Today, you are a member of… F = MA = Hot Damn!

Illustration from Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica, VIII, Book II, p. 511
Illustration from Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, VIII, Book II, p. 511

What is force, members? Yeah, yeah – mass times acceleration. But what is it really? Historically it predates (if only by a couple of years) the Roman Empire, being name dropped at parties by Archemides during the 3rd century BC when Rome still held the mantle of Republic. And there in philosophic musings it lazed until it got its mathematical chops from Sir Isaac Newton right around the time the Americas found themselves inundated by the British Empire in the 17th century. In the current, 21st century era of quantum physics and globalization, force has become a bit passé, a “redundant concept” that is more accurately described as by means of one of the four “fundemental interactions” – strong, weak, electromagnetism, and gravity. So if this week seems forced, don’t feel pushed around. Potential energy has been challenging great minds for centuries. Greet each vector sum with, “Hot damn! The cannonball flies!” and don’t let the magnitude or direction get you down.

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