The Zeroth Law of Physics

Previous section: Planar Rigid Body Motion and Reference Frames.

Next sectionSpecial Relativity with Geometric Algebra.


The Zeroth Law of physics defines the fundamental presumptions about space, time and existence of real entities that underlie all of physics.

Different versions of the Zeroth Law define different physical theories. 


Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity amounts to a modification of the Zeroth Law implicit in Newtonian theory.


Tenets of the Newtonian Zeroth Law:


          •
Any material object can be modeled as a particle or body {system of particles}. 


          •
At any time, every particle has a definite position x in the 3d Euclidean position space of a given reference system


          •
Particle motion is represented by a continuous trajectory x(t) in position space.
             (Time is measured by comparison with a standard moving object called a
clock.) 


Newton’s First Law defines an inertial system and a uniform time scale. 


The remaining four Laws of Newtonian physics define particle interactions and dynamics.


          [Reference: Modeling Games in the Newtonian World, AJP 60: 732 (1992)]




Previous sectionPlanar Rigid Body Motion and Reference Frames.

Next section: Special Relativity with Geometric Algebra.


© David Hestenes 2005, 2014