Patterns of Discovery

The title of this piece is borrowed from a book of the same name:

Patterns of Discovery: An Inquiry into the Conceptual Foundations of Science, 1958. Texts are from a 1950's physics book.  Sprung from a visit to the Mercer Museum, Doylestown, PA. 1991-92

Light waves travel in straight lines but sound waves bend around corners readily.

When two or more forces act together, each produces its own change of momentum, independently of the other forces.



Strain is directly proportional to the strain which produces it.



In dealing with force we consider magnitude only; with work, we consider both magnitude and distance; with power, we consider both magnitude, distance, and time.

If we neglect friction and the weight of parts, input = output.

Color bears the same relation to light that pitch does to sound.

Energy can be transformed in practically any manner.

Bucket: to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.


Spade: Every body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight lines, unless it is compelled by some external force to change that state.

In practice we are more interested in what a machine actually does than in what it should do theoretically.  We are concerned with the useful work that is accomplished.  Overcoming friction wastes work.  Hence input is always greater than output.

Area = length x breadth

Force is independent of time and distance.

Potential energy = mass x height

Two forces to produce equilibrium, must be equal in magnitude, along the same line, and act in opposite directions.

Organized states tend to become chaotic.  The chaotic state is more probable.

Just as distances are measured to the north or south, east or west, so velocities are always measure in some definite direction.

Work is the product of a force and the distance over which it is exerted.

Friction opposes any force trying to produce motion and is directly proportional

to the weight of the object.