Ernst Mach - Physics

Ernst Mach - A piece of knowledge is never false or true- but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow.Ernst Mach - We know only one source which directly reveals scientific facts- our sensesErnst Mach - Mach's PrincipleErnst MachErnst Mach

The Wave Structure Matter explains Mach's Principle
& how the Distant Stars determine our Inertial Mass
Ernst Mach Pictures, Quotes / Quotations

A piece of knowledge is never false or true - but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow. (Ernst Mach)
We know only one source which directly reveals scientific facts - our senses. (Ernst Mach)


Introduction - Mach's Principle - Quotes Ernst Mach - Links / Ernst Mach, Physics - Top of Page

Ernst Mach - Mach's Principle Introduction to Ernst Mach

Ernst Mach was a Philosopher of Science who lived from 1838 - 1916. He was a logical positivist and believed all truth is limited, an approximation, evolving. Thus no theory can ever explain all things, it is impossible to directly describe and understand the reality of what exists.

The chief tenets of logical positivism were that:
(1) the only genuine propositions (that are strictly true or false about the world) are those that are verifiable by the methods of science;
(2) the supposed propositions of ethics, metaphysics and theology are not verifiable and so are not strictly 'meaningful' ;
(3) the propositions of logic and mathematics are meaningful but their truth is discovered by analysis and not by experiment and observation
(4) the business of philosophy is not to engage in metaphysics or other attempted assertions about what is the case- it is, rather, to engage in analysis.
(One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers - Stewart Brown, Diane Collinson, Robert Wilkinson, p. 26 - 29)

As a philosophical movement, Logical Positivism contributed to the rise of our current postmodern society, The ONLY ABSOLUTE TRUTH is that there are NO ABSOLUTE TRUTHS (Feyerabend) and to the degraded position of contemporary metaphysics.
There is a tacit assumption within postmodernism that no theory will ever explain all things, but there is no real reason for this assumption (other than that history showed that no theory had yet explained all things). The purpose of this webpage on Ernst Mach is to demonstrate that truth is not an approximation, but comes from the necessary connection of One Thing, Space.

Mach's Principle (Newton's law of Inertia F=m.a, is established by all the matter of the universe) is sensibly and simply explained by the Metaphysics of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter. The obvious problem of the particle conception of matter is to explain how all the distant matter of the universe could instantaneously act upon a moving body here on earth. This paradox is completely resolved by the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) which shows that all distant matter establishes its presence throughout the universe by their In-waves and Out-waves which produce a nearly uniform mass-energy density of space throughout Space.

See Cosmology for a more detailed explanation and the main articles on the side of this page.

Geoff Haselhurst


Introduction - Mach's Principle - Quotes Ernst Mach - Links / Ernst Mach, Physics - Top of Page

Ernst Mach - We know only one source which directly reveals scientific facts- our senses Mach's Principle

Ernst Mach (1883) stated that Newton's law of Inertia F=m.a, was established by all the matter of the universe.

At that time the unknown origin of Newton's inertia law attracted frequent attention. Mach (very cleverly) saw the connection between inertia and distant matter in the universe from considerations on the following experiment, which produces two fundamentally different ways of measuring a body's rotation in Space:

First, without looking at the sky, one can measure the centripetal (inertial) force on a rotating mass m using Newton's law in the form F=ma=mv2/r to find circumferential speed v.
The second way is to compare an object's angular position and circumferential speed v relative to the distant fixed stars. Remarkably, both methods give exactly the same result and this was a great mystery at the time. Mach realized that the inertia law required a means to link the inertial behavior of each body with all other matter (the stars) of our universe.

The obvious problem of the particle conception of matter is to explain how all the distant matter of the universe could instantaneously act upon a moving body here on earth. This paradox is completely resolved by the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) which shows that all distant matter establishes its presence throughout the universe by their In-waves and Out-waves which produce a nearly uniform mass-energy density of space throughout Space. Thus the 'presence' of distant matter from our universe already exists at each point in our Space. Nothing is instantaneous and the waves only travel at speed c. Further, the Equation of the Cosmos confirms that the mass of an object is determined by all the other matter in the universe (as it is their Out-waves that form our In-waves, and thus our mass-energy density of space and Mass) as required by Mach's Principle.
Thus the universe is finite (within an infinite Space), spherical and Machian, as required by Einstein's general relativity;

I must not fail to mention that a theoretical argument can be adduced in favor of the hypothesis of a finite universe. The general theory of relativity teaches that the inertial mass of a given body is greater as there are more ponderable masses in proximity to it; thus it seems very natural to reduce the total inertia of a body to interactions between it and the other bodies in the universe, as indeed, ever since Newton's time, gravity has been completely reduced to interaction between bodies. The results of calculation indicate that the universe would necessarily be spherical. (Einstein, 1954)


Introduction - Mach's Principle - Quotes Ernst Mach - Links / Ernst Mach, Physics - Top of Page

Ernst Mach - A piece of knowledge is never false or true- but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow. Ernst Mach Quotations

We know only one source which directly reveals scientific facts - our senses. (Ernst Mach, p. 188)

A piece of knowledge is never false or true - but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow. (Ernst Mach, p97)

According to our conception, natural laws are a product of our psychological need to feel at home with nature; all concepts transcending sensation are to be justified as helping us understand, control and predict our environment, and different conceptual systems may be used to this end in different cultures and at different times with equal propriety.

But Mach does not consider that there is nothing to choose between any two conceptual schemes. A conceptual system is better if it is simple, comprehensive and free from internal contradictions; such a system is more useful to us and more fruitful. But we must not be misled into saying that nature itself is simple, economical and the like; the difference between economical and cumbersome conceptual systems is one of utility, not truth. (p188)

In particular Mach held that science constantly hypostatized the elements in its conceptual system, ascribing to them counterparts in nature for which experience could give no warrant and which were therefore metaphysical. In The Science of Mechanics(1883) Mach therefore applied his general position to a criticism of the form given to mechanics by Newton and his successors and attempted to show how the scientific content of mechanics could be retained without appeal to absolute space and time, force and other non-empirical notions. (p188)

.. most of the leading ideas of logical positivism can be traced to Mach. (p189)


Introduction - Mach's Principle - Quotes Ernst Mach - Links / Ernst Mach, Physics - Top of Page

Ernst Mach Ernst Mach Links
Metaphysics, Philosophy, Physics, Cosmology

Cosmology - The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built by pure deduction (Albert Einstein, 1954). The Wolff-Haselhurst Cosmology explains a Perpetual Finite Spherical Universe within an Infinite Eternal Space.

Physics and Metaphysics - The Metaphysics of Space and Motion Sensibly Unites Albert Einstein's Relativity, Quantum Theory, and Cosmology. This 40 page Treatise (written over five years) is published in 'What is the Electron' (Apeiron, 2005).

Metaphysics: Scientific Language for Describing Reality - Deducing Reality - Science Principles, Scientific Method. A New Metaphysical Foundation for Science - On Space and Motion rather than Space and Time - Wave Motion of Space Causes Matter, Time and Forces.

Metaphysics: Problem of One and the Many - Brief History of Metaphysics and Solutions to the Fundamental Problems of Uniting the; One and the Many, Infinite and the Finite, Eternal and the Temporal, Absolute and Relative, Continuous and Discrete, Simple and Complex, Matter and Universe.

Metaphysics: Philosophy - Uniting Metaphysics and Philosophy by Solving Hume's Problem of Causation, Kant's Critical Idealism, Popper's Problem of Induction, Kuhn's Paradigm.




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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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