InertiaMonday, September 25, 2017
In spite of the Wikipedia definition for inertia below I would define my own as simply a resistance to change while surrounded by it. My Dell cathode-ray tube monitor is but one example.
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion. This includes changes to the object's speed, direction, or state of rest.
Inertia is also defined as the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at a constant velocity. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles in classical physics that are still used to describe the motion of objects and how they are affected by the applied forces on them.
Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, sluggish. Inertia is one of the primary manifestations of mass, which is a quantitative property of physical systems. Isaac Newton defined inertia as his first law in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which states:
The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.
In common usage, the term "inertia" may refer to an object's "amount of resistance to change in velocity" (which is quantified by its mass), or sometimes to its momentum, depending on the context. The term "inertia" is more properly understood as shorthand for "the principle of inertia" as described by Newton in his First Law of Motion: an object not subject to any net external force moves at a constant velocity. Thus, an object will continue moving at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.
On the surface of the Earth, inertia is often masked by the effects of friction and air resistance, both of which tend to decrease the speed of moving objects (commonly to the point of rest), and gravity. This misled the philosopher Aristotle to believe that objects would move only as long as force was applied to them:
...it [body] stops when the force which is pushing the travelling object has no longer power to push it along...
Inertia as a word does not convey a favourable response in my mind. If you are suddenly wanting to stop your car going downhill and your brakes fails, inertia is against you.
Getting going in an early winter morning without coffee or tea, again has inertia not on your side.
These initial days of fall have me feeling desganado. This excellent word in Spanish means that I am overcome by a feeling of not wanting to do anything and particularly of not feeling hungry to eat anything. Add to that another Spanish word, desabrido, which sort of means tasteless and is particularly my present malady of not finding food having much taste (a product, perhaps of impending very old age?) and you might be able to understand my present statis (from Greek στάσις "a standing still") to do nothing.
Even my daily blog has added a stress that I don’t want. I don’t want to write this blog. But there are too many days of unwritten blogs and when they add up they can become even more of a strain. So I nudge myself into movement even though I know that for every reaction there is an opposite one in the other direction (even though Newton never explained, to my satisfaction, why that falling apple did not then spring up from the ground and connect itself to its tree).
I have a friend who has an easy answer to year-round inertia. I can call John Lekich and tell him that right now I cannot make myself do anything. His reply:
“Alex it’s because its fall and stuff is winding down.”
In winter I might call him for a reason for my inactivity. His reply:
“Alex it’s winter. It’s cold and rainy. It is time to stay inside and to warm yourself by a fire.”
In spring I might phone him that I am not wanting to indulge in spring cleaning. His opinion:
“Alex spring is an exciting time and you have to first think of what your plans are for the summer. It is a time for reflection.”
In the summer Lekich would likely say: “Alex it’s much too hot to venture outside. Wait for a brisk fall to perform all those planned activities.”