Newton's Bucket Agency

"Leave no stone unturned."

Euripides, Heracleidae

 

 

 

What's in the bucket?

One of Newton's key images was a spinning bucket of water. In the "Principia" he famously describes a bucket of water supended from a rope, twisted and twisted, until twisted as tight as it can be twisted, and then let go. Who weee, he observes, and "if it is whirled about ... while the cord is untwisting itself" the surface of the water will "recede by little and little from the middle, and ascend to the sides of the vessel, forming itself into a concave figure ... and the swifter the motion becomes the higher will the water rise. This ascent of the water shows its endeavour to recede from the axis of its motion; and the true and absolute circular motion of the water, which is here directly contrary to the relative, discovers itself, and may be measured by this endeavour."-1

Here Newton draws a tenuous yet false distinction between "true and absolute" and "relative" motion to make room also for the otherwise unscientific idea that the Earth is flying around to orbit the Sun. Using a disingenuous principle introduced into physics by heliocentrism from the days of Galileo, the spinning bucket would become Newton's illustration of Galileo's loaded and hypnotic notion of the relatively detectable undetectable "unaccelerated" motion of the Earth, without which which heliocentrism and its frames of reference cannot progress.

Since everybody can tell that no one can tell that the Earth rotates at all, heliocentrism must admit that no one notices the Earth moving in the first place, of course. No scientific experiments whatever have ever been able to show that the Earth is flying. Investigators, therefore, must admit that we one and all are witnesses of a vast geodesic frame of reference that anchors us to a common experience of stillness, in terms of the Earth, quo telluris vis-a-vis telluris. Domus parva quies magna, et cetera.

So such bad science then would cleverly introduce new terms of expression, and purely theoretical concepts like Galilean "relativity" and "invariance", to get around people's common sense. In getting around stubborn facts, they need to make sure of the point that nobody can ever really tell what is going on in the first place and being clearly said about the phenomena in question. That way the excessively complicated things presupposedly said and written down on paper would supposedly hold water as actual "science" according to them. 

Because no one can disprove it, if no one can understand it; and no one can tell in agreement what is going on by simple advertisement of the senses in common either, if it were possible. As Newton says, "it is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent; because the parts of that immoveable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses."-2

Yet nature has been so wise that she has not been content merely to divide men into wise and unwise, but has given also to the wise a way that is reasonable, and to the foolish one that is confused. And if this nonsense were true, why do farmers and contractors already know why air compressors and pneumatic tools like jackhammers work, without ever having to read Newton's "Principia"? One may know that they do not distribute force because of anything to do with Newtonian "gravitation", which is supposedly universal by the inverse squared, but they work because of electricity and exact pressure applied in quale quid. 

 

Yet how can anything as subtle as nature in surface elements be understood, with much appreciation, even when it constitutes something so plain, when it is thought about only rarely, and carelessly, if at all

 

However again, if one is hit in the knee by a cannon ball, or almost run over by a train, or stuck on a sinking ship in the North Atlantic, or chased by a bear, much less kicked in the shin to start, he will recognize and distinguish the real motion there. 

 

Autem oportet, however it must be, what Newton would say his theory means is that if the bucket is not moving at all, nevertheless, that should represent a condition of "relative" or perhaps better "absolute and true" motion. Because even though it may be completely at rest, it only is an appearance, and remember that the Earth supposedly is flying and no one can recognize that -- even for mere appearance -- so the bucket must be moving with the Earth too. So there is no real condition of authentic rest possible for things on Earth ipso facto. Things that appear to be stationary are only conditional in "relative" or perhaps "absolute and true" motion, so relative motion is the scientific term that substitutes for the old fashioned concept and experience of rest.

When the spinning bucket and its contents are set in motion, that is another appearance to consider, as opposed to the true and absolute motion, or at times better said relative, when the bucket was not moving but merely orbiting the sun. The contrariwise approach of heliocentrism in the experiment appeared necessary, if not natural, because logical and simple theories of motion referred themselves for a frame of reference to an Earth that was not rotating and that was authentically and completely at rest.

However, the heliocentric game of the fool-once-removed by the detectable undetectable "unaccelerated" motion of the Earth (e.g. one can tell that he can tell that he cannot tell that the Earth is spinning) would overcome all difficulties of interpretation, and Newton simply applies it to the bucket when it is not moving.

The methodology of parallel substitution forms a little background to Newton's more direct purpose with the bucket, which was to provide an illustration for his theory of the force of gravity, and how it would move the planets in their orbits. He observes that the ascent of the water up the sides of the spinning bucket, "shows its endeavour to recede from the axis of its motion", and that "the true and absolute circular motion of the water, which is here directly contrary to the relative", as he terms it, illustrates his and Kepler's theory of the force of gravity as it would move the planets. Because, he asserts, "there is only one real circular motion of any one revolving body, corresponding to only one power of endeavouring to recede from its axis of motion, as its proper and adequate effect."-3

In spite of some confusion, it is correct enough to say that "there is only one real circular motion of any revolving body", which also means that the sun can only be going one speed one direction at a time. Any star can only go one speed at a time, and be in one place at a time, and no star can move away from itself. So when someone sees the stars at night, that is really where they are in the distance, as where they are as when they are. The starlight is not from a year or any number of years ago. It is from that night, as much as a star cannot be in the eastern and western horizon over one location at the same time, and all the drôle dross about so-called "light-years" is nonsense. One is not seeing the same star in the same place at widely different times, because of "light-years", et cetera, when looking at its light per noctem for a given hour, as it progresses in direct view from east to west around the Earth.

 

One wiser than Newton wrote, "where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, when dreams increase, empty words grow many".-4 

"Dreams have caused many to go astray and those who trusted in them failed," and only in dreams does the earth keep flying round and round.-5 Newton was a fool who dreamed that the Earth was flying in space to orbit the Sun, and that a spinning bucket of water had something to do with it for theory, but it was not scientific but delusional.

For one angle of a corner, and then all the others, space is not "absolute" in the Newtonian sense that would imply transcendent and infinite. Space related only to objects or the gravity occupied by them is not anywhere absolute beyond the simple question of actual entity. Other than as an abstraction it does not have an existence independent of the substance and form contained and intended within it.

Even for the properties, intentions, and limit of human intelligence, existence is of substance and form, of course; and the geometrical space in consideration for practical astronomy and the calendar is not an abstraction as much as expatiation is partial with reality.

Mixed-in with many elements and sorts, gravity is not even a lateral force. It is not a radial or whipping action that moves or throws things horizontally; and water, besides, is a subtle element with a characteristically free surface. Liquids are subtle and take the shape of their container, and are easily dispersed by movement. Eggs or batter being whipped in a bowl, for instance, do not ascend up the sides of the bowl because of gravity.

It does not require a genius to calculate that paper, rock, scissors, and ice do not work out the ways that they do because of "gravity" in a bucket. By nature of first principles already inherent in structure and design, an acceleration of charge may create quantitative forces of motion, by impetus and momentum, that manifest in quale quid. Things in occurrence and motion happen in virtue of either fortune or design, but not "universal gravitation" by the inverse squared, et cetera. 

If Newton's bucket is filled with a piece of the highway and rocks or solid concrete, for example, the hard stuff can spin and spin like a bucket of frozen ice and never go up the sides. The water goes up the sides of the bucket, in contrast to concrete, rocks, or the highway, because it is a subtle form of element with a characteristically free surface, and is easily dispersed by movement: not because of "gravity".

Not properly elemental and not innate to matter, Newtonian gravitation is not really disposed in the table of elements. If it were actually real, it would not disappear between rocks, water, fire, and ice in a bucket, as it always does. If solid concrete does not climb up the sides of the bucket, when spinning and spinning, but the water does, where did the gravity go?

Gravity -- as assumed in free fall -- falls out in the structure and design of things, with at least some density and weight, and the phenomenon in question only works in the vertical direction called "down", perpendicular to the surface of still water. The structural significance of gravity then, as it would be in evidence around the earth, is within two limited forms: vertical free fall and bringing things to rest. It does not move things sideways, but if it would move windows and doors, like the wind or poltergeists, it would close them not open them.

Suspended from a height of 10 stories, with a little hole in the middle of it, Newton's bucket of water will drain out like a little waterfall, falling straight down to the Earth below, because of "gravity". If the bucket is filled with heavy rocks or solid concrete or some of the highway, they will not drain out; but if the the rope is cut, the bucket will fall straight down to the Earth below, because of "gravity".

The misuse of terms is not scientific, of course; and gravity itself does not really move things or cause high pressures, temperatures, and steam power, for example. Such an ingredient of theory does not move air, fire, jet fuel or lightning or create impetus and momentum. It does not move water, rocks, concrete, or cause volcanic eruptions, geyser spouts, sink hole collapses or earthquakes. When dense and heavy things fall down to the Earth below, or a road needs work, it is because of a lack of structural support and actual weight and density heavier than air.

Take Newton's bucket of water and fill it with rocks and put it on top of a 500 lbs. anvil set in the middle of a field. Put a security perimeter around it and a sign that says, "Newtonian Scientific Investigation in Process", "Do Not Touch", and wait 1,000 years to see if gravity will ever move the bucket of solid rocks or the anvil. Like the enormous bell of Saint-Aignan in Orleans, which was on the ground in the same place for 214 years, because nobody could move it, until Pantagruel engineered a solution, gravity will never move it or even a leaf on a tree. Only the wind moves leaves, and forces of impetus and momentum move rocks.

 

Einstein may not have smoked crack or methamphetamine, but if he hit the street and followed Newton off the bridge, it may not have been so much worse than living in a world of doublespeak and confusion for the sake of heliocentrism. Gravity and acceleration are not equivalent, and there is not even an inverse relationship between the two, as much as Newtonian gravity or gravitation is not a force that moves anything.

 

What sets things in motion is a motive principle of impetus, élan, and momentum in quale quid. A circle of leaves being whipped up into a funnel by a little whirlwind is not being moved by gravity. The wind goes where it will and returns to its circuits, "ubi vult spirat et in circulos suos regreditur".-6 The leaves are not being moved laterally in circles by gravity. When the wind has gone and the leaves fall down to the ground, coming to rest, gravity will never move them from where they fell either.

If Dorothy Gale and little Toto visited a park in Kansas, but it was closed off with a warning sign that read -- "Park Closed. Prohibited Area. No Skateboarding. No rollerblading. No Pets. Here there is too much gravity. No access area in this field." -- she and Toto would have to stay out. What fun or enjoyment would there be in a field with too much gravity?

The Wizard of Oz would not even be able to help them, if they could not reduce the prohibitive gravitation of the area, condemned by the inverse squared. If the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, and Toto were all outside the fence looking in at the empty park and playground, so full of gravity in loco, they would know that nothing in there will be able to move because of the the dangerously condensed zone, and the abscessed condition so full of heavy weight.

If any of the swings or merry-go-rounds or tree branches started to move, they would also know that it was only the wind and not any of the gravity that was moving them. They closed the park, after all, because of gravity not the wind.

Perhaps the little green apple that fell from the tree did not hit Newton in the head hard enough. It would have saved common sense people a lot of trouble, if it had knocked him out cold; but unfortunately it did not have enough weight and density or gravity for that. But never mind trivial details from the past. Perhaps it would be better to remember instead how famous Tippi Turtle would sometimes  make extra money at the Post Office, with diligent helium, in defiance of gravity, of course.

A clever turtle like Tippi could go places in loco moribus ... to the Moon and Mars with NASA, and take away billions and billions in ill-gotten gains and taxpayer funds, if he really lost his good sense and let all moral principles slide that far, for that kind of money and high advancement. The things temptation can do to people and rabbits, but turtles not so fast, even for black market cigarettes and trips to outer space.

All one seeking an advantage like Tippi has to do to be as smart is fill up a helium balloon with quality helium, and put it inside a thin gift box, wrap it up, and charge the Post Office for the difference in holiday freight charges, when the package ascends to the customer's advantage at the counter, because by hot air like diligent helium the gift box ascends to defy gravity at a higher level.