Kuhnian Analysis of Why, even after Euler’s Contributions, the Fundamental Principle of Motion is still “Newton’s Second Law”

Camila Maria Sitko, Marcos Rodrigues da Silva


Background: The F = ma principle was produced by Euler, between 1752 and 1776, and not by Newton in 1687, as is usually brought up in the physics manuals. It took over sixty years of conceptual and mathematical developments to develop this fundamental principle of mechanics. Still, after all this time, the principle continues to be called “Newton’s law”. Objectives: This paper seeks to discuss the possible reasons that led to the omission of Euler’s contributions to the elaboration of the fundamental principle of mechanics. Design: The study fits as documentary analysis, followed by a philosophical analysis of the researched material. Data collection and analysis: Historical research was carried out, using primary and secondary sources, regarding the reasons that led to such omission. After that, four main hypotheses were listed. Thomas Kuhn’s philosophical structure was applied to these hypotheses to support the explanation of the historical omission. Results: From the Kuhnian analysis, the Newtonian paradigm was presented and discussed, of which the principle formulated by Euler is part. Conclusions: The principle remains “Newton’s,” due to being within the Newtonian paradigm; and the conclusion that the principle ought to remain Newtonian matches the image of science within the baselines of the field of science teaching.


Second law of motion; Newton’s second law; F=ma; Leonhard Euler; Thomas Kuhn

Texto completo:

PDF (English) PDF

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17648/acta.scientiae.5866


  • Não há apontamentos.

Direitos autorais 2021 Camila Maria Sitko, Marcos Rodrigues da Silva

Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.


Conceito A2 na Capes(2021)

Índice h5 do Google Scholar: 13
Índice mediana h5 do Google Scholar:24

eISSN: 2178-7727


A Acta Scientiae é indexada em:
Scopus logoScopusLatindex logoLatindexedubaseEdubase (SBU/UNICAMP)
Sumarios.org logoSumarios.orgGoogle Scholar logoGoogle ScholarPortal Livre (CNEM) logoPortal LivRe (CNEM)
Journals for Free logoJournals for FreeREDIB logoREDIBGaloá DOIGaloá DOI

Creative Commons License
Todos os trabalhos publicados aqui estão sob uma licença Creative Commons - Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.