The Birth of Physics
This work focuses on the largest text from the Ancient Greek Atomists - Lucretius' De Rerum Natura - and mobilizes knowledge about the related scientific work of the time (Archimedes, Epicurus et al) in order to demand a complete reappraisal of the legacy. Serres argues that the Greeks had all the mathematical resources to formulate an adequate picture of the physical principles acting on matter. Crucial to his reconception of the Atomists' thought is a recognition that their model of atomic matter is essentially a fluid one - they are describing the actions of turbulence. Recognition of this fact throws in relief the force of this ancient thought with respect to the disciplines of chaos and complexity. It explains the continuing presence of Lucretius in the work of such scientific giants as Nobel Laureates Schroedinger and Prigogine.
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Archimedes or the concept of deviation
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aleatory ancient angle Aphrodite appears Archimedes ataraxy Athens atomist atomist physics atoms beginning birth body Book born canon cataract chaos circulation classical clinamen clouds conjunction death declination Democritus Descartes deviation from equilibrium differential discourse disorder drift earth elements Epicurean Epicurus Everything flows existence fall fluctuation fluid flux foedera foedus geometry global Greek Hence Heraclitus homeorrhesis hydraulic inclination infinite invariant irreversible isonomy knowledge laminar flow language Leibniz lightning Lucretian physics Lucretius Mars mathematics mechanics Meteora minimal movement nature negentropic object once parallel path phenomena philosophy plague plane Plato possible precisely principle produces question Quod erat demonstrandum relation remains rerum natura river sense Serres simulacra singular Sisyphus slope solid solid angle soul space spiral stable statics stochastic thalweg theoretical theory things translation turbulence universal Venus violence void vortex vortices waterspouts whole words