-modern physics we now have the framework of a new kind of science which I call metaphysical science.

The scientific tradition laid down by Sir Isaac Newton still hold sway despite the revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics. Newton’s laws of motion still find their way into the 20th-century scientific revolutions despite the overwhelming evidence of the limits of their validity.

Bodies at rest, in uniform motion or in accelerated motion all maintain in most cases their Newtonian descriptions. We were not able to break away from the Newtonian paradigm which the revolutions of the 20th-century indicated.

The pressing and seeming irresolvable mysteries confronting today’s science are unneglectable pieces of evidence indicating to us that we must further wrest ourselves from the Newtonian paradigm, even more than what was accomplished by the 20th-century revolution. The very foundation of science would have to be revisited again.

The big question still remains, why were Newton’s laws not able to account for the anomalies discovered in the early 20th-century? We have not really been able to identify in a very explicit manner the flaws or loopholes in Newton’s laws of motion.

This is crucial if we are to make any head way towards a progressive understanding of the universe. We must directly criticize Newton’s laws, and what better way can we go about this without a more encompassing theory.

In post-modern physics, we now have a more encompassing theory and with the insights coming from this theory, I will be criticizing Newton’s laws of motion. I will be pointing out in this article the major limitations or loopholes in Newton’s laws of motion.

Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

Newton set his three laws of motion in his treatise titled, “The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, otherwise called the Principia. After the Scholium of the Principia, Newton proceeded to state the three laws or axioms of motion. Newton’s first law is stated thus:

Law 1: Every body remains at rest or maintains its uniform motion in a straight line unless impressed by an external force.

Newton’s first law of motion above describes the conditions that apply to inertial reference frames. It is a representation of the principle or the law of inertia which had earlier been discovered but not well formalized by Galileo.

Newton’s second law of motion gives us a quantitative description of force. The kind of force described by Newton’s law is what I call relative force. In this post-modern era physics, it should be distinguished from absolute force. Newton’s second law of motion states that:

Law 2: The quantity of force upon a body is directly proportional to the change in velocity of the body.

Newton’s third law of motion is common knowledge and it has even found application in areas beyond physics. It simply states that:

Law 3: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

These three laws of motion have tremendously helped us understand the physical universe. And historically, they served as the basis for our understanding of motion until man began to look into the nature of light and the motion of electrical or atomic bodies.

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These two scientific ventures produced the branches of relativity and quantum mechanics. Now, this article which seeks to expose the limitations of Newton’s laws of motion arises because we want to have a comprehensive understanding of the universe.

And if Newton’s laws cannot help us in this regard, as have become evident, we, therefore, must ask ourselves, what is wrong with Newton’s laws of motion? Like I have said, we cannot progress any further without resolving this question. So, let’s begin to identify the limitations of Newton’s laws of motion.

The First Criticism of Newton’s Laws: The Physicality of Space and Time

The major limitation of Newton’s laws of motion is that it is based on relative, physical space and time instead of absolute, metaphysical space and time. This is the very first criticism of Newton’s laws, every other limitation or criticism follows from this oversight.

When I was looked at the introductory pages of the Principia, I found out that Newton had in the Scholium distinguished between relative, physical space and time and absolute, metaphysical space and time; so it came as a surprise to me when I saw that he had gone ahead to base his three laws of motion only on physical space and time.

But then I realized that Newton had established a very strong connection between relative space and time and absolute space and time (than is possible), and so could agree that his laws though based on relative space and time are still approximate measures of absolute space and time.

To Newton, relative space and time were different from absolute space and time only in proportion to how effective our practical methods of measuring absolute space and time are. In other words, Newton felt our practical methods of determining space and time were not only indications of the existence of absolute space and time but also measures of them.

The extended importance of relative space and time to be measures of absolute space and time is an important flaw in Newton’s conception of the difference between the operations of relative space and time and those of absolute space and time.

Newton had assumed the order of absolute space and time to be fixed or equal, and so speaking of absolute time, he said: “Absolute time is distinguished from relative time in astronomy by the common equation of time. For the natural days [relative times] are unequal, which commonly may be taken as equal for the measure of time.”

“Astronomers correct this inequality so that they measure the motion of the heavens from the truer time [since the order of absolute time is fixed].” How? Astronomers can only do so by using clocks that can only experience uniform motion.

But since “it is possible, that there shall be no uniform motion, by which the [absolute] time may be measured accurately. All motions are able to be accelerated and retarded, but the flow of absolute time is unable to change.”

Newton principia

The inner pages of Newton’s Principia: Image source

Thus, since we can’t avoid acceleration or the retardation of the physical means by which we measure absolute time, “hence [they are]… distinguished by merit from the sensibilities of their measurement, and from the same [the passage of time] is deduced through an astronomical equation.”

I want you to see how Newton conceived of relative time as a measure of absolute time. He only identified mechanical difficulties due to acceleration and retardation to be the main challenges preventing us from having an actual measurement of absolute time which its flow, according to Newton, is uniform.

The “sensibilities” of our measurement Newton referred to are concerned with how we ensure to reduce the possibility of acceleration or retardation of our clock operations so that the order of successions of relative time can be as uniform as the order of the succession of absolute time.

To Newton, any practical method of measuring time simply involves us matching our measurements of time with true absolute time. And from this, I want you to know that Newton did not realize how further distinct absolute time is from relative time. I will talk about this soon.

And concerning absolute space (and time) he said: “As the order of the parts of time is unchangeable, thus to the parts of space… For the times and the spaces are themselves of this [kind] and as if the places of all things: in time according to an order of successions, and in space according to an order of positions, to be put in place [fixed] everywhere.” 

Now, Newton admits the transcendence of absolute space by saying: “In truth since these parts of space are unable to be seen, and to be distinguished from each other by our senses; we use in turn perceptible measures of these.”

However, since by our practical methods, we determine space from bodies which we may regard as fixed just like absolute space. “Thus, in exchange of absolute places and motions, we make use of relative ones; not to be an inconvenience in human affairs: but required to be abstracted from the senses in [natural] philosophical matters.”

Newton suggested the increase in the sensibilities of our measurements of time in order for us to come close to the true measure of time, and he suggested that fixed bodies be taken as fixed places in space in order to account for his immovable absolute space.

From my observation, I think he was more hopeful about our measurement of absolute time than of our measurement of absolute space. This is evident when he suggested that we should make the distinction between absolute space and relative space when we talk about “philosophical matters” even though we can avoid the distinction during practical investigations. He did not say this concerning absolute time and relative time.

In the end, I give Newton credit for first identifying absolute space and time as essences separate (in a way) from the means by which we measure them, but I must say that he had underestimated how distinct absolute space and time are from relative space and time.

Newton's laws and the wide universe

He only perceived relative space and time as quantitative approximations of absolute space and time, and for this reason, he would be satisfied to take his laws of motion as being close to the true laws of the universe, even though it is not true. He did not take the meanings of absolute space and time closer to the truth.

So, because absolute space and time have deeper and even different meanings from relative space and time than what Newton had thought, I therefore draw the conclusion that Newton’s laws are based on the physicality of space and time.

Post-modern physics realizes the true essence of absolute space and time, and it shows that relative space and time are just indications of the existence of absolute space and time and are not in any way measurements of them. This insight is relevant, if we are ever going to discover the true laws of the universe.

The deeper essences of absolute space and time unaccounted for by Newton’s three laws of motion is the cause of the crises that have plagued physics for the past 100 years. The whole problem goes back to Newton’s laws of motion.

They are not the true laws of motion, and what the true laws of motion are is the central question we have all been confronted with since the 20th-century. Newton’s conceptions of absolute space and time are more relevant to physics than he had thought.

Since Newton, we have been describing the universe based on false, relative space and time. The nature of true absolute space and time are just being revealed to us in this post-modern era of physics. 

The deep unavoidable conceptual distinction between relative space and time and absolute space and time is responsible for the formal existence of physical science and metaphysical science. When we move to describe the absolute nature of space and time, all our notions of the physical universe retreats.

In post-modern physics, we expatiate the laws of the universe as they are based on the metaphysicality of space and time. Relative space and time which our meter sticks and clocks represent are not measurements of absolute space and time, which are in their nature internally experiential.

Unlike Newton, we must now know the true nature of absolute space and time that do not have mechanical operations like the methods by which we measure them. We now know that absolutism is a real philosophy of the universe.

But in post-modern physics it doesn’t stand alone, it is unified with relationism resulting in the new philosophy called absolute relationism. This is the great philosophical synthesis.

Now,  the true distinction between relative space and time and absolute space and time is not the only limitation of Newton’s laws, there are other non-identified distinctions and limitations.

The Second Criticism of Newton’s Laws: No Distinction between Ponderable and Electrical Bodies

When we observe the motion of electrical bodies like electrons or protons, we discover that their motion exhibit characters that differ from those exhibited by the motion of ponderable bodies like a piece of stone. This is especially evident in the double-slit experiment.

The whole mystery of the atomic world that confronted the early founders of quantum mechanics and that had confronted us raises the question, what does “body” mean in Newton’s laws of motion? This is because Newton made no distinction between electrical bodies and ponderable bodies in his three laws of motion. 

One may be tempted to conclude as have already been done that since Newton’s laws could not describe the motion of electrical bodies or atomic particles, it, therefore, implies that they only apply to ponderable bodies outside the atom.

The insight coming from post-modern physics prove that this is not the case. The failure of Newton’s laws of motion to distinguish between ponderable and electrical bodies imposes great limits on even their applicability to ponderable bodies outside the atom.

Newton’s laws of motion do not even give us the true description of motion outside the atom or for ponderable bodies. Quantum mechanics indicates to us the importance of stipulating which kind of body we refer to when we describe motion.

If Newton had recognized the distinction between ponderable and electrical bodies, he would have realized that both ponderable and electrical bodies cannot be placed under the same set of axioms or laws of motion as his theory supposes.

This is why in post-modern physics we have three axioms for the motion of ponderable bodies and another three axioms or laws for the motion of electrical bodies or when we want to describe the atomic world. 

These two sets of three axioms of post-modern physics introduce to us an intuitive understanding of every domain of the universe, even of the atomic world which I assert that it is the simplest manifestation of reality. 

So, if Newton’s laws do not even in any scope truly describe the ponderable world of large bodies, what then is the limit of the validity of Newton’s laws of motion? The true limit of Newton’s laws is that they describe the physical universe.

There is another plane of reality I usually call the metaphysical universe and Newton’s laws of motion do not apply there. In my treatise and in this blog, you will learn about the laws that apply in the metaphysical universe.

The discoveries of post-modern physics qualitatively shifts our focus from whether Newton’s laws apply to ponderable bodies or electrical bodies to whether they apply in the physical universe or in the metaphysical universe.

So, as I have said and this time with further emphasis, the new scope of Newton’s laws (and by extension the rest of physics before this post-modern era) is that they apply in the physical universe. Newton’s laws set the background for how we should understand the physical universe based on relative, physical space and time.

However, the post-modern laws of motion set the background for how we should understand the metaphysical universe based on absolute space and time. And while the physical universe is the universe of shadows, the metaphysical universe is the universe of tangible reality. Read this my article.

So, understanding that Newton’s laws of motion make no distinction between ponderable and electrical bodies, let’s now move to the third criticism of Newton’s laws of motion. 

The Third Criticism of Newton’s Laws: No Distinction between the Two Forms of Rest

Following the new insights emerging from post-modern physics, one needs to ask which form of “rest” is represented in Newton’s first law of motion. This is because post-modern physics is making us realize that there are two forms of rest in the universe; so which form of “rest” is represented in Newton’s first law of motion?

We have uniform rest which applies to uniform frames and accelerated rest which applies to accelerated frames. Newton did not make the necessary distinction between these two forms of rest in his laws of motion. 

Post-modern physics avoids this oversight and it captures all the subtleties of the universe in a way that gives us the much needed encompassing understanding of all things. Now, in post-modern physics, the two forms of rest provides us with another principle of motion in the universe.

This principle is called the (first) correspondence principle. If you are familiar with this blog, then you must know about this principle already. This principle states that uniform rest and accelerated rest are indistinguishable.

In relation to the two forms of matter, uniform rest applies usually to ponderable (non-charged) bodies while accelerated rest applies to electrical (charged) bodies. And while both bodies experience fundamentally different forms of rest, they, however, cannot distinguish between the two forms of rest.

This is a profound consequence of the correspondence principle. Newton’s laws failed to show us these two distinct forms of rest and by extension show us how they apply to ponderable and electrical bodies. This is important. 

You can read my article below to see how the two forms of rest are applied for the post-modernization of quantum mechanics. You will even come across the second correspondence principle in the article below on post-modern quantum mechanics.

I want you to understand these things, and just as I have said, Newton’s laws are incomplete because they are not founded on true absolute space and time of which their nature is far from the nature of relative space and time.

The practical relationship Newton sought to establish between these two forms of space and time does not exist in reality. And from this understanding post-modern physics has greatly expanded our understanding of rest.

I feel this will come as a surprise to you because rest on the surface should be a simple experience with little or no complexity. This is not the case. When you approach the true knowledge of absolute space and time, your current understanding of rest based on relative space and time varnishes.

Rest becomes a phenomenon in its own right as motion, and when you couple this insight with how rest is experienced inside and outside the atom, you begin to have a greatly illuminating and exhilarating understanding of the cosmos. In fact, no more darkness, only light and more light.

So, in light of this new hope for science, there is another flaw in Newton’s laws of motion after the non-identification of the two forms of rest in the universe that I want to talk to you about in the next section.

The Fourth Criticism of Newton’s Laws: No Undulatory Principle

Where are light and gravi-electromagnetic waves in Newton’s laws of motion? If we learnt anything from Einstein’s relativity, it is that there is an inseparable relationship between uniformly moving bodies and the motion of light.

The two simple postulates upon which Einstein established the theory of special relativity has become extended in post-modern physics to accelerated frames. We now have as a general rule that there exists a relationship between the two forms of motion and the motions of the two non-mechanical waves in the universe.

Uniform motion is related to light (E-wave) while accelerated motion is related to gravi-electromagnetic wave (G-wave). These fundamental relationships are the cornerstones of absolute relativity which is the post-modern theory of relativity.

Einstein had established this method in special relativity, but he did not apply it in general relativity. This is obviously because he did not know about the existence of gravi-electromagnetic wave. I have talked about this in this article.

So, a crucial flaw in Newton’s laws of motion is the absence of the relationship between the relative motion of bodies and the absolute motions of the two non-mechanical waves in the universe. This is very important.

Relativity paper

The special relativity paperimage source

After Newton, we have had quite a number of wave theories, but I want to let you know that the wave description of the universe that emerges from absolute relativity is the one that is absolutely fundamental. The other wave theories are derivatives of it.

Also, one can rightly say that the true, absolute principles of relativity are not represented in Newton’s laws of motion. We must not undermine this fundamental relationship for on it rests the only true understanding of the universe.

The true laws of the universe are inseparable from the two non-mechanical waves in the universe, and I even think that Newton’s third law of motion could be understood based on this wave description of the universe.

While one can say that during Newton’s time, relativity as it is today has not been established and so Newton could not have been aware of it, it still doesn’t explain away the new fact that absolute relativity (and not just relativity) is the true conceptual framework of the universe and every true set of laws of motion must take it into account.

The true wave description of the universe is hinged on the principles of relativity and should have been taken into account by Newton’s laws. Newton’s laws of motion are not wave based and this loophole contributed to the inability of Newton’s laws to account for the mysteries of light and modern physics.

Crucial Discussion

This article has come at a crucial time in scientific history when we are confronted with a crisis in science that cannot be resolved unless we approach the foundation of physics, and this we must nobly do.

A due course to take is to question Newton’s laws of motion because of how pivotal they are and how they constitute the bedrock of our understanding of the universe. Our inability to unify physics is due to oversights or wrong premises that are hidden in Newton’s laws of motion.

We must now identify these wrong premises in order for us to unify physics, and this task has become easier due to post-modern physics which now shows us explicitly the inherent flaws in Newton’s laws of motion.

Relativity versus quantum mechanics

Image source

Post-modern physics meticulously avoids these flaws and gives us a complete understanding of the universe. We now know the answer to the question: what is wrong with Newton’s laws of motion?

Modern relativity and quantum mechanics have not been able to identify the limitations of Newton’s laws of motion, and this is why they have not been unified. In fact, relativity and quantum mechanics still carry in them the flaws in Newton’s laws pointed out in this article.

Both modern Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics are flawed theories of the universe. Any scientific theory not based on absolute space and time cannot be a true theory of the universe, for the laws of the universe were written on the canvas of absolute space and time and not relative space and time. We all must come to this knowledge.

So, understanding the true nature of absolute space and time is the key to understanding the universe, and the nature of absolute space and time are far from what our physical means of determining space and time can account for.

This dichotomy gives credence to metaphysics and establishes it as the new way to comprehend the universe. In post-modern physics, we now have a wave or an undulatory description of the universe founded on absolute space and time, and which takes into account the two forms of matter and rest in the universe.

This is truly how we go beyond Newton’s laws of motion to arrive at the great unification. This is how we transcend the physical universe of shadows and appearances to the metaphysical universe of tangibility and reality.

Until next time. 

Viva veritas!

– M. V. Echa



M. V. Echa

M. V. Echa

My message is the universe, my truth is the universe, and this blog contains all you need to know about the universe, from the true nature of reality to the long-sought unity of the cosmos — which is the big picture!