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History of 5th July- Laws of Motion

History of 5th July- Laws of Motion

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5th July

In this episode we explore the history of 5th July. The focus is on the publication of Sir Isaac Newton’s “Principia” and its profound impact on science. It also discusses the laws of motion’s possible influence from ancient Indian knowledge. The article also touches on other events, such as the establishment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and India’s first submarine arrival. The narrative emphasizes the importance of science and education in dispelling superstition and dogmatism.

I was rushing back home from the library yesterday when I was stopped by the police for the reason of crossing the speed limit. I apologized and paid the fine. But what a coincidence as today I share with you the history of 5th July and it is this day in the year 1865 when the first ever speed limit law was created in Great Britain. Anyways with a promise to obey the traffic rules better, I share with you the other significant events from the history of 5th July.

It is this day when BBC made the first television broadcast in 1936. Let me share the video with you.


Besides it was on this day in the year 1841 when young Thomas Cook arranged an 11-mile train journey for a motley group of passengers from Leicester to Loughborough. The journey began on the 9th of June and it marked the beginning of a chapter in history by the name of Thomas Cook.


It is also the day when Andhra Pradesh High Court was established in the year 1954. Besides it is also the day when India’s first submarine arrived from Soviet Russia in the year 1968.

Besides all these interesting events I also see that it was this day that Sir Issac Newton published his laws of motion and universal gravitation. This is my story from the history of 5th July as it is only science and education which can eradicate superstition and dogmatism which are practiced in the name of religion across the world.

Newton’s Principia Published by the Royal Society

It was the 5th of July 1687 when Sir Isaac Newton, the esteemed English mathematician and physicist published his monumental work, “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), commonly known as the “Principia,” from the prestigious Royal Society in England.

The Principia is an extraordinary scientific masterpiece that lays the foundation for classical mechanics and provides a comprehensive understanding of the laws governing motion and the principles of universal gravitation. This magnum opus is a culmination of years of meticulous research, experimentation, and intellectual brilliance by Newton, whose profound insights have revolutionized the scientific world.

At its core, the Principia expounds upon Newton’s three fundamental laws of motion. Firstly, the law of inertia, states that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will continue moving in a straight line at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. Secondly, the relationship between force and acceleration is expressed by the famous equation F = ma, where F represents force, m denotes mass, and a signifies acceleration. Lastly, Newton’s principle of action and reaction, asserts that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

However, Newton‘s groundbreaking contributions extend beyond just the laws of motion. The Principia also encompasses his revolutionary theory of universal gravitation, which elucidates the force of attraction between all objects with mass. Newton postulates that every particle of matter in the universe exerts a gravitational force upon every other particle, with the strength of the force increasing in proportion to their masses and decreasing with the square of the distance between them. This profound insight provides a unified explanation for celestial phenomena such as planetary motion and the motions of moons and comets.

By publishing the Principia, the Royal Society has cemented Newton’s status as one of the foremost scientific minds in history. His meticulous mathematical formulations, analytical methods, and logical reasoning have established a robust framework for understanding the workings of the physical world. Moreover, Newton’s Principia paves the way for future scientific advancements and serves as a cornerstone of classical physics.

The Principia’s publication marks a turning point in the history of science. The implications of Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation are far-reaching, inspiring generations of scientists to unravel the mysteries of the universe through observation, experimentation, and theoretical exploration.

Here it is worth mentioning that in the 11th century, Bhaskaracharya documented the laws of gravity in his book “Surya Siddhanta.” Within this book, numerous shlokas explain the functioning of gravitation. For instance, one such shloka states:

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“Madhye samantandasya bhugolo vyomni tisthati

bibhranah paramam saktim brahmano dharanatmikam”

[Surya Siddhanta, 12th chapter, 32nd shloka]

The spherical earth stands at the centre of space due to the gurutvakarshan shakti(gravitational force) of the sun which prevents the earth from falling away and helps it to stand firm.

A research by Dr. George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester states that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to mathematically knowledgeable Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the fifteenth century.

That knowledge, they argue, may have eventually been passed on to Newton himself which he researched further to give us the laws of motion.

With this I end today’s episode with a thought that ancient India was more scientific than it is in modern times.

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