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Posted by z on December 3, 2010, 4:02 am



I'm an idiot

Posted by you on December 3, 2010, 8:02 pm

It was Phosphorus  not potassium.... FYI

Posted by z on December 3, 2010, 9:04 pm

I know i'm an idiot.  Sorry

Posted by Ahem A Rivet's Shot on November 5, 2010, 9:37 am
 On Fri, 05 Nov 2010 00:25:06 -0500

    Newton's laws of motion:

Law I: Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving
uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its
state by force impressed.

Law II: The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force
impress'd; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that
force is impress'd.

Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or
the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in
opposite directions.

    I see no mathematics (although the second law could be considered a
description in words of a mathematical relationship).

    In the original latin they were Lex I, II and III. This may well be
the origin of the use of the word "law" for a scientific statement. It is
perhaps worth noting that these statements were called laws in their
original publication. So neither mathematics nor long term, widespread
acceptance was involved in calling them laws.

    However if you wish to discuss the meanings and uses of words in
particular contexts then perhaps alt.usage.english would be a good place to
do it.

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Posted by dow on November 5, 2010, 2:35 pm
 The theories that ordinary matter consists of atoms, that biological
species evolve, that light consists of waves, etc., etc., have been
verified beyond any rational doubt, yet they are still and will always
be theories, not laws. Laws are essentially quantitative, capable of
being stated in mathematical terms. Non-quantitative theories cannot
be laws, no matter how well they are verified by observation.

However, it is true that these distinctions are sometimes ignored in
practice. "Avogadro's Hypothesis", for example, which states that at
equal temperatures and pressures, equal volumes of all gases contain
equal numbers of molecules, is an extremely well established (though
slightly approximate) statement, worthy of being called a law. But
most scientists continue to call it a hypothesis, just out of habit.
There are cases of laws being called theories, and theories being
called laws.

But no scientist ever starts calling a theory a law just because it
has been very well verified.


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