Newton’s Laws, err make that Rules of Motion

Newton’s laws, or more accurately, equations or rules of motion and gravitation are accepted and widely used and essentially engineering problems. Except that while we have gravity described by a formula, we actually don’t understand how gravity operates. There is also the problem of applying Newton’s Laws where they should not be applied such as geophysics.


Newton’s laws are limited to independent objects separated by ‘space’; apple falling off tree to Earth or Moon orbiting Earth or airplane flying over the Earth. If there is no space between the two objects then we can not observe any motion between them. Hence these objects are not Newtonian objects.

Therefore Newton’s equations do not apply between the constituent parts of the same object since those parts are not independent objects capable of independent motion.

Perhaps we should dethrone Newton and call is ideas as his Rules of Motion?

Update: Newton had to deal with a competing explanation:

PUSHING GRAVITY: New Perspectives on Le Sage’s Theory of Gravitation

Editor: Matthew R. EDWARDS. Apeiron, Montreal. English, 316p, U$25.00. Can be ordered at or

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. Trained by Western Mining Corporation and polished by De Beers.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Newton’s Laws, err make that Rules of Motion

  1. mdello says:

    Interesting, I guess Newton’s Laws have their limitations, but I’m not sure it shouldn’t be applied to geophysics. Gravity measurements are, after all, a geophysical technique.


    • Yes, but I have drilled enough gravity anomalies to also know that geophysical modelling is rather incomplete. Haven’t worked out why of course, and in a previous post I also presented gravity measurements for a drill hole orientation survey that implied a gravitating mass above the hole – an absurdity but the consulting geophysicists could not explain it, and dismissed it as instrument error. However the driller and I replicated the data consistently, and repeated the observations on additional drill holes.

      In fact I’ve also had to drill an enormous magnetic anomaly which was also falsified by the recovered core was retrieved.

      It might be of interest that the geophysical modelling for the Kola Peninsula super deep hole indicated a zone of gabbros or basalt at 6000 meters depth. On reaching that depth the Russians encountered water saturated gneiss but no mafic rocks as interpreted from the geophysics.


  2. kaptonok says:

    Well I was dethroned many years ago so I sympathise with poor old Newton.
    Its good to know Newtons laws are limited all we need to do now is to find unlimited laws.


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