Tuesday, September 25, 2012

1209.5297 (Jaroslaw Wawrzycki)

Multiplication in Newton's Principia    [PDF]

Jaroslaw Wawrzycki
Newton in his Principia gives an ingenious generalization of the Hellenistic theory of ratios and inspired experimentally gives a tensor-like definition of multiplication of quantities measured with his ratios. An extraordinary feature of his definition is generality: namely his definition a priori allows non commutativity of multiplication of measured quantities, which may give a non-trivial linkage to experimental facts subject to quantum mechanics discovered some two hundred years later. Mathematical scheme he introduces with this ingenious definition is closely related to the contemporary approach in spectral geometry. His definition reveals in particular that commutativity of the multiplication of quantities with physical dimension has the status of experimental assumption and does not have to be fulfilled in reality, although neither the mathematical tools nor experimental evidence could allow Newton to carry out the case when the multiplication is noncommutative. We present a detailed analysis of his definition as well as a linkage to the theory of representations of algebras with involution (and with normal forms of von Neumann algebras and Jordan Banach algebras).
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.5297

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