THE CHANGELESS ORDER by Arnold-Ed. Koslow

THE CHANGELESS ORDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Physics, to the annoyance of some contemporary critics, has increasingly become a field of philosophical speculation in which ""unnatural"" concepts of space and time are debated with great rigor and little practicality. Koslow's selection of basic writings in ""natural philosophy"" show how physics has always been steeped in metaphysics. Basic notions of space, time and motion inspired Faraday and Einstein as well as Plato, Galileo, Leibnitz, Descartes and Newton, flavoring their search and formulations of Laws, Principles, or fundamental order in nature. The first part of the book is devoted to the controversies and experimental evidence (for the Law of Inertia, the second for the various laws of conservation of energy, momentum, charge, and more recent generalizations). Each part ends with summations of current beliefs, and if the reader is up to it, the essay of Max von Laue is one of the most concise histories of physics to date. He ends acknowledging the deficiency of either the theory of location (space) or momentum (because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle). ""Here we feel with particular intensity that physics is never completed, but that it approaches truth step by step, changing forever."" Not an easy book, but worth the efforts of armchair philosophers of science.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1967
Publisher: Braziller