Newtonian Gravity vs General Relativity
While chatting to David Sheard, I described my excitement for (teaching) Newtonian mechanics as that given by a mistress, whereas the comfort of working with general relativity as that given by a stable partner. We then wrote this poem together, which is a re-adaptation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. We hope we did not cause to much offence to the Bard.
Ode to Newtonian Mechanics (after Sonnet 130)
My mistress shapes ellipses round the Sun;
Their perihelion does not precess.
If neutron stars combine, no waves are shun,
If stars be dense, black holes may not progress.
I’ve read that matter makes space-time be curved,
But no such curvature, just force I see;
The field equations, Einstein to us served;
Yet she prefers d(m v) by dt.
I love to talk of her, yet well I know
That relativity be general;
I grant I never saw dark matter though;
My mistress is far less ephemeral.
And yet, by heav’n, I think my love as rare,
For Newton and Einstein I shan’t compare.
ADADS and DHS