I wanted to go to the depth of the discovery of classical mechanics, instead of just reading, accepting and learning things. Now my question is not a single question, but it can answer many of my doubts. I completely understand motion, but I got stuck with forces. First, I want to tell all the physicists out there that I have read many books in which while describing momentum, they simply write that it is $m*v$, or they give this proof that I am not able to understand:
$p \varpropto m$
$p \varpropto v$
So $p = Kmv$, where K is constant of proportionality.
By experiments, it was found that value of k is 1.
So $p = mv$;
- Now I don't know what kind of magical experiments they talk about while saying that $k = 1$. So, first question: Can someone explain this proof to me?
After long searching, I found a book which talked about a very unique experiment and drew a table of values for it, and before telling Newton's second law, they told that a pattern exists within the table, and that pattern was that $m*v$ in every trial was the same, with which I completely agree, and they told that this $m*v$, which remains conserved, is defined to be momentum, for easier equations. Then through momentum conservation, they came out to the fact that $F = ma$, which was completely intuitive and I moved on.
But, (now moving to my original question) , the equipment's used in that experiment were very new, they didn't existed in Newton's period(example light gates), or did they?
So my second question: How did Newton came to the fact that $m*v$ remains conserved, or simply this pattern exists?
Did he conducted any experiments?
If yes, then what were they? If no, then how he led to momentum conservation?
Now my final doubt. There are many concepts in physics which include a constant of proportionality, and books just throw their values, instead of telling how these values were found.
- So how do these constants were found?
Can someone please tell me just the method which is used to find the value of $k$ in my first question? It will be enough to satisfy me. I have asked many questions about this, but never got the answer which was intuitive.
Note: I request the readers to not give answers involving calculus, because I don't understand it right now, I will study it in the future.