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The Mechanical Universe by Tom M. Apostol, Richard P. Olenick, Steven C. Frautschi

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CHAPTER 11THE CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM

    And with respect to the general cause, It seems manifest to me that it is none other than God himself, who, in the beginning, created matter along with motion and rest, and now by his ordinary concourse alone preserves in the whole the same amount of motion and rest that he placed in it. For although motion is nothing in the matter moved but its mode, it has yet a certain and determinate quantity, which we easily see may remain always the same in the whole universe, although it changes in each of the parts of it.

    René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy (1644)

11.1 THE UNIVERSE AS A MACHINE

The seventeenth century was the century when science assumed its modem form and the scientific spirit infected ...

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