Muslim physicists and the laws of motion

 All the sciences that advance and develop with the succession of nations and civilizations, and every subsequent civilization benefits from the civilization that preceded it, and during the period of the prosperity of Islamic civilization, the natural sciences were derived from the writings of the Greeks, who relied in understanding and interpreting them on the abstract philosophy that was flourishing among them, and without experience playing a significant role. In those attempts, however, Muslim scientists soon developed this foundation and entered the realm of physics with unparalleled ingenuity and intelligence, to the point that it was as if they had created a new science, when they made physics a science based on experiment and induction, instead of relying on philosophy or speculation and abstract ideas.

Muslim physicists studied previous physics books in all their chapters, including Aristotle’s Book of Nature, in which he talked about the science of motion.

Then Muslim scientists soon developed the physical theories and ideas of their predecessors, and were able to move them from the stage of abstract theory to the stage of practical experience, which is the foundation of this science.

Newton and his laws of motion

Philosophers throughout time have been searching for fundamental laws, simple rules of the universe that could explain the wide and wild variety of phenomena that we see in the world around us. 

They had been working, and largely failing, at that task for a few millennia until Newton showed up in the late 1600s and showed them how to do it.

Newton's Laws of Motion is one of the reasons why Sir Isaac Newton is often considered the No. 1 scientist of all time.

Newton's book containing the laws of motion

Sir Isaac Newton worked in many areas of mathematics and physics,  he developed the theories of gravitation in 1666 when he was only 23 years old. In 1686, he presented his three laws of motion in the “Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis.”

By developing his three laws of motion, Newton revolutionized science,  Newton’s laws together with Kepler’s Laws explained why planets move in elliptical orbits rather than in circles.

Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion explain the relationship between a physical object and the forces acting upon it.

Understanding this information provides us with the basis of modern physics.

Newton’s Laws of Motion

An object at rest remains at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion at constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

The acceleration of an object depends on the mass of the object and the amount of force applied.

Whenever one object exerts a force on another object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite on the first.

These are the laws of motion in that they are considered the development of contemporary civilization, as all the theories of scientists in the modern era, starting from the car, the train, and the plane to the displacement of space and rocket games to other continents, are based on the laws of motion,  man conquered outer space and was able to land on the surface of the moon.

The laws of motion are also the basis of all physical sciences that are based on motion. Optics is the movement of light, sound is the movement of light transmission, electricity is the movement of electronics... etc.

Muslim scholars discovered the three laws of motion

It is well known among the general public in the East and West that the discoverer of these laws is the English scientist Isaac Newton, since he published them in his book called (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).

This remained the known fact throughout the world, and even in all scientific references - including, of course, Muslim schools - until the beginning of the twentieth century, when a group of contemporary Muslim natural scientists addressed the research, and at the forefront of them was Dr. Mustafa Nazif, professor of physics, and Dr. Jalal Shawqi, professor. Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Ali Abdullah Al-Daffa, Professor of Mathematics.

They devoted themselves to studying what was mentioned in Islamic manuscripts in this field, and they discovered that the real credit for discovering these laws goes to Muslim scholars, and that Newton’s role and virtue in them was nothing but collecting the material for these laws, and formulate it, and define it in a mathematical form!

The effort of Muslim scholars in this matter was clear and explicit, supported by the many texts documented in their manuscripts, which they wrote seven centuries before the arrival of Newton.

First law of motion

Regarding  Muslim scholars and their role in Avicenna's Pointers and Reminders, Al-Isharat wa Al-Tanbihat  in Arabic language  put this in his own words and said:

“You know that if a body is pure in its nature, and no foreign influence is exposed to it, then it does not have to have a specific place and a specific shape, for in its nature there is a principle that responds to that, and the obstacle to the body is not what it is a body, but rather in the sense in it that it seeks to remain as it is.”

Second law of motion

This law links the sum of the forces affecting the body and the increase in its velocity which is known as wheel,  the wheel is proportional to the magnitude of the force and in the same direction, and the constant of this proportion is considered to be the mass of the body.

This was stated in Newton's mathematical template, where he said: “The necessary strength for movement is directly proportional to both the mass of the body and its acceleration, and therefore it is measured as the product of mass x velocity, so that the velocity is in the same direction as the force and on the line of its inclination.”

In Newtonian mechanics, momentum (pl.: momenta or momentums; more specifically linear momentum or translational momentum) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If m is an object's mass and v is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum p (from Latin pellere "push, drive") is: p = m v . {\displaystyle \mathbf {p} =m\mathbf {v} .}

Referring to Muslim scholars, the statement of Hibat Allah ibn Malka al-Baghdadi (480-560 AH / 1087-1164 AD) in his book Al-Mu’tabar fi Al-Hikma (considered in wisdom in Arabic language)

Where he says: “Every movement inevitably takes place in time, a stronger force moves faster and in a shorter time... The more the force increases, the speed increases, and the shorter the time, if the intensity does not end, the speed does not end, and in this case movement without time becomes more severe, because time is taken away in "Speed is an end to intensity."

Chapter Fourteen, titled (The Vacuum), he said verbally: 

“The speed increases when the force increases,  the greater the momentum, the faster the moving body increases, and the shorter the time to travel the specified distance.”

This is exactly what Newton coordinated in his mathematical form, and called it the second law of motion!!

Chapter Fourteen, titled  (The space), he said verbally: “The speed increases when the force increases, the greater the momentum, the faster the moving body increases, and the shorter the time to travel the specified distance.” this is exactly what Newton coordinated in his mathematical form, and called it the second law of motion!!

Third law of motion

Centuries before Newton, in his book (Al-Mu’tabar fi Al-Hikma), Abu Al-Barakat Hibatullah ibn Malka stated what was stated: “The attracting ring between the wrestlers, each of the attracted people has a force of resistance to the force of the other, and if one of them is defeated and attracts it towards him, it will be devoid of an attractive force.” Rather, that force exists and is oppressed, and if it were not for it, the other would not need all that attraction.”

This is the same meaning that was also mentioned in the writings of Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi in his book (Oriental Investigations in theology and Natural Sciences), where he says:

“The circle  that is attracted by two equal attractors until it stops in the middle, there is no doubt that each of them performed an act in it that was hindered by the action of the other.”

Indeed, Ibn al-Haytham had an interest  share of it as well, as he said in his book (Al-Manazir):

“If the moving person encounters an obstacle in his movement that prevents him, and the force that moves him remains in him when he meets the obstacle, then he returns from where he was, in the direction from which he moved, and the strength of his movement in returning will be according to the strength of the movement with which he was first moved, and according to the strength of the resistance.”



















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