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the key researches that contributed to the development of classical mechanics

The term Classical Mechanics, also known as Newtonian Mechanics is one of the major fields of physics which is the collection of research done by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. This term originated in the twentieth century to describe the principles of physics as described by Newton. It includes the astronomical theories presented by Johannes Kepler and projectile motion concepts as given by Galileo. However, many scientists consider the research done by Einstein in the field of mechanics to be part of classical mechanics.

The concept of cause and effect was first presented by Aristotle and further researched by Newton. This phenomenon was described by Newton in his second law of motion. According to Newton’s second law whenever a force is applied to a body acceleration is produced as an effect of that force, this acceleration is directly proportional to the quantity of mass and the force applied on the body. This law explains that if a body is heavier, more force is required to move it, and the acceleration produced will be less. Lighter objects, on the application of large force, cause more acceleration. Similarly to stop or decelerate a heavier object more force is required, and less is required for lighter ones. The engine force required to move a heavy airplane is the best example of Newton’s second law. We use this law in our everyday life without even noticing it, while pulling a cart in the market, pushing a stuck car out of a ditch, and even while walking we use this law every day many times.

Classical mechanics also describes the motion of projectiles. The concept of the projectile as presented by Galileo was that two forces are acting on an object thrown as a projectile. One is horizontal which is the result of the force that caused it and the object’s inertia, while the second force is gravitational which always pulls the object toward the earth’s center. Galileo declared these two forces independent of each other. This research became the basis of research on projectile motion. There are many everyday examples in which Galileo’s projectile research comes into use. A football player, while kicking the ball, calculates the force and trajectory required to make the ball fall exactly to the goal. Similarly, in other sports like basketball, the correct calculation of force and angle from which the ball is thrown is the key to success.

In the field of optics, the research made by both Galileo and Newton needs consideration. Galileo made the first telescope and discovered the moon’s appearance is actually due to the irregular presence of craters and mountains on the moon’s surface. Newton in his research proved that light is made of different colors and explained the phenomenon of refraction from prism for the first time. These researchers, both Galileo and Newton, introduced the field of optics to the world and it became the basis of various inventions like the microscope and telescope, we use it in our daily lives while sightseeing with binoculars or examining a subject in a biology lab.

In short, the branch of classical physics is incomplete without the research made by Newton and Galileo. These researchers help us almost every day. We are in debt to these researchers as they opened new doors to research and inventions. They provided insight into the most critical phenomenon of nature and enabled us to understand the physical processes better. Without these researchers, the world would have been in the same phase as the Stone Age.


Whitehouse, D. (2009). Renaissance Genius: Galileo Galilei & H. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

Yao, A. C. C. (2003). Classical physics and the Church–Turing Thesis. Journal of the ACM (JACM), 50(1), 100-105.

Numbers, R. L., & Kampourakis, K. (Eds.). (2015). Newton’s apple and other myths about science. Harvard university press.



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