Space, Newton and Leibniz and Lee Smolin and everybody else

“Nature and Nature’s law lay hid in night, God said, “Let Newton be”, and all was light” .  Alexander Pope.

Newton and Leibniz had a ‘tumultuous” relationship about the idea of space (Henry Louis Gates, Skip, Jr., being “profiled” by a non-apolegetic white sergeant of the Cambridge police force, reportedly, was taken to the can for ‘tumultuous behaviour’). As one can read in the “A collection of papers which passed between the late learned Mr.  Leibniz and Dr. Clarke in the years 1715 and 1716 relating to the principles of natural philosophy and religion. By Samuel Clarke, London 1717′,  for Mr. Newton, space-and time- were the very framework of reality: absolute attributes of God (following Cassirer 1943 delightful paper on Newton and Leibniz: The Philosophical Review. 1943. 52: 366-391). In Newton’s mind, atoms with abolute properties move in a landascpe of abolute time and space. For Leibnitz they are not separate existences, but only merely relative: “In order to have an idea of place, and consequently of space (?), it is sufficient to consider relations and the rules of their changes without needing to fancy any absolute reality out of the things whose situation we consider” (Leibniz, 5th paper to Clarke, sect 47, p. 199). For Leibniz, space is the “order of coexistences’-time-: the “order of successions”. Enter Lee S., but later, i’m exhausted.


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2 Responses to “Space, Newton and Leibniz and Lee Smolin and everybody else”

  1. Xavier Terri Says:


    I read your book ‘Las dudas de la física’, 2007. Wonderful. I have seen that you are looking for a new big idea, the fundamental simply idea for the progress and unification of physics. Seems that you got the conviction that both quantum mechanics and GR theorys don’t understand the deep nature of time (page 355). It is right for GR unless.

    Here is what i say:
    No more Lorentz’s Transformations. The new alternatives transformations (‘relational transformations’) are deduced on ‘La paradoja de los gemelos de la teoría de la relatividad especial de Einstein’, f.i., equations (22) and (23) with “C” and “D” given by (42) and (43) , pages (33) to (36). From them arises the ‘teoría relacional’, an alternative to special relativity.
    The generalitation of this ‘teoría relacional’, the unique possible classic alternative to GR, appears on ‘Extracto de la Teoría Conectada’. 3 are the fundamental equations. (84), (171) and (172), pages (146) and (182). This 3=24 equations are necessary in order to eliminate the Newton-Einstein’s absolute space. There ara not absolutes accelerations (neither absolutes velocities, of course).

    The Dark Matter problem is solved in ‘Apéncice C’, page 205. And so too many others things.

    What about a “quantum teoría conectada”? I believe that you can say something important about it.

    Xavier Terri
    Terrassa 2009 July 5

  2. Xavier Terri Says:

    Absolute? Relational? About de Newton-Leibniz problem above, you can find out the ‘Relativity and Cosmology’ viXra e-print, 34, 63 and 64.

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