Case Study: TRIZ and Evolution of Science; Inertia.

G. L. Filkovsky, TRIZ Master,
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

A notion of inertia in physics evolved over millenniums. Many scientists contributed arguments and ideas trying to solve problems and overcome contradictions. Here I compare the three milestones of this evolution to demonstrate how some of the TRIZ 40 Principles were applied. The milestones are, Aristotle, Galileo and Newton. Of course, all three of them lived long before Altshuller and did not learn TRIZ, but they were geniuses, so they could.

The Principle of Inertia, also known as the first Newton law, claims that a body in motion if not affected by any forces, would steadily move along a straight line. To explain actual non-straight and non-steady motions Newton had to consider effect of various forces, like gravity, friction and resistance.

Galileo's idea of Inertia was more sophisticated. He claimed that a body in motion if not affected by any forces, would steadily move along a circular trajectory around the center of Earth. Since such a motion is perpendicular to the force of gravity, the gravity does not affect it and thus Galileo didn't have to account for it. He considered friction, air resistance, etc., to explain why bodies actually stop.

In this solution, compared to the Newton's one, Galileo used at least following TRIZ Principles:
Principle 12. Equipotentiality.
Principle 14. Spheroidality.
Principle 17. Another dimension.

Aristotle rejected inertia. According to him, a body in motion if not affected by any forces, would stop. To explain why a thrown body moves for a while before stopping, Aristotle actually used the air the body moves through. He claimed that the vibrations generated in the air by the action of throwing, push the body forward until these vibrations dissipate.

The following TRIZ Principles were used by Aristotle here:
Principle 2. Taking out.
Principle 10. Preliminary action.
Principle 13. "The other way round".
Principle 18. Mechanical vibration.
Principle 22. "Blessing in disguise" or "Turn Lemons into Lemonade".
Principle 25. Self-service.
Principle 29. Pneumatics and hydraulics.

Maybe these and similar examples of application TRIZ in science will help to convince the so far indifferent scientific community to accept TRIZ.

A note from the Editor: The article suggests an idea. Newton applied less principles than Galileo who applied less principles than Atristotle. Hence, the more correct solution - the less principles have to be applied. Ultimately, the most correct solution needs none of the 40 principles (as was the case with Newton) !